“What are you doing, today?” is a question often met with the apothegm, “I don’t know.“ For people who are not in survival mode, there is a certain amount of time each day. Some people fill it with work. Some occupy themselves with activities. Some people are bored. Some people die.
When I woke up this morning, I mused for a bit in the presence of the Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, I simply directed my thoughts to God in heaven. This is no mean task. I remember the days before my conversion to Jesus Christ. My thoughts rarely found themselves fixed on heaven. The Lord of all the earth was not my concern. I was busy.
When my life was radically transformed by God’s reconciling grace, He gave me His mind, the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). I admit, at first, I was enraptured with thoughts of God in Christ. Zeal was not a problem. He saved me, and I knew it (Titus 3:5). He made me know it by giving me His Spirit (Rom 8:9, 11; 2 Cor 4:6; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13; 1 Pet 1:3). I have often wondered why early exuberance wanes in the Christian experience.
What is more troubling is how I feel when I am not zealous for the Lord. It grieves me when my mind is not fixed on who He is and what He has done for me. If Jesus Christ were my everything, my mind and my heart would be engrossed with His majesty. I would share equanimity with the angels around His throne, who never stop saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.”
Today, I will live another day in recognition of the fact that only One person in the entire universe knows my day from beginning to end. My thoughts are known to Him. My words are accounted by Him. My actions are done in full view of the omniscient One. He records it all. This should cause us to fear Him who judges justly (Gen 18:25; Ps 51:5; 72:2; Jn 5:30).
When I awoke today unsure of what my daily devotional writing would consist of…He knew. As I worried about whether my words would wax eloquent in electronic print, He did not worry. Today will carry numerous decisions for me. He knows them all. My children will ask me for permission to do a hundred things, and I will second guess every permission, granted or denied. He will not fret any of them, nor lament with regret, my lack of wisdom.
Today, I will think about each of my children, and I will wonder at the fact that God cares for each one of them more than I do. In my weakness and inability to help them solve problems, I can only rest in God’s power and providence. In fact, because of God’s providence, all of my worries and woes dissipate in light of His sovereignty. He is Lord of all (Acts 10:36), and He has every right to do with His creation as He pleases (Ps 115:3; 135:6).
Some people will end their course of sin and treachery, today, and God will rightly sentence them to eternal hell (Mt 25:41, 46; Jn 3:18; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15). Some people will end their course of suffering in this world, and they will enter His everlasting rest (Heb 4:1, 9). While I write this morning, much has already occurred in the world. The Almighty is working His predetermined plan (Acts 2:23), according to His sovereign will (Eph 1:11). Therefore, my only recourse is to acknowledge Him.
Acknowledging God is something I wish Christians would do more often. I wish I did it without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17). The Spirit-filled believer has so much to give the people he will encounter, today. Those who have stored up the Word of God in their hearts can greatly impact the people in their lives by simply answering questions or offering advice with the wise words of the Bible.
One of my favorite Scripture texts, from the beginning of my Christian life is, “In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your steps (Prv 3:6).” All of my ways, today, are already in His purview.
When most people receive a query regarding their plans, some will confidently reveal their intention and direction. The longer I have lived as a child of God, the more this appears a mystery to me. I do not have a plan because I am waiting on the Lord. I wait on the Lord because He has a plan. If I am going anywhere, it is because God is directing my steps. Because God is perfect and never fails in accomplishing what concerns me, it would only be prudent for me to engage Him. He knows. I do not know. For me to know, I must enter His presence and remain there in the Spirit.
Entering the presence of God is something sinners are not keen to do. In contrast, the child of God never wants to leave the presence of his heavenly Father. Apart from Him, we can do nothing (Jn 15:5), but with Him, all things are possible (Mt 19:26; Mk 10:27; Lk 18:27). The fool says in his heart, “There is no God (Ps 14:1; 53:1).” Again, in contrast, the child of God knows there is no place he can go where God is not already there (Ps 139:7). It is impossible to ignore Him, and only sin prevents one from speaking of Him. What else is there to talk about?
If we entertain any subject, God becomes the subject. “I will be exalted in the earth (Ps 46:10),” is pretty clear. If our conversation turns to the weather, He must be acknowledged as the One who calms the sea and stirs up the whirlwind. If we speak of the politics, we must speak of His raising up leaders and bringing them down. If we speak of the endless atrocities of Islamic persecution, we must acknowledge Him in light of Proverbs 16:4, “The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.” On the other end of the spectrum of sin is the thrawn sexual immorality of progressivism. He has spoken in Romans 1:18–32, and we must acknowledge the truth of what He has said.
If we acknowledge God in the manner worthy of our position as children of God, then we will speak of Him. The conversation in our heads will be with Him. Our conversation with others will be about Him. The advice we give our children will be from Him. For us to speak of Him means we are already acknowledging Him. To not speak of Him is next to denying Him, and if we deny Him before men, then He will deny us before the Father and the angels (Mt 10:33; Lk 12:8). Therefore, the wise and prudent will praise Him, even as they rightly fear Him.
To fear God and keep His commandments is the wise course (Eccl 12:13), and for the one who keeps His commandments, what can be said of her life? This is where actions do speak in acknowledgment of God. Obedience to all He has commanded allows one’s life to bear witness that she is one who is recognized as having been with the Lord.
With our thoughts immersed in His goodness, what can possibly result, but the extension of His goodness through us to others. When we are worshiping God in our hearts, we are ministering His love to others. Of course, the alternative is apparent in one’s behavior, too. Have you been with the Lord? Your neighbor can surely tell you if you are not sure.
What should you do, today? The better and biblical aphorism is always, “Acknowledge Him.” Not only will you be found faithful as a worshiper and a witness, but you will have joy in doing what is the supernatural privilege of the child of God. The child of the devil is not going to acknowledge the Lord of glory, today. Her thoughts, words, and actions will represent the darkness. To speak of Christ Jesus is an act of light (Mt 5:16). It is the revelation of heaven. How much light is in you, today? How much light are you shining in your home? Who will be exposed to the light because they were exposed to you?
In deficiency, acknowledge Him. In fear and doubt, acknowledge Him. In planning your next step, acknowledge Him. In process, acknowledge Him. In success, or in failure, acknowledge Him. There is nothing you should do, today, without conscious cognition of His presence, power, and providence. Look for His hand of grace in everything you do, and in everything, give thanks to Him. This is what it means to “acknowledge Him.”
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 4, 2021