You would think that keeping God central would just happen naturally. You read your Bible and God is right there in the middle of it. Therefore, isn’t He central? Well, not really. Sometimes we push right past Him in the story, or we just overlook Him because we are busy and we need move on to other things. Here are some tips on how to keep God central:
- God has to be central in your own life. You need to be focused on what He is doing today in the story where you live, and then when you approach the Bible you will be looking for how He is central in that story. We have to train ourselves to see Him that way. When something happens in your life, you will want to get into the habit of saying, “Oh, look at that. I wonder where God is in the middle of this? I wonder how He might like to move into this situation more? How can I position myself in a way that keeps Him where He needs to be in this situation?
- We cannot be the central character ourselves. This is not always as obvious as you might think because we get in God’s way all the time. We think the story is really about us because from our vantage point we are in every scene. We try to save other people, we attempt to control the situations we are in or even force things to be about what we think will be best spiritually, creating harm to others in our wake. We often decide what is best for us, and then bring God in at the tail end for a rubber stamp of approval. If this is what is happening in your life it means you are central. When God is central it looks really different. We have the freedom to wait and see what He is doing. We have a peace that He has a good plan. We ask the Holy Spirit how to approach things and then we obey even if we wouldn’t normally have approached it that way.
- We find our place in His story. When we finally stop directing the story and realize that He is the main character we can find our own place in His story. We realize that being a supporting actor requires that we watch what the main character, God, is doing all the time and adjust our responses so that He remains the focus. As we do that, our place in His story begins to become clear. When that happens we become able to worship Him, and not ourselves.
- We read God’s word differently. Suddenly, the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den, is not about a guy who didn’t get eaten by the lions. It is suddenly about God Himself who enjoys a deep relationship with Daniel, who was faithful in prayer and putting God first. God incredibly reaches into the story to faithfully save Daniel so that people would know that God was an amazing rescuer, friend, and able to be trusted in every situation, even being put into a den of lions. God begins to come to life as we see how wonderful He is and how much He loves us. It is exciting and encouraging to see and celebrate HIM!
- We experience humility as we appreciate the role that others play in His story. Now instead of being focused on how to push ourselves into the main role, we get to pause and see how God is shaping His story today through the people around us. We get to admire how God is using others to reach into our broken world and bring healing through encouraging others to see God. There are some incredible people doing some amazing things in God’s story today. Don’t miss it!