What truly makes up a God-moment? Some people hang that little phrase on twists of good circumstance and figure that God must have had something to do with what happened to them on that particular day. And while I agree that God is sovereign and can show his power through our circumstances (as well as in much greater ways), I view a God-moment as a bit more than just being pleasantly surprised at how things turned out.
I see God-moments as those times we get a greater awareness of the purity, power, and goodness of God drawing close to us. In those moments, for some reason or another, we sense that he is near and that he wants us to be aware of him and know him fully. Moments like that are gifts of God, and we should never take them for granted.
But we can also take steps to have those moments come more often. We can’t control them for our own ends, but we can put our heart and mind in a place where we are more likely to hear from God and sense his presence and goodness. Let me suggest four steps to point our thoughts to be more likely to have a God-moment. These steps are interconnected, like links in a chain: if we attempt one of them long enough, then they should lead us to attempt the others.
Focus on God. That seems obvious, but it’s not always easy. From the time we are born, our default life orientation is towards ourselves — our needs, our desires, our worries, and our frustrations. Focusing on God means turning away from our self-centered gaze and turning our interest towards what God has done, what God is like, and what God desires. When Jesus modeled prayer for his disciples, he first asked that God’s holy name would be honored, God’s kingdom would come, and God’s will would be done. When we pray, if we are primarily seeking what God wants to show us (instead of what we want from him), then we are more likely to encounter a God-moment.
Focus on God’s Word. The Bible is God’s story, and so it provides us with numerous descriptions of God interacting with people. We can learn things about God through the Bible that we cannot learn through merely observing the world or searching our feelings. The Bible is not the easiest book to read, learn, and understand. But when we apply ourselves to absorbing the Bible, then we will hear it emphasize truths about God over and over again, which leaves us open to having a God-moment.
Focus on God’s Word about Jesus. The good news of Jesus Christ is the key to understanding the whole Bible. Without the good news, we’ll end up viewing the Bible as glorified self-help, life inspiration, principles for success, or rules for the righteous. The point of the Bible is to reveal the true and living God who has come to rescue us. Many Christians can testify to having a huge God-moment when one day they heard the good news and believed Jesus died on the cross for their sins to give them eternal life. Repeatedly focusing on that good news helps us put the rest of the Bible and our life into perspective — and opens us wide to having a God-moment.
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. (Romans 10:17 CSB)
Focus on obeying God’s Word. Our faith in God won’t be complete without obedience. And one way to avoid having God-moments is to set our heart against obeying God. But when we lay down our resistance towards God and strive to do what he’s asking, then we have cleared the way for him to come close and help us. When we are trying to obey God, we’re practically asking for a God-moment.