One of the best ways to train your mind and heart to focus in on the Lord’s nearness is to start out your quiet time with praise and worship. Make sure your phone is off and your door is closed, and that you have carved out enough time to not be in a rush. Put on one of your favorite worship albums, close your eyes, and really listen to the words. Then begin to use the eyes of your heart to actively look at the Lord.
How does one look at the Lord? I explain this to my children as using their imagination under the anointing. I tell them that what we are doing is not pretend; on the contrary! This exercise is more real even than what you can take in with your five physical senses. However, “imagining” is one of the best terms we have in English for using the faculty of your inner sight. You know that screen you have on the inside of you? The one where all of a sudden you see a pink elephant because I just used the phrase pink elephant? The one where you can easily call up the facial expressions of the ones you love? The one where you remember your most delicious moments and imagine more to come? That one. On that screen, picture the Lord smiling at you. This is not pretend! He really is so very, very glad to see you. Now you are tuning into His love and the warmth of His welcome.
Continue to listen to the lyrics as you look at Him. Now begin to sing them, directly to Him, as you lock eyes with Him. Don’t worry if you encounter some inner resistance to this activity. As is the case with getting in shape at the gym, the movements don’t necessarily come naturally at first. The more “reps” you push through, the more you will find your stride. Encourage yourself with this truth. It truly will pay off! It will be incredibly worth the price you are paying to grow in Him. You will overflow with joy when you find that your eyes have learned to stop focusing on your problems and have truly begun to gaze on the beauty of the Lord! He is breathtaking. Then suddenly you will glance down and realize you have ascended. You are soaring on wings as eagles! You are up in His realm!
Again, the Message version words God’s invitation so beautifully: “Ascend and enter” (Rev 4:1). Habakkuk responded. He climbed. He entered. He then scanned the horizon and waited. This was an active, alert waiting, engaged with the nearness of the Lord. It was in that place that His word came to him. No, you don’t have to be a prophet for this same principle to work for you. As you climb up into His presence, you will encounter His voice. He cannot resist those that draw near to Him. Your desire for Him undoes Him completely. Enraptured by your eager heart, He will draw near to you. His words will begin to flow. Be ready to write them down.