How often to we hear a message, read a passage, engage in a challenging conversation and think, “God was speaking to me just then”? Then, just days later, we struggle to even remember what it is that God was so clearly saying. In the hustle and bustle of life, the importance of that moment got swept aside.
For me, this happens far too often. A profound truth or application is lost and God has no other choice but to repeat the process again in my life. I wonder where my life would be if I had internalized those moments and made the most of them. How much further along with Christ would I be if I made the most of those moments?
This has caused me to realize the importance of handles. When God is speaking, I need to take a moment to make a handle out of it. Making a handle means pausing long enough to make the moment memorable, lasting and applicable.
This is not a new concept. In the Old Testament, when God would speak often the recipient would build an altar of rocks to commemorate and identify that experience. It was a visual reminder of how God spoke. It signified a turning point. It is something they could go back to, point the next generation to, and cemented that experience in their life. We need those kind of altars, or handles to hang on to as well. That’s how God changes us.
So what does having a handle look like? (Since I’m not big on piling up rocks in my back yard). Here are a couple recent examples for me.
– I’ve been reading the first 3 chapters of Revelation over and over again the last two weeks. The phrase that is repeated time and again to the church is, “I know your deeds”. Wow, God has been challenging me to personal integrity like never before with this simple phrase. He knows everything I think, say and do. He is watching and taking note. That phrase is now ringing in my head as I repeat it to myself throughout the day. The Spirit of God reminds me of it. That phrase caused me to contact my accountability partner to step up my game. It caused me to pause long enough to take action. i am erecting an altar of personal integrity in my life. That’s the power of a handle.
– Prior to that, God was using a song in my life. The song is “Lord I Need You” by Matt Maher. It is a simple, but powerful remake of a classic hymn. The song deconstructs the idea that I am self-sufficient. (BTW – I am preaching on this the first week in August as we kick of the Break Free series). God is using that song to reinforce the fact that I can do nothing apart from Him (John 15) in a very practical way. To make a marker out of it, I listen to it all the time. I’m singing it throughout the day. When a moment of decision comes, God uses it to remind me to lean into Him. I watched the Youtube video of Matt Maher singing the song on his knees: (Lord I Need You) and it humbled me in a way that I have not experienced in some time. God is building an altar of humility in my life. I thank God for such a handle to hang on to.
Do you have a handle you are hanging on to? I hope so. If not, don’t miss your next opportunity to respond when God clearly directs you. He wants you to hand on to Him – good times or bad. He wants to be active in our lives today!
And when you feel like you have lost your grip on God, the good news is, he has a firm grip on you through Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said, “I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)