Welcome to part two of my mini “Beholding Beauty” series! If you haven’t read part one, I encourage you to click here and read it before continuing on. :)
So…. as I was saying in part one, I’ve come to understand that I can’t actually behold God without His help. I’ve found that no matter how hard I try to stay focused when I’m setting my heart to behold God, there’s always something else vying for my attention. Sometimes it’s remembering that I need to do my laundry or pay my bills, other times it’s a friend calling or texting me (and my phone isn’t on silent… oops!), sometimes it’s my stomach screaming to be fed, other times it’s papers I need to grade for a class. Whatever form it decides to come in, there’s always some sort of distraction looming overhead!
It’s really easy to get discouraged when this happens. My first instinct is to beat myself up whenever I realize that I’ve just given in to one of these diversions. Thoughts begin to invade my mind – “Wow, Rachael. You can’t even stay focused for five minutes? You get distracted so easily…” “What’s the point of even trying? You fail every time anyway…” “You must not really want to look at God. If you did, you wouldn’t be so easily distracted…” The fact of the matter is that Satan really doesn’t want us to behold the beauty of God and be fascinated and fall deeper in love with Him, so he does everything he can to discourage us from actually doing it.
I’ve become keenly aware that because of this, I can’t do it in my own strength. There’s a battle for my attention going on, and I can’t win it without God’s help. Thankfully I have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of me (John 16:7; Luke 24:49). He’s with me and His job is to help me and make known the deep things of God as I ask Him for revelation (Eph. 1:17; 1 Cor. 2:10-11).
The first step to successfully beholding God’s beauty is asking Him for help. Begin a simple dialogue with Him. “God, help me look at You. Help me not get distracted, and if/when I do, help me to keep asking for grace to press through. Reveal Yourself to me. Capture my attention. I want to know You and behold You. Help me, God.”
A few weeks ago I was in the prayer room at IHOPKC during the NightWatch. God had moved upon my heart to spend the first 30 minutes of my time there just praying in the Spirit and meditating on Him. When I arrived, I set my belongings down, grabbed my Bible, and began pacing and praying and reading. It was only a matter of minutes before I was distracted with thoughts of the emails I had to catch up on, the wrong note one of the musicians on stage just played, the person across the room that I needed to talk to, etc. After a few minutes I realized how distracted I was! I asked the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to see God and asked for strength to stay focused and not give in to all the distractions. And guess what… it worked! For the rest of my time pacing and meditating I was able to stay so much more focused. There were still multiple times where distracting thoughts would invade my mind and I had to ask the Holy Spirit for help again, but every time He came through.
I encourage you to set aside some time today to simply behold Him. Ask Him for help. He wants to make Himself known to us, but we need to actually slow down and take time to look at Him and talk to Him. Let’s do our part and watch Him do His.