Bible Gateway interviewed Sara Hagerty (@SaraHagerty), author of Adore: A Simple Practice for Experiencing God in the Middle Minutes of Your Day (Zondervan, 2020).
You write, “The best time to adore is when I don’t feel like it.” Why is that?
Sara Hagerty: Given the current climate of our nation and world, many of us don’t feel like talking to God right now. It’s not that we don’t see the value of it or know its significance, but a last-minute grocery run, or a news scan for the 15th time to see what’s transpired, or time to plan the newly disrupted day for our families all at home seem to take precedent.
Yet, in this hour, our means for survival is our conversation with God. For example, I find myself pressing through towards the next thing, seemingly unthinking. But if I dig a bit below the surface of my mind, I see many thoughts that I’m not bringing to God. What will happen next week? How will my child handle the disappointment of another canceled activity? Will we have enough provision for our family? Those questions and thoughts are not small, but if I leave them undetected, they drive my day.
And when fear is informing my thinking, I typically don’t want to talk to God about it.
But it’s then—exactly then—that I need God and his Word, most. Thus, the best time to adore is when I don’t feel like it.
What is adoration? Why is it so important? How can it change our relationship with God?
Sara Hagerty: Many hear the word “adoration” and put it into the category of spiritual discipline. And we often tackle spiritual disciplines when we feel strong.
In actuality, what we see from the Psalmists: adoration is looking up. David says in Psalm 5:3, “And I will look up.” We see from his psalms and others, adoration is admitting our raw feelings to God and then declaring to him, and to our weak hearts, who he is. Psalm 22 is an example of this. David expresses his fears, his doubts, his questions of God, intermittently with his adoration of who God is. And his heart appears changed, as he adores.
This is adoration: I bring my weak, fearful, anxious, and overwhelmed heart to God, and I say his Word back to him and my fragile heart, and I find that he meets me there.
You begin your book talking about fear, and your love for your children. Why did you start your book this way?
Sara Hagerty: Fear chases our most thrilling moments. In the first chapter, I talk about the thrill of a joyful moment for one of my daughters that lasted until a flash fear contaminated it. As we see right now in our current culture, fear is latent in the heart of every human. And if we want a depth of connection with God, we need to bring that fear to him.
It seems so simple, but this kind of honest conversation with God doesn’t often make our task lists, especially in a time of crisis. Our conversation with him (our adoration) needs to start with our raw emotions, and yet, so many of us push this fear down. We live mostly unaware of how much fear drives us.
Until times like these, and we no longer can pretend we aren’t affected by fear.
This time has gifted us the ability to have the fear that subtly drove us—our thoughts, our decisions, our way of framing life—surface. And if we talk to God from that place, this minute in time can change for us.
Romans 12:2 exhorts us not to be conformed to this world, but to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” In a world where Christian and non-Christian, alike, are facing some of their greatest fears, our mind is the place of differentiation.
I can’t just tell you “don’t fear” and “stop fearing.” We need to find something to replace those fears in our mind or our attention will naturally be given to the lowest hanging fruit. Today that lowest hanging fruit is our newsfeed.
Adoration gives us a place to take our fearful thoughts. It enables the renewing of the mind. It doesn’t require me to come with the right answers and right-thinking; quite the opposite, adoration lets me bring my fear and anxiety and talk to him through his Word. He wants to renew our minds with what’s true—thinking his thoughts, seeing the daily news his way, responding to the crisis of the hour with his wisdom. Adoration brings us there.
Even more so, adoration enables me to feel seen by God in my anxiety and to have his Word touch the fearful places in me.
What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App and Bible Audio App?
Sara Hagerty: I use Bible Gateway often. When my computer or my phone offers access to news that’s changing by the minute, I’m so grateful for a place to—just as quickly—search and access God’s Word.
We have one hope in these days. It’s him. We have to let his Word tell us who he is, against all the subterranean lies we face in a day. Bible Gateway is one of the many tools he’s given us to receive that.
Adore: A Simple Practice for Experiencing God in the Middle Minutes of Your Day is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.
Bio: Sara Hagerty is a lover of God, a wife to Nate, and a mother of seven—four adopted from Africa and three through miracle pregnancies. She’s also a speaker and bestselling author of Adore: A Simple Practice for Experiencing God in the Middle Minutes of Your Day, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things, and Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed. As a lifelong admirer of words, Sara has experienced their power to revive. Raw words written in tearful honesty and shared with her readers. Words whispered in hidden places as conversation with God and worship to him. Today Sara’s words offer God’s hope to readers facing unexpected life circumstances. You can follow her on Instagram @sarahagertywrites.
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