Go Online with God
- Monday, March 21, 2005
The search for God is the most important search you can undertake. But trying to wrap your mind around the concept of divinity can be the most intellectually challenging task you ever face.
Do you long to have faith, but find that you can't quite connect to God? Perhaps you doubt that you truly could connect to a Higher Power you can't see. If so, just remember that the Internet was a farfetched concept to people just 20 years ago. But now they can log on to a world of information through a wireless connection they can't see. No matter how skeptical you are, if you truly seek God, you can go online with Him.
Here's how you can go online with God:
Sharpen your focus. Don't let the information overload of our high-tech age overwhelm you. Make your quest for God a top priority. Devote time and energy to spiritual contemplation on a regular basis.
Think of prayer like logging on to a computer. Understand that, just as the Internet can be available at any time from any computer in any place on Earth, prayer is another tool that can be constantly available to you. Know that you can pray at any time in any situation to connect with God.
Invite God to reveal Himself. Trust that God will make good on His promise to be found by those who truly seek Him. Realize that there are many ways He can choose to reveal Himself to you if you earnestly pray for Him to do so.
Be humble. Remember that all people are imperfect in our fallen world. Acknowledge your weaknesses and mistakes. Accept that you always have more to learn in life. Be aware that your human nature makes you prone to log off from relating to God and following your own will. Decide that you want to discover the God who made you and have Him program the direction of your life.
Conduct an experiment. Investigate how God might be at work in your life. Consider the times you believe in God or feel connected to Him as the treatment part of the experiment. Consider the times when you don't sense a spiritual connection as the control part. Now keep track of your experiences during these two different periods for a while, and compare them. How did the quality of your decisions change? Did you have access to greater wisdom during the treatment period? Was your conscience more active? How about the quality of your relationships? Did you get along better with family, friends, and coworkers during the treatment period? How did your sense of peace change between the two different periods? Ponder the practical benefits that faith brings to your life.
Don't discount the value of mystical experiences. Think about experiences that have deeply moved you emotionally and spiritually. Consider that God could have been speak to your soul during those times. Remember that, while reason and logic are valuable means of searching for knowledge, they have natural limits. Know that the God who is bigger than any human mind also uses mystical experiences to reveal insights about Himself. Look for a pattern when several mystical experiences are replicated in your life and contemplate what God might be trying to say to you.
Make a genuine effort. Realize that you need to be completely committed to seeking God if you want to find Him. Make your best effort to believe (or at least assume) that God exists. Then think of the most wonderful feelings you've ever experienced, and consider those to be benchmarks for doing something of which God approves. Think of the worst feelings you have had about yourself, and consider those to be benchmarks for being ungodly or influenced by evil. Next, take the extremes of godly and ungodly feelings and place them at the ends of a written scale, with the word "neutral" at the center. Then record your feelings for a while and notice what happens. Whenever you make a decision that tips how you feel toward the godly side of neutral, consider that as following God's will and therefore pleasing to Him. Do the same with decisions that lead you toward feelings on the ungodly side of the equation. Think of this process like seeking God's guidance before making a decision. Do your best to obey the guidance you believe you're receiving. When you're tempted to make a decision that you know is wrong, pray for the strength to do the right thing. Yield your will to God's will, knowing that you can't seek God and consciously not do His will at the same time. Know that if you make a heartfelt effort to discover and follow God's guidance, you will enjoy a stronger and stronger connection to Him.
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