The AMI QT Devotionals for July 31-August 6 are provided by Christine Li. Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, currently lives and works in New York City. She serves at Remnant Church in Manhattan.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
Seeking Glory like Pokémon Go
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” 18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel,[e] though the city used to be called Luz.
Last year around this time, the game Pokémon Go was released. It sent a flurry of students and working people exploring their neighborhoods, searching for Pokémon to collect. Wouldn’t you know—an empty park or hotel lobby in real life actually teeming with Pokémon! Who knew that a game could turn such common landmarks into places of treasure?
Somewhat similarly, we often go through our normal habits and spaces, thinking them commonplace and mundane. The work, circumstance, or environment we are in might seem so devoid of God’s presence. Just like it seems to be for Jacob, who is fleeing to his uncle Laban after outwitting Esau, the visible, physical world (and its troubles) are all there is. But because of his dream, Jacob awakens to realize that the God of his forefathers is present, and his primary response is to worship God.
I’m sure many of us woke up this morning to another routine-filled day, thinking that our reality is not quite as spectacular or as fun as we might hope. But if we know that God’s kingdom is on this earth, then we are never truly in a boring place—we are always in a place of worship. God is with us, and He is waiting to reveal Himself.
Would that God open our eyes today to see this reality and for us to believe and sense that He is present! At every place, in every moment, His glory is waiting to be found. Let’s remind ourselves of the good news that God has broken the divide between us and Him–He is already near us, engineering our circumstances, keeping close watch. May we ask Him to awaken us to a renewed earth of wonder and worship once again.
Prayer: Father, You are indeed the Lord over all the earth! Help me to be more aware of Your presence, and open my eyes to see the spiritual reality beyond the physical world. Every inch of ground belongs to You, and because You are near, I am on holy ground. Make every place of my life a place of worship. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 8
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Kings 6:13-20: “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. 19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria. 20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.
Questions to Consider
- How does Elisha use the strength of the angel army against the army of Aram?
- In what ways does Elisha demonstrate faith in God’s power?
- There are spiritual and physical visions turned on and off throughout the passage. How does Elisha cause this to happen? How can we get them in our lives?
- Strangely, Elisha does not. The spiritual army is still only a sign of God’s might and power, which is what Elisha fully relies on. Notice that He calls on God directly to blind the eyes of the army from Aram.
- Not only has Elisha prayed for God to directly blind the eyes of the enemy, but he himself goes out to meet them. He personally leads the entire army, all the way to Samaria (sources indicate this is a distance of 10-13 miles). In these ways, he demonstrates faith in God’s power.
- Each time that vision is changed—to see the army, for them to be blinded to the truth, for their eyes to be opened—occurs after Elisha prays. Corrected vision, one that sees spiritual and physical realities, comes only from God. It is not something we can do ourselves, but is something we must pray for Him to do.
Were you able to discover God’s presence and glory where you were today? Let’s reflect on where it was easy to see God working and where it was hard to find His presence. Let’s continue to ask Him to increase our sensitivity to His presence and His work so that we may worship Him continuously.