Advent Conditioning

What bliss you will experience when your heart is pure! For then your eyes will open to see more and more of God.

Matthew 4:8 (tpt, the passion translation)

When do you look for God?

We talk about His presence in worship and in trouble, mostly. We speak of His omnipresence, His ability to be everywhere at the same time. We differentiate omnipresence from manifest presence, where there is a tangible and felt presence of God in a certain place at a certain time and among a certain people.

I am asking when do we look for God. Have we paid attention to the search of our hearts?

We talk about seeking God in prayer and through His word. We raise terms like consecration as a partitioned time of extreme solitude and focus, as opposed to a separated lifestyle. We compare our search for God to phases of travel: a journey, a destination, a process, an adventure. These metaphors may conjure the image of our search for God being external, that is, a set of carnal efforts (works) that get us to God if we are diligent and faithful.

But I am asking when do we look for God. See how easily we can divert from the question?

Are our minds conditioned yet to look constantly for God?

  • Good times and bad
  • Common and the divine
  • Big things and small
  • In work or at play
  • Through clarity or fog
  • With strong feelings or total apathy
Public domain photo

This is an Advent appeal. In the season that we acknowledge the coming of God to earth in flesh, we see that His coming is not just a guaranteed reality, it is also a scalable model. The Christ can be born or revealed in our mangers, in the left over spaces where that last bit of room or space exists. The Christ is available to be seen daily, revealed in concrete reality and converting stable experiences to divine moments of vision and declaration.

Advent comes with so much. Weary travelers following a star. Animals. Uncommon accommodations. Angelic visitation. Unwitting participants used by God to facilitate His plan. Immanuel. A silent and holy night. A baby many waited for and on whom all our hopes were placed. Advent is both beginning and fulfillment. Advent reminds us that hope is felt, is real, and if we engage our hope, it is seen. Our beginning may be a mind for Advent. If we condition our minds to look for the divine in the seen and unseen, the common and the special, the wonderful and the terrible, the hidden and the revealed… we will see God.

That is the spirit of Advent. God was ready to be seen in a form all of our senses could acknowledge. And if we look for him through the cultivated heart of hope, we will see Him in all things. Selah.


Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the founder of The Bereans’ Commentary.

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