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4 Questions to Restore and Refocus Yourself
4 Questions for meditation, study, and prayer
I've been a pastor for many years and I've seen the effectiveness of this spiritual exercise in many lives. I personally go through this discipline at least once a month.
Here are some presuppositions before we start;
- We can know God; we can come to know Him personally through Christ. We can grow in our knowledge of God and it's a lifelong pursuit.
- We can know ourselves. We can grow in our knowledge of who we truly are. Self-discovery is a process and a relationship with God is essential for a true understanding of ourselves.
- God has redemptive and good purposes He is working out in our world.
- God loves us and will reveal Himself to us in prayer and has revealed Himself to us in the Bible.
- God has a real, meaningful, and good purpose for each of our lives.
- God speaks to us when we read the Bible and pray. Sometimes God speaks to us through other people.
Now, here are the four questions...
Question #1: Lord, Who are You?
"Lord, Who are You?"
Pray this question out loud or pray it in your mind. The first time I encourage to pray it out loud. Ask God to speak to you. If you have never done this it probably will feel awkward and you will wonder what you are doing. But give it time. God does speak. Pray or say out loud the question "Lord, who are You?" and see what thoughts come to mind in the next few minutes. Take your time. Write down anything you think God has spoken to you and meditate on it. If you sense God say, "I am patient and merciful," write it down, and then respond back to the Lord in prayer, "Thank you for being patient and merciful," "You are patient and merciful."
Take at least 5 minutes to pray and meditate on the question, "Lord, who are You?" wherever you go to pray.
Another way to press into the question of "Lord, who are You?" is to dig into your Bible. You may take a notebook, pick a book of the Bible, and write the question "Who is the Lord?" at the top of the page, and make notes as you read. I would suggest Psalms or a book in the New Testament to start. Take a chapter or half a chapter at a time. When you find a verse where God reveals Himself and His character stop and meditate on that verse. Here are some Bible verses below to consider...
Psalms 103:8, "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness..."
Psalm 84:11, "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly."
Psalm 100:5, "For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations."
John 8:12, Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."
Colossians 1:17, "He (Jesus) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
Psalm 118:14, "The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation."
Lamentations 3:22-23, "The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness."
Now pick a verse such as Psalm 118:14 and declare it out loud two or three times, "The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation." Then make it a personal expression of your heart, maybe something like this, "Lord, You are my strength, You are my song, and You have become my salvation." Take a few minutes or longer to meditate, speak, or whisper this truth to yourself. You are strengthened in your faith as you do this.
Question #2: Lord, Who am I?
Use the same approach as the first question. Find a quiet place, without distraction, and say this prayer out loud or in your mind. Pray it out loud if you have never done this before. Then just see what thoughts or pictures God brings to mind. If you are unsure if God is the one speaking into your mind remember that God will only speak words of life to you. Words or pictures of destruction are not from God.
"Lord, who am I?"
God is our maker and no one knows you better. The Lord will often give you a word or picture of the man or woman He is calling you to be but you haven't fully become yet. For example God may speak to you that "you are a forgiver" and you may not feel like a forgiving person at all or you may be struggling to forgive others. But God is calling you to move toward Him and become a powerful forgiver, it's what He is doing in your life.
This question is a good look in the mirror. Genesis 1:27 says, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." We find out who we are when we find out who God is. We are made in the image of the holy and eternal God. When we come to know His love we become more loving, when we come to know His forgiveness we become forgivers, when we become aware of how patient He is, we become more patient, etc.
When praying this question it is helpful to have a notebook or journal near to write down the truth God gives you. You can also get a Bible and meditate on who God says you are in the Bible. Here are some verses to get you started...
John 1:12, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children go God, even to those who believe in His name..." Through Christ you can become a son or daughter of God.
Colossians 1:13-14, "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." If you follow Christ you have been redeemed and your sins are forever forgiven. You are redeemed. You are forgiven.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." So who are you? Your body is a temple of the Lord, you belong to God, you are so valuable you were bought with a price.
Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." The New Testament was written in Greek and the Greek word for "workmanship" is only used 2x in the New Testament and both times it's of God personally making and creating. You have been crafted by God. And more than that God has prepared "good works" for you to do in your life, which leads us to the third question to help center your life...
Question #3: Lord, What is Your Purpose?
"Lord, What is Your Purpose?"
Pray this prayer and see what God brings to your mind. God's purposes are about redemption, salvation, freedom, peace, joy, fresh starts, forgiveness, and more. Again, having a notebook or journal close by may be helpful.
Here are some verses to meditate on to focus your life on God's purposes...
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."
2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."
Ezekiel 34:16, "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick..."
Pray, study, and reflect on what God's purposes in our world are to renew yourself. The fourth question is...
Question #4: Lord, What is My Purpose?
"Lord, What is my purpose?"
I align myself with His purpose and I find meaning in life. God knows why you were created and what the purpose of your life is. Ask God what your purpose in life is and wait for Him to give you an answer.
Ask other people who know you well and who follow God what they think God is calling you to be or do. God often speaks to us through other people. This is a good question to pray, study, and ask other people about. Seek out people and ask them this question.
The Bible helps you know your purpose in life.
Make God's purpose and heart your purpose and heart. Ezekiel 34:16, "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick..."
Offer your life to God. Isaiah 6:8...Then I said, "Here am I, send me!"
Your purpose is always to love God and love people. Matthew 22:37-39 says, 'And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and will all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
Renew and Refocus yourself
Let these 4 questions help you be renewed and refocused. You can use these questions over and over just about anywhere or anytime. You may be driving, walking, praying, or in a coffee shop, out in the woods, or in the laundry room.
Pursue knowing God and knowing who He made you to be.
Lord, who are You?
Lord, who am I?
Lord, what is Your purpose?
Lord, what is my purpose?