Recently I read something someone said they’ve been practicing each morning when they wake up, and that is asking Holy Spirit, “what can I do for You today?”. It struck me that for a long time, at least in my own personal quiet time with the Lord, my prayers and focus have been either self-centered or spent praying for others and their needs. Rarely, have I asked Him specifically what it is that I can do for Him in my day. Now, of course that doesn’t mean that I don’t ask Him to lead and guide my steps, or provide opportunities for me to share the Good News with others, but to actually stop and intentionally ask Him what I can do for Him, has been so special and actually, so refreshing. You see, my focus has shifted from being on myself and my needs, or others and their needs, to rather being on Him and how can I serve Him first and foremost. And as I’ve discovered, when I do that first, all the rest follows.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped asking Him for personal needs; or for His help; or even praying for others, but my first ‘ask’ is how can I serve Him today. And strangely, His responses haven’t been what I’ve expected. His responses have been about spending time loving Him, waiting on Him, enjoying and taking delight in Him, listening to Him, enjoying His presence and resting in His Truth. Then, it seems that as the days unfold, “random” things seem to happen where strangers may cross my path and share vulnerable things with me and I’ve had the opportunity to bring Jesus into our conversation, or a ‘new’ peace in my heart takes over in stressful times. But most importantly, I’m waking up feeling like I have my daily purpose restored. The scriptures that I’ve been intentionally spending more time asking the Lord about that come to mind are “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need”; “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires”; “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
– [Matthew 6:33 NLT; Psalm 37:4 NLT; 1 John 5:14 NIV]
Asking Holy Spirit what we can do for Him opens up a two-way dialogue. It keeps me living a surrendered life. It moves my will to take its rightful place, below, not above, His will. It reminds me that He always has good things for me to do, every day, not just on Sundays! I think we attach value and worth to the things that we do, thinking that because they’re good and helpful, they must be ‘of the Lord’, but are they? Are the things that we get involved with, or run around doing busying ourselves with, what He’s told us to do? When we do things in our own strength or believe that we’re doing good things for the Lord, why do we still burn out, become frustrated and discouraged with very little ‘joy of the Lord’ left in our spiritual, mental and emotional tanks. It’s made me look at the Lord’s Prayer again, which we all know so well. The words that have grabbed my attention of late are “Give us our daily bread”. Not just physical bread but spiritual bread. Daily, not weekly, monthly or yearly, because that bread would go dry, hard and stale. Daily bread, one day at a time. One thing at a time. A shifting of my priorities and laying them at His feet, asking Him what priorities are important to Him each day. Slowing down, moving things around because I realize in a deeper way the importance of His greatest command, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” [Mark 12:30 GNT]
Now, each morning when I wake up, I’m excited to hear what I can do for Him and can’t wait to see what transpires in my day. Choosing to be intentional in my relationship with Him and refocusing my heart’s attention on Him has birthed a new excitement, new expectation and new hope. It’s made me realize that in the hustle and bustle of regular life, the Lord is still working, wooing and whispering to us. Sometimes with life, our spiritual vision or focus can grow ‘dull’, like eyeglasses that get smudges and smears on the lenses, things get blurry. It can cause me to forget that a spiritual Kingdom is being built all around me if I actually made the effort to stop and look. The wonderful and Good News is that each one of us get to be part of the building! Being intentional means making the effort. Stopping and taking the time to lay down my agenda, my crown, and surrendering to Him. Gently feeling Him calling me back to the basics, the simple things, the main thing. Him. No rushing, no checking my watch, no distractions, just spending time with Him. I’ve heard that we make time for what’s important to us. Is Jesus important to me? Absolutely. So will I make time for Him to speak to me and use me in my day for His plans? Will you? He calls us His masterpiece in Ephesians 2:10, “created anew in Christ, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.“
He has good plans for us! So my challenge to us all is start your day with asking Holy Spirit what you can do for Him and get ready for some great adventures!