This month’s Pastor’s Perspective is delivered by Dr. Kyle Searcy, Fresh Anointing House of Worship
I am awestruck by our God-given ability to define our inward reality. As humans, we are uniquely sovereign over our internal disposition, i.e., our frame of mind and emotional proclivity.
Evidence of this ability to define our internal nature is clear throughout God’s Word. A myriad of verses portrays Jesus bidding believers to shift their emotional disposition. “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1); “Be of good cheer” (John 16:33) are just a few. God would never ask us to do what’s impossible. He asks us to adjust our internal state, which validates the possibility of doing so.
I have recently come to terms with a state of being that God wants us to visit often, if not live in daily — the state of fascination. I believe we were created to live fascinated. Fascination means to be strongly attracted and interested.
When we are fascinated, biochemical reactions take place in our bodies. Let me share a few of these. First, there is a Dopamine Release. Engaging in fascination often leads to the discharge of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.
Another chemical reaction is a Greater Reward. Reward pathways in the brain become activated in regions such as the nucleus accumbens and the ventral tegmental area. These areas are involved in processing rewards and motivation.
We also can experience Reduced Stress. An immersive, fascinating experience can reduce cortisol levels in us. Lowering cortisol regulates the body’s response to stress.
Mankind’s desire to be fascinated is often exploited. For example, movies and television certainly tap into this desire. Social media, with its algorithms, constantly seek ways to keep us fascinated so that we will keep coming back.
King David, however, decided to be fascinated with God. In Psalm 139:1-5 He made a striking declaration. First, he proclaimed, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.”
He then declared, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6). The word wonderful is translated from the Hebrew word meaning awe, respect, fear, astonishment, fascination. David was fascinated by the insight he received.
David’s childlike wonder sparked the thought of at least three things we should allow to regularly fascinate us.
First, be fascinated by creation.
Psalm 19:1 proclaims, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” There is so much in creation that is jaw-dropping. From the grandeur of the stars and planetary bodies to the complexity of DNA, creation is packed with awe-provoking matter.
For example, some scientists say there are more stars than sand on the Earth. If true, this is amazing. Scientists have tried for a thousand years to understand the wonder of gravity and its mystical pulling power. Also remarkable is the complexity of genetic coding. One DNA cell has more than 500,000 letters of code. And incredibly, the human eye can distinguish 10 million colors and process them in 100 milliseconds. God’s creation is fascinating.
Second, be fascinated with God.
His attributes and ways are astounding. His uncreated, eternal nature is mind-blowing. How could One have no genesis? Then there is His transcendent swag, surpassing all of His creation. Consider His “omni properties:” omnipresent (everywhere), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (sum of all power) all at the same time. We should continually gawk at these phenomenal qualities.
Third, be fascinated by how much God knows and loves us.
Psalm 139 displays this better than anything I have ever read: God has searched us. The word search here means to penetrate, examine intimately: find out, search out, seek out, try.
God also knows us, meaning to perceive, acquire knowledge, be acquainted with and arrive at a full knowledge of our condition. He knows our sitting down and getting up. This refers to all that I do from one end of the day to the other.
God knows our thoughts far off while a thought is just forming—long before it is fully developed, God already knows it. He is acquainted with all of our ways, not just our deeds but our ways. He doesn’t just know what we do but why we do what we do. He is fully acquainted with the motives of our hearts. He knows every word about to be framed on our tongue before it emerges in our mind to be spoken.
He has locked us in – hedged us behind and before. This can refer to proactive protection or predestination. This is profound care from the Almighty.
But the beauty of these verses is how David allowed himself to be fascinated by these realities, and so should we. There is so much negativity in a world where we could live in a plethora of awe. Now, let’s aim to look for and live in the wonderful place of fascination.
Kyle Searcy serves as senior pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery. As well as being a skilled writer and well sought-after speaker, he is husband to the beautiful and anointed, Kemi Searcy. They are the blessed parents of four children and six grandchildren.