“God in my Everything” by Ken Shigematsu is a book for those readers who find it hard to have, but long to have a much deeper, closer relationship with God in their busy everyday life. Mr. Shigematsu offers a vibrant perspective on how to have a richer spiritual life and how all of us should strive to have one in our lives according to God’s command. It is all about creating a rule of life that we create in our life according to our current circumstances. The rule of life can enable us to live a life filled with more peace, power, integration, confidence and simplified multiplicity. The author does a great job of illustrating the rule of life so the reader can easily visualize the process of developing one which will enable them to flourish on your journey. He also discusses in detail the eight fundamental guidelines that will help others avoid some of the everyday pitfalls. The Sabbath, prayer, and sacred reading include the base of the rule of life called the roots. There are also three categories that contain the components that are shared by all which include relate (spiritual friendship, sexuality, and family life), restore (care for the body, play, and money), and reach out (work life, justice, and witness).
The roots are essential to the rule of life because we are able to deepen our relationship with Him and feed on God’s word through prayer and reading the Bible. First, he discusses how God wants us to have a day set aside for a Sabbath day where we are able to rest and reflect on all our daily blessings, cherish those close around us, and have time to worship God. If we choose to honor the Sabbath, we have the chance to prosper in our trust of God and more fully experience his faithfulness. On the Sabbath, we are to do something we enjoy doing, such as a leisure activity, that is not considered part of our work. Our Sabbath rule sets us free to enjoy our time with God and praise him in everything we do. When we come to worship with God’s people is when we are fully able to honor the Sabbath. Worship is an integral part of Sabbath and the core to our rule of life. It offers us a true understanding of God’s love which results in a real resting state within our body and soul. Second, prayer is another key element in developing our rule of life because it will enhance our relationship with God and will be shaped by our work life, our current life circumstances, and our temperament. Mr. Shigematsu offers The Lord’s Prayer, the acrostic ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication), and the Psalms as great patterns to follow in our daily prayer life. Prayer is a great way to deepen our relationship with God because it gives us the opportunity to go to Him about our trials, our blessings, our adoration toward Him and others, forgiveness, etc. Finally, time spent in God’s word through reading the Bible allows us to grow stronger in our faith because we are learning how God commands us to live our lives through His word. Memorizing scripture is a powerful means of worshipping God because it allows a person to meditate and pray the verses throughout the day. Once we are equipped with God’s word in our life we can live a life of obedience toward Him.
In the three categories containing the components that we all succumb to in our lives, we are able to share God’s love and word through our relationships with others, receiving God’s gift of restoration in pleasing Him, and reaching out to help others in obedience toward God. God created us to have relationships with other people because we are able to witness to others, pray for others, and share God’s love with others. Spiritual friendships help us flourish in our love for Christ because they are an important element in our spiritual discipline. When single people remain celibate for a season or for the rest of their lives, or when a married couple remains faithful to their spouse, they are choosing to offer an extremely precious gift to God. When a person chooses a life of sexual purity, they are saying yes to God in today’s secular society. Family members tend to be those closest to us in our life because they help refine us in a way that we are able to be more of a blessing to God and the lives of others we touch. Most families share a deeper connection with each other and draw them closer to Jesus to help demonstrate His love toward others. We are to honor God through our bodies through sleep, health eating, and regular exercise. How we choose to treat and use our body determines the quality of our relationships and our spirit. Certain levels of play time in our life can draw us closer to God if it connects us to things in life that are right. God wants us to enjoy the pleasures in life to sense His delight in us. We are commanded to give a tenth of our income to God through a tithe. God promises to provide for our needs if we do so, yet many of us are not able to grasp this concept due to our insecurities and materialistic views. When we truly feel blessed by all that God has given us in our lives, we feel the need to express that gratitude through more generous giving. Generosity is a way to help others in need and also a way we can minister to others through God’s love. When we choose to stay in our current workplace, God allows us the opportunity to grow and change. By asking God for discernment through prayer will help us discover if we should stay in our existing workplace or whether it is time to move onto the next chapter of our work life. It is through God’s love, we are able to express love toward others as He shows toward us. Two of the Ten Commandments demand us to love God and love our neighbor. Sharing God’s presence in our lives with others is one of the best gifts we could ever offer them. There are some different ways we can share the gospel with others which includes through our lives, through our deeds, through signs and miraculous works filled with the Holy Spirit, and through our words. In that season of our life when Christ is at work in our life, we naturally will want to minister to others as the Holy Spirit leads us to do so.
In conclusion, I can honestly say I feel blessed I had the opportunity to read this book about how important it is to include God in all aspects of my life through an ancient rhythm called the rule of life. I rate this book 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed reading this author’s approach on how to enhance our relationship with Christ and include Him in all aspects of our life. After reading this book, I feel I have missed some opportunities to include God in my life but now have a second chance to make some changes in my life moving forward. At the end of the book, the author includes an appendix that includes sample rules of life to include other people throughout the stages of their life. Writing down your rule of life is a great way to start down the right path in developing your own based on your circumstances in life. Basically, anyone could benefit from reading this book since we are all looking for ways to enhance our relationship with Christ in the busyness of our everyday lives. It offers lots of ways a person can do that in all areas of their life. Plus, when we can find ways to include others it just makes our way of life that much stronger. It will serve as a great resource moving forward because it offered me ideas on how I can enhance my prayer life and time with God more during my busy moments throughout the day/week. When we are able to focus more on God in all areas of our life, we find we are more at peace and calm rather than restless and stressed about our daily circumstances. This is one of those books I wish I could have read years ago. Hope I have the opportunity to read more books by this particular author. Very enlightening read that will help me live a more fulfilling and joyful life in everything I do to glorify Him!
A special thank you to Cross Focused Reviews and Zondervan for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.