Written by Craig Denison
Early on in my Christian life I rejected the assistance of anything of the world in my pursuit of God. I thought that my relationship with the Trinity should be so strong that nothing could pull me away from him. I saw environment, community and atmosphere as crutches I had to lean on when I was too weak rather than stepping stones into authentic communion with the Father.
Then the Holy Spirit revealed to me my pride and religiosity.
The truth is that he made this world to be a reflection of his invisible nature. Every created thing is designed to declare in its own way the unspeakable majesty of its Creator.
"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made." -Romans 1:20
To avoid allowing our environment, others and the atmosphere to assist us in seeking God is to cast away some of the most important tools God has given us in our pursuit of him.
If certain music helps you connect with God in the morning as you carve out time to meet with him prior to being pulled into the business of modern life, why not use it? If coffee or tea sparks a little fire of energy within you that helps you commune with the Father, why not drink it? If you can journal, read, worship, create, love and be inspired in a certain chair, a specific coffee shop, in talking with a certain friend or taking a walk in nature, why not utilize everything you've been afforded to help you seek God?
The truth is that all of us are affected either positively or negatively by the atmospheres around us. For good or bad our homes, workplaces, churches, cities and nations impact our connection with God. For good or bad the media we consume, books we read, music we listen to and food we eat impacts how we think and feel, thereby impacting our ability to connect to God. And if we aren't intentional about creating an atmosphere most conducive to seeking God, we will miss out on the feast of his presence laid before us at the beginning of every day.
So, craft an environment in your home-life, work-life, church-life and friendships that stokes the flame of your passion for God. Choose to remove yourself from the atmospheres of the world that only serve to put out the spark of affection for Jesus and dull your sense of union with the Holy Spirit. Call the world around you to redemption and hear the proclamations of your heavenly Father's wonderful nature from that which he so intentionally created.
As I write this blog I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Waco, TX called Dichotomy. The sounds of coffee beans grinding, people conversing, steam expending and light music playing remind me that I am but one man in a world of people God longs to encounter. And as I allow the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart in the midst of this bustling shop I am reminded that he never leaves, always loves and longs to reveal the reality of our union with him in the midst of any and all circumstances.
May he reveal to you today the depths of his love and the strength of his unshakable bond with you.
How To: Take time today to note the various atmospheres in which you live. Try and pay attention to your emotions, thoughts and then actions as you move from environment to environment. Pay attention to how the food you eat, music you listen to, conversations you have, work you do and media you consume affect your hunger for the things of God. And in response to these assessments choose to give yourself to only that which truly satisfies, and surround yourself with atmospheres conducive to the most important connection in your life-- your eternal relationship with your Creator.