Christians, last time we talked about seeking God and how we can sometimes Auto-Fill the answers we want to hear. This time I would like to talk about how to make our times of seeking God more effective. Staying on the same technology line of search engines and seeking God, I would like to talk some about SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
What is SEO? I really had no idea what this was until I worked for an apartment rental company right after I graduated college. We were a “new” company as we had bought out a different company and changed the name. I worked with some IT guys and they explained to me about SEO and how it works. We would do different things to get our name to come up first when people searched for apartments in the town we were located. It was all done behind the scenes and it was very practical things. We employed their services and it was interesting to watch how our name searched beforehand would be fourth or fifth on the page, but after they did their work, we would appear number one on the search result.
When we are seeking God, do we want His will to appear as the number one answer to our inquiries or do we want three or four other things to appear before His will? I know for myself, and the things I have gone through, God’s ways are always perfect and perfectly timed, but rarely go the way I thought they would go. So how can I better align my spirit with God’s heart?
Prayer. It seems so simple, but it is so powerful. Spending time TALKING and LISTENING for God and His voice and instruction. When we pray for instruction, we need to do more listening than talking. When I talk to God about one subject, often He will be dealing with me on something else. If I want Him to solve situation A, He might have situation B or C come up, and I think, ‘what is going on?’ Often I find that the solution to problem A was rooted in my response to B or C. When I pray, God tells me what to do, “forgive them.” “Pray for them.” “Serve them.” “Don’t Go with them.” I have never heard God audibly, some people have, I think it would make the answers easier, but mainly I have learned by trial and error. I hear God say something, I do it, and when He works it out to my amazement, I know that it was Him. Especially when He works it out in ways I did not want or expect, but it was more perfect than my way.
Fasting. To me, fasting is one of the most important tools in our arsenal and it is rarely used. First of all, no one “likes” to go without food. God created our bodies to need and use food to function, so why would we ever withhold that? I personally have a testimony of fasting and getting my life back on track. I know that without fasting, I never would have heard God clearly and been weak enough in the flesh to submit and obey. Jesus went and fasted 40 days in the desert, because He would face Satan face to face and have to choose obedience to the Father. If you are going to start a fast, let God lead you on the how, when, length of your fast. Talk to someone who has done it before and get some advice.
Digital Fasting. Ok, you may say, we just talked about fasting. Yes, but I used to have a skewed view about this topic. When people used to say, “I am fasting television.” to be honest, I thought it was kind of a cop out, until this last winter when my wife and I did not watch any TV, movies, videos, YouTube, etc. When you want to hear God really clearly, sometimes you need to silence all of the other voices that come at you everyday. We really do not realize how much “noise” is in our head until we silence it. After 4 months of fasting those things, I would sit and talk with God and hear Him ever so clearly. Imagine talking to someone in a crowded restaurant with everyone else at all the other tables making noise, or an empty restaurant, where it is just the two of you.
Praying in the Spirit. Now, if you are about to click out of this post because your denomination does not embrace this act, just wait one minute. I grew up in a Methodist and Baptist background, I knew nothing about this attribute. When I first heard about it, it freaked me out. Now, I pray in the Spirit almost daily, at different times, for different lengths, for different purposes. When you pray in the Spirit, you take the selfishness out of your prayers, because you are praying the will of God. I will include some verses at the end of this to explain further. If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, pray to God about being filled with the Holy Spirit and let Him lead you. This is a marvelous gift and He will not withhold it from anyone who truly wants it (we all need it).
Reading the Word. Whenever you feel like you need clarification, direction, and guidance, read the Word. Don’t read it as though you have to read a certain amount, for a certain length of time, read where you feel led, for as long as you feel led, and read not as just so the words pass through your eyes, but to see what God is saying. Many times, I find myself being tested in various forms, and people in the Bible faced similar tests and trials, what they did, what God did, shows me what He will still do today. Reward the faithful, punish the wicked, hold my cause, direct, guide, and fulfill His promises. The most IMPORTANT thing to do is take whatever God tells you and align it with His Word. God will never tell you to do something that He has told you NOT to do in His Word. The Word of God is how we check our answers. God would never tell you, “Go murder this person.” He specifically says NOT to murder people in His Word and goes a step further telling us not even to HATE people because then we have murdered them in our heart. So in turn, we can also see that God would never tell us to HATE someone.
As Christians we need to seek God out and hear Him clearly, as humans we tend to want it to be easy and simple. These steps SEEM simple enough but if you truly want to live this Christian life, putting these into practice is a bit more difficult. When you are sick, or you lost your job, your marriage is having difficulties, you lose a child, you lose a spouse, your co-workers are horrible, you are upset by what the world is doing around you, and you do not know what to do. It can be really difficult to sit there quietly and pray, read the Word, fast, turn off the TV and seek God. The enemy will throw anything and everything at you, trying to convince you that God has left you, or isn’t real, or doesn’t care about you, all lies. It is up to us to optimize our search engines, so when we seek God, we seek His perfect will. And when we seek Him, He comes closer to us in what we need from Him.
Father God, if we have made it this far, we are obviously desiring to optimize the way we seek you. Help us to align our hearts, minds, wills, and emotions, to want, desire, and follow your will. We pray for supernatural protection and guidance as we lay down our plans and purposes and submit to your perfect plan and purpose for us. Please optimize our time, energy, effort, relationships as we diligently seek you with our whole heart. We love you and we praise you in Jesus name, Amen.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)
And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. I John 5:14 (AMP)
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18 (NLT)
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)
Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action, So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17 (AMP)
written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2018