Antique grunge clock

Over the last few weeks I have been discussing some things I’ve learned about God speaking to us through his Spirit. You can catch up on those posts here and here.

When it comes to God calling you to do something, the process in discerning is simple. You just do it. You obey what God is calling you to do. If it’s sin, you can rest assured it’s not from God. But if it isn’t and you feel like it’s from the Lord, do it. As I mentioned in a previous post, misguided obedience in better than no obedience. This is how we grow in our ability to discern what’s from God.

In my experience, when God speaks to us about thing such as who we are (identity), who He is (revelation) or what we have (provision), discernment in these things take a bit more work. The two things I mentioned in my last post took about a year to discern.  For others, it may not take that long, but seeing how this is new for me, it took a while.  I had to create new patterns and rhythms in my relationship with the Lord in order to engage with him in a new way.

Over the next few weeks I want to share the process I used in discerning what He has said to me. It simply starts with paying attention.

In John 5 Jesus says, “My Father is always at work to this very day and too am working.” Jesus is always present and at work in our lives. He is constantly trying to engage with us. The question is whether or not we are aware of it. A phrase I’ve added to my vocabulary that has helped in learning to pay attention to what God is doing and saying in my life is Kairos Moment.

In the scriptures there are two Greek words used for time. The first is chronos. This is sequential linear time. It’s time that’s measured on a watch and calendar (it’s 6:30pm on Wednesday Nov. 19th). The other word for time is kairos. Kairos is measured not by sequence, but by impact. Karios time are moments that cause us to see our life in a different light.

Kairos time is also kingdom of God time. In Mark 1:14, as Jesus steps into his public ministry he says, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” In this verse, the word Jesus uses for time is karios. “The kairos has come…”

Essentially, a kairos moment is when the kingdom of God comes crashing into your life. It’s a moment where God is trying to get your attention in order to reveal something to you about yourselves and/or Himself. These moments can be both positive and negative. They can be major life changing moments (birth of a child, death of a loved one, loss of a job, a move to a new city). Or they can be repeated patterns of behavior that occur over and over (always getting anxious as you leave for work). They can also be moments of self-reflection or moments of great joy and delight.

If this is a new term and concept go here, here and here for further explanations about this idea.

Often times, these moments blow right past us. We think nothing of them and we miss what God is saying and doing. A way that I have learned to pay attention to these moments is by writing them down. I keep a running list on my smart phone of moments where I believe God is trying to get my attention.

During this past year, while seeking to discern that God had been saying to me, “Everything you want, you already have,” most of my kairos moments were repeated patterns of behavior and emotion as I wrestled with desire, frustration, fear and anxiety about questions such as: What is success in ministry? Is it being a celebrity pastor of a mega church? Will that ever be me? Will I ever “make it?” Is the work that I currently do significant?

By keeping record of these moments, I was able to enter into them. It gave me the ability to go back to pray and process through them with the hopes of discerning what God is up to in my life. But it first started by being aware of these moments and paying attention to them.

1. Where is God trying to get your attention?
2. Are you aware of the kairos moments happening in your life?
3. How can you keep track of them?

Next Monday’s Post: Once you have these moments record, then what?


5 Responses to “Pay Attention, It’s Time!”

  1. Steve Cook

    Bryan do you think there is a blind spot in the church today regarding the simple trust in God’s Word, and nothing else, to reveal His Spirit? (John 8:31-32, 17:17) I think we too often forget what Jesus promised; that simply abiding in His words and having them abide in us will bring us the fellowship with Him we so desperately seek. (John 15:7-8) I wonder how much we Christians today really abide in His Word? I think somehow we’ve gotten to this place where we think it’s more complicated than that.

    The Spirit speaks most strongly to me in two ways: 1) through the unadorned (and often ugly) long passage memorization of His Word, and 2) My son Will. 🙂

    I’m not discounting your methods at all, I just ask this question a lot lately and really wonder if you do as well. Thanks. Love to all and congrats on your new addition!!!

    • bryanmarvel

      Hey Steve – Thanks for your comments.

      I do think that there is an epidemic of biblical illiteracy in the church today. But at the same time I also believe that there is a void of the Spirits power and activity. Not because the Spirit isn’t present and at work, but rather we are aware or paying attention.

      I don’t believe that we can pit one against the other. I think that they have to go together.

      As I wrote in my previous post, in the past year of my life, as God’s Spirit has been at work in my own heart, He calls to mind different passages of scripture that reinforce the work that He’s doing and the things He is saying.

  2. Mart Martin

    Bryan, find your copy of “My Utmost for His Highest.” Turn to July 28. Meditate on it. What Oswald Chambers says had a profound, life-changing impact on how I look at purpose and success.

  3. An Invitation from God |

    […] In last monday’s post, we discussed kairos moments, specifically what they are and how to identify them. In discerning what God is saying and doing in your life it is helpful to keep track of them to practice the art of paying attention. But once you’ve recorded your kairos moments, then what? Being aware and recognizing them is one thing, but doing something with them is another.  So what do you do with them? […]


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