Experiencing God in the Created World – Steve Wickham


“The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky displays what his hands have made.”
— Psalm 19:1 (GW)
From creaking crickets to massages and bubble-gum ice-cream,
Experiencing God is beyond senses and what’s seen.
From travel to babies and the eventual dentures,
Having access to God is not limited to adventures.
From thoughts to libraries and what’s learned at college,
God is in life much more than knowledge.
From dreams to planning and inspirational indemnities,
God extends us past the plain making of memories.
From enjoyment to grief and all emotion between,
God’s in even more than every hard-bitten dream.
From novelty to the veteran and the appreciative skill,
God’s into growth beyond the extent of our fill.
From wonders to signs and the miraculous too,
God’s in all of it—in everything true.
The Scope and Extent of the Created World
We’re not just talking about a physical place; the world—the cosmos—is a system.
There is no limit to the extent of how we might worship God by enjoying his Presence. And each of us has our own ways in which God reaches us to connect our souls with that revelatory truth that transforms us unto growth in Christ.
I find transport—being on trains and buses and planes, and even on my bicycle—gives me inspiration as to the Divine working in my world. And I could extend it to walking; a two or three mile walk, at brisk pace, on a bright sunny day, or in the cool evening moonlight, brings warmth to my soul or an equivalently stark, yet reasonable, inspiration. Noisy cafes, also, but just as much the experience of a meandering stream.
Experiencing God in the created world is a gem of majesty that is limitless in design. For all the seven-plus billion souls on this earth, there would be just as many fragments of divine revelation to be had, for each one, regarding the things of heaven to be enjoyed on this earth.
Within this worldly system we exist in we see God revealed tremendously, from every angle, and through every experience, no matter how we feel.
As we reflect on this Lord of Glory who has begotten us, asking him to make himself known to us in our everyday, we see his glory magnified, resplendent, and dutifully portrayed in all divine faithfulness.
Whatever We Experience In Reflection, God Is Bigger
Of course, we know that we cannot ‘box’ God, though we try, such as our thinking’s limited. As there is no limit to the divine scope for creation, there is equally no limit to our enjoyment of the divine, at any time we choose—in both blessing and want and all between.
As we consider a sunset, a sunrise, the wonder in an insect, or the phenomenon known socially as of this day, we hear God speak through our experience, perhaps in ways only perceptible for us, alone. Of course, we are stoically encouraged when others see what we see, but the point of reflection, the point of honing in on the Spirit as it is present in our moments, is the unique gift of divine light given us, that ingenious moment.
God is infinitely bigger than we can imagine, and the beauty in that thought, in the present discussion, is our reflections catch us by surprise if we are free enough to be caught reflecting, which brings us to a point of fresh wonder.
The limit of God’s awesomeness is a lie. There can be no limit.
When we open ourselves up in awe of God, to the extent of seeing things anew, in new ways, within the broader spectrum of life, the Lord shows us the wonder enfolded in such a gorgeous investment.
It is ours to enlarge our God-consciousness through spiritual reflection.
The world awaits!
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.
This morning’s post in the series Return to Our Senses in Lent comes from fellow Australian Steve Wickham, author of “Grow In GOD” eBook (Proverbs) He holds Science, Divinity and Counselling Degrees and ministers actively in Cyberspace. His social media links: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stevewickhamauthor and http://www.facebook.com/steve.j.wickham and Twitter: http://twitter.com/SJWickham
Steve Wickham

Advent, Children, Justice, Wonder and Humility by Steve Wickham

Our first reflection in the Advent series Let Us Wait As  Children Wait, is contributed by fellow Australian Steve Wickham, author of “Grow In GOD” commentary of Proverbs ebook, a Registered Safety Practitioner, a writer, counsellor, and an active online Christian minister. His social media links: Facebook: and Twitter. This post was first published on his blog Epitome.

The Christ Child Comes

The Christ Child Comes

The Saviour’s birth was the humblest of beginnings:

“Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
—Luke 2:7 (NRSV)
The Westernised Christmas, paradoxically, is very much a children’s event. Despite negative allusions from the onerously pious, there is much to be gleaned about why Christmas is so exciting for children. Recalling my childhood, Christmases are about redeeming long-cherished memories of waiting, hoping, praying for wishes to come true—not just materialistic wishes, either.
The Salubrious Wonder in Advent
The celebration of the coming of the Incarnation-of-God into the world is history’s hinging point. The God-fearing Jews had waited ever-so-patiently for the coming of the prophesied Saviour. The promised King approached, and then came in the person of Jesus. Hundreds of years passed before the Lord arrived. And in all the anticipation wonder grew. Advent seemed to tarry, but it never more surely arrived right on time!
We think, in our day, perhaps days after Christmas, “Oh well, Christmas is over again for another year,” and often we are relieved—the burden of preparations is over; a family event has been accomplished; the stress is now over (for another year!).
Maybe we forget the wonder in Advent, for a child thinks differently. They wait patiently all year, enjoy their Christmas, and even lament the coming and the passing of a terrific celebration of joy, peace, love, and hope. We don’t know if the child is excited because it is the celebration of the coming of God into the world. It probably isn’t.
But there is a clarity of spiritual coolness in the wonder that this season generates. As an adult I find myself hankering for those childhood times, where birthdays and Christmases meant something more intrinsically wondrous.
The wonder that children can experience as Advent approaches, regardless of the materialism attached, is a resplendent watch point for parents and other adults alike. To know joy is to know the sense of wonder that a child experiences in contemplating the mystery in the replete, yet perfectly safe, unknown.
Wonder, Excitement, Humility, and Making a Difference
As we reflect over this joy that a child experiences in the approach of this season, there is the opportune time to teach the child through the narrative of their unfolding lives.
Never better may there be an opportunity to connect our children to advocacy for the social justice issues Jesus himself would grieve over. We get out our world maps and we wonder aloud. We enjoy with inclusivity the diversity over our green earth. And, in that, we commit to helping those less fortunate. We want to know their plight! We want our children to grow within their hearts a yearning for God’s justice to sweep the world. We want a better tomorrow.
There are the acts of random kindness we can commit to—one a day over the season of Advent—as we count the days down from the fourth Sunday before December 25.
Expressions of humility and selflessness come in one-million-and-one colours of thoughtful and behavioural expression. Such humility and selflessness are things our children will just soak up. In this they will know Jesus.
Whatever we plan, we plan better when we keep our kids engaged. Advent presents many opportunities for object lessons, in converting our children’s ambient joy into the Joy of the Lord.
Advent, most of all, celebrates the coming of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in such a way that we acknowledge he is coming again!
Waiting patiently through Advent, as children wait, anticipating the movement of God in our hearts, is our blessed opportunity. If we experience justice, let us fight injustice. If we experience wonder, let us conquer ambivalence. If we experience humility, we let that seed germinate and rest in our souls, forever.
Most of all let us share these experiences with our children.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

Lord Teach Us to Pray: Everyday Walking, Talking Prayer by Steve Wickham

Today’s post is a part of the Lord Teach Us To Pray, contributed by Steve Wickham.  Steve, author of “Grow In GOD” ebook, is a Registered Safety Practitioner (BSc, FSIA, RSP [Australia]), a writer, and an active online Christian minister (GradDipBib&Min). His social media links: Facebook, Facebook  and Twitter.



“Prayer is the application of the heart to God and the internal exercise of love.”

~Madame Guyon (1648–1717)
Many people have ill-conceived notions on how to pray, and when, and so forth. As the Presence of God is entirely present, so too is the opportunity to pray. Prayer is simple and is best left simple. And prayer is not just talking; it’s listening too.
But still there is a deep mystery surrounding prayer.
People unconsciously avoid it, ever wanting to master it, but may be too wary and too afraid of failing. But prayer is so easy, requiring nothing of us but our strict yet malleable surrender, we miss its simplicity. And we judge ourselves, also unconsciously, as being ill-devoted.
One Easy Illustration Of Praying In Everyday Life
I find God speaks to me (which is just as much a mode of prayer than me speaking to him) most when I am mobile.
When I walk God talks to me and I often talk back. When I ride the train God speaks to me and I write down those ideas. Often when I ride my bike God drops a word into my heart or between my ears. (God doesn’t speak to me audibly.)
This form of prayer, of course, is revelation.
Now revelation is one of those things that seems easy, but is, in fact, hard. It needs to be nurtured. God will not force his way into our lives. We must seek him. We must desire him. We must live for him.
When God alone commands our attentions his revelation becomes natural discourse.
So, for me, mobility is the key to hearing God’s voice as it resounds via the manifestations within my life, and within the lives of others that I observe.
Nurturing The Experience Of God’s Revelation
Learning to hear God in our day-to-day, walking and talking lives is about giving our hearts to God, as implied above, as well as learning to receive God’s love and truth. That is, resting in the glorious knowledge that we, alone and collectively, are beloved.
Holding both of these in tension—giving our hearts to God and receiving God’s love and truth—is a sure and certain way of praying in an everyday way.
Revelation is the key to prayer given that prayer is a conversation, and no conversations take place with only one entity talking. We must be able to hear God; this is the start of a good prayer life.
Prayer is conversation with God. More important than talking is listening. Receiving God’s revelation is receiving his love and truth. This keeps us on the straight path. Our conversing with God should never cease.
Giving our hearts to God in prayer,
Is just as much receiving his care.

Lord Teach Us To Pray: Sailing Over the Sea of Affliction by Steve Wichkam



This morning’s post in the series Lord Teach Us to Pray is written by Steve Wickham, author of “Grow In GOD” ebook, is a Registered Safety Practitioner (BSc, FSIA, RSP [Australia]), a writer, and an active online Christian minister (GradDipBib&Min). His social media links: Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/steve.j.wickham & http://www.facebook.com/stevewickhamauthor and Twitter: http://twitter.com/sjwickhamauthor . View the original post here

This post seemed particularly applicable this morning because Tom is in hospital. Nothing serious but I would appreciate your prayers.


The lady’s torment, seemingly, was the inability to experience God in prayer:
“Beholding me rowing with laborious toil, the breath of Your divine operations turned in my favor and carried me full sail over this sea of affliction.”
~Madame Guyon (1648–1717)
Of course, we can all relate. Times when God mysteriously vanished from all sensation and view, we were perplexed, really, as to what to do.
The presumption of Madame Guyon’s affliction is her inability to pray with gifted ease; to not have possessed yet, although still only in her teen years, what two spiritual mentors possessed with aplomb. And although our afflictions vary, they are just as tortuous, for they appear impossible for us to be released from.
God’s Miracles – A Truly Marvellous Paradox
Try as we might, as hard as we can, taking care never to give up, we may be farther from our objective than ever. Such an experience is infuriating. We deserve the thing we a richly want, ‘says’ the human mind for things.
But the thinking of God and the ways of God are worlds, even realms, different.
What Madame Guyon experienced, and what we too may have experienced, is the inexplicable miracle of God’s instant gifting. When all efforts ceased and she just came, bereft in her tears, sullen to all effort, and wanting nothing other than God, God gave.
God’s miracles are transformative in a world where the transformative is pricelessly rare. Miracles escape the perception of nearly everyone, let alone their grasp. And just like happiness, God’s miracles elude us the instant we insist on them. If we cannot order humanity around and get what we want, how are we to order God around to get what we want? God desires a particular heart. When that heart comes, God gives.
Understanding this, then, helps us as we come before God, to request of the divine operation that shall carry us over this sea of affliction.
When We Want Nothing Other Than God
The vehicle that carries us over the sea of affliction is God himself. There are no methods, no trinkets, and no programs that do it; only God.
And as we give ourselves over to the divine operation, having nothing of ourselves left over to steer our ship, and even as we experience the temporary misfortune of stormy despair, God breathes through us. Almost as if we rested on the stilled ocean bottom, completely hopeless, God resurrects us in our perfect willingness to commune.
This is a very difficult place to get to, seemingly. But once we have arrived, once-for-all-time do we know how to get back there. We now have the ticket-to-ride. And strangely enough God brings us back there, periodically, as a sweetly glorious reminder of his Presence. This is prayer in its most basic form.
One image: of God there, in the midst of our affliction, with us. This image, this experience, just once, transforms our lives forever. No future affliction will we meet the same way. Fear gives way to faith. And faith is our new way.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

Hungering and Thirsting for God by Steve Wickham

This morning’s post in the series Easter is Coming: What Do We Hunger and Thirst For?  is by Steve Wickham an active e-minister.
His blogs are here and here. Wickham is also available through his Facebook or his Twitter.

In a world of multiplicity, including bounteous sources for satisfaction, we can easily miss the truth that appears right in front of us every moment of every day. The Lord, our living God, is providing us ample food and water in the focused meal of abundance:

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”

~Matthew 5:6 (Msg)

But we readily present ourselves before the sizeable and bloating banquets on offer elsewhere and everywhere. The meal of salvation is, contrarily, scant-from-view, in that it requires a search. What is characteristic of humanity is we fall into the arms of convenience, or give up on that search too easily.

If we hunger and thirst for God—for righteousness in true humility—we will win a meal so handsome, it reveals all other meals as junk food. But, then, many people are more than satisfied with food that cannot, in their moment, or in the end, satisfy. No wonder there is so much obesity—the chubbiness of material excess, and where our spirituality shrinks.

An Everlasting Food Revealing An Everlasting Source

When we come before the table of food that materially-stoked others can know nothing about (John 4:32), and we have spiritual enlightenment enough to understand the context and power of such food, we truly have the keys to our world—beyond worldliness. The world was meant to come with God, not function without Divine Presence and Provision.

Indeed, the world without God is a darkly unimaginative reality, promising much, but delivering little. There is a veneer about it, that which, when scratched away, reveals a tribal nastiness that hardly bears recognition in the face of an uninquisitive mind.

The reason many people don’t see this veneer covering almost everything is it so implicit in our world, and we see it whenever the world tries to exist there before us without God. The world is a cart; it needs a horse (the Lord) to pull it—to make it functional and, more, meaningful.

And the relevance of the Source of the real food begins to unfold when we find, with everything at our disposal, our meaning has disappeared, or perhaps has never appeared or even existed. Meaning comes first—it has to. What good is there scheduling ‘the what’ before ‘the why’? Why marry for the sake of marrying? Or, why settle for a career in order to earn income when a career is not fulfilling? ‘The why’ must come first.

The Rank Imperative Of Time

We should have noticed, already, that this Divine Meal we speak of comes implicit with the need to get our priorities for time right. We are fed, spiritually, by the fundamental nuances; the spending of our time.

Why did see Israelites chase after water and food in the desert? They were thirsty and hungry—dying from lack of these. Yet, they lacked more the spiritual sustenance and faith of vision. Such faith would have seen them nourished both physically and spiritually. But they chose to negate the spiritual by putting the physical ahead.

We are all Israelites chasing after water and food in our respective deserts. We can have the easy-to-gain water and food; God will give us these and, yet, we won’t be blessed. We must thirst and hunger after what is truly significant: the truth and fullness of God. Then we will be filled.

What do we hunger and thirst for: bread or the righteousness of God; water or justice?

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Source: flowingfaith.com.

Living the Worship Driven Life by Steve Wickham

Today’s post in the series Worshipping God in the Real World is contributed by Steve Wickham (BSc, FSIA, RSP [Aust], GradDipBib&Min) an online Christian minister and freelance author maintaining three blog sites (Epitome, ex-ceed and TRIBEWORK), posting daily to service a diverse readership. You can find his nearly 3,000 published articles onEzineArticles.com

This article was first published on Epitome 


“Then say to [Pharaoh], ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness’.”  ~Exodus 7:16 (NIV).

Worshipping God is a whole-of-life experience of faith, the spending of ourselves in love, and earnest learning in wisdom. It’s probably a whole lot more to boot.

It’s certainly not confined to Sunday church services and prayer meetings.

How do we convert the typical endeavour of worship for God at church — a comparative ‘Egypt’ by confinement of location and activity — and take such worshipful endeavour out into the world; to the comparative ‘wildernesses’ of our workplaces, homes and communities?

Freedom of Worship

If we consider ourselves free only to ‘worship’ at church — or within safe Christian boundaries — then we probably have the wrong concept for what worship is.

Worship may be any activity where we’re able to glorify God via what we do and through what meagre (or mega) portion we, of our hearts, bring.

Living like Christ, whilst we’ll often fail to meet the Saviour’s standard, is the freedom of worship.

Note that Jesus was free to worship God in his literal wilderness experience (Matthew 4:1-11). Out in the world, far beyond the Temple, he was tempted three significant times by Satan. Jesus worshipped the Father via straightforward, wise obedience. His worship, at least in this setting, was nothing about readings in church or singing Hallels.

We too are free to express our worship, not only beyond the gates of our churches, but via an amazing array of activity.

The Vast Worshipful Expanse

God has created a very big place — the universe. Yet, no matter how big things get (the universe is ever-expanding in size) it’s a scientific and a miraculous fact that smallness is equally big. Nanotechnologies and the like prove God to be unfathomable regarding the legacy of expanse, both macro and micro.

God is a limitless Lord.

We can extend God’s expansive nature to the issue of worship; to the degree of variety of worshipful activity at our fingertips.

Anything done with love in our hearts fits this Divine mould.

Where we rise to the heights of righteousness, plumb the depths of humility, reach out our arms in the width of justice, and scour the breadth of God’s wisdom, we worship; to a trillion different nuances.

As we’re unique persons, each crafted at the masterstroke of the Lord’s design, uniqueness becomes the authenticity of our worship. Nobody will worship in the world like we, perhaps, can or do.

The Mission is to Worship: Worship IS Mission

The entire world we can touch is our ‘wilderness’ and the mission of God in our mortal bodies and minds is beyond Egypt (the physical church buildings we present at each Sunday).

Not that we can’t worship in Egypt; we can worship anywhere!

To consider ourselves as pleasing God by remaining in Egypt, however, when the wilderness is the way to the Promised Land, is ludicrous.

We must extend our worship to the farthest reaches of our conscious lives, for through our worshipful ways we experience God. We should yearn after God’s Presence these ways, desiring more and more infilling of the Spirit that gives life; and that, through us, so our worship truly glorifies God.

When we take the Purpose Driven Life model, connecting both ends — worship with mission — we can finally retain the beads — fellowship, discipleship and ministry — ending with a string of beads constructed toward Christlike completeness.

Our mission is to find our worshipful purpose in all our moments.

First Tuesday of Advent – Approaching Vanishing Point or Drawing Near? by Steve Wickham

This morning’s post for the series Jesus is Near How do We Draw Close comes from Steve Wickham and is reposted from Epitome.  Steve is a Registered Safety Practitioner (BSc, FSIA, RSP[Australia]) and a qualified, unordained Christian minister (GradDipBib&Min). His blogs are at: http://epitemnein-epitomic.blogspot.com/ and http://inspiringbetterlife.blogspot.com/ andhttp://tribework.blogspot.com/.  His Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/stevewickhamauthor

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”

~Hebrews 10:22a (NIV).

At different times of year, and certainly as we approach the year’s end, we can be stopped in our tracks like deer in headlights to suddenly discover our proximity to God is at vanishing point. We wonder, “Just how did it get so bad?”

It might have been weeks or months since we sought some reflective solitude to just ‘be’ with God.

Our very next thought is usually, “How do I quickly get back on track?”

‘Looking’ at a Wonderful Truth

A millisecond is all it takes for us to see our innocence in all this. Sure, we’ve been swept up in all manner of ‘life’ and left God behind (so far as our journey with him is concerned). Life’s gotten bigger for reasons that are valid. We’re all busy doing life the best we can.

A wonderful truth persists through eternity for all those saved to the Saviour: cleansed from our guilty conscience, we draw close and God reciprocates (James 4:8). He’s never been away, but such are we that we must feel this Lord to truly enjoy life.

Drawing Near, Simply, by Drawing Away

When all is awry, and even when it isn’t but we’re still not close to God, drawing near is simple from the mechanistic viewpoint. This is our approach: to see logically and clearly… the direction ahead—go to the Lord.

I wrote an article, That Fabulous Art of Withdrawal, relating to aspects often necessary for the experience of peace with God, via the action-oriented acknowledgement that sees us alone—always—with God.

Drawing near to God, for many, many people, necessarily means drawing away from the world. And whether that is a physical drawing away, or just for a time, or in some other way, it’s a self-divined activity in both coming to know ourselves and to heed what it is God’s calling us to do in the instance, given our self-knowledge.

Drawing Near Without Escape

Still for some there’s the need to draw near in the midst of a world that simply won’t go away. It is fortunate for us that God’s in the business of dealing with ‘the impossible’.

If we tend toward the fact that God’s there, in our midst, we don’t need to escape at all.Drawing near at this time of year, or at any time for that matter, is not hard. Staring into a mirror is where we’ll find the Spirit.

Thirty quiet seconds is all it takes.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.