How well do you acknowledge God’s presence through the day? We need to work on that! Here are some ideas.
There’s an old hymn we sing. I’m sure you know it. It’s called, “Trust and Obey.” It starts with the words, “When we walk with the Lord, in the light of His Word…”
The Bible says…
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Ga 5:16 NAS95)
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Ga 5:25 NAS95)
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Ro 8:14 NAS95)
Our minds are very limited. We cannot pay full attention to many things at once. If you are anything like me, whatever the task at hand may be, it tends to consume all your attention. Everything else fades into a kind of “subconscious background.”
Yet, there is a difference between when I’m alone and when I’m in the presence of another person.
If I’m working on a post at my computer, and no one else is in the room with me, I am certainly aware that I am “alone.” But if my wife, Vickie, comes into the room, I will probably engage her in conversation. I may ask her about paragraphs that I am working on at the time in order to get her reaction or suggestions. I’m definitely conscious of her presence. And I don’t totally ignore her.
If I am engaged in conversation with Vickie alone, and suddenly a third person walks into our presence, it definitely affects our conversation! We are very much conscious and aware that we are not alone!
You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?
God Never Leaves Us!
God is always with me when I’m working on these posts. Whether I’m paying attention to Him or not.
God is always present when I’m talking with Vickie. Whether we pay attention to Him or not.
“…for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Heb 13:5 ESV)
“…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20 NAS95)
One of the compound names of God found in the Hebrew text is “Jehovah-Shammah” (Ezekiel 48:35) which means, “The Lord Who is There!”
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you. (Psalm 139:7-12 ESV)
So why do we ignore Him so much?
Well, for starters, He is physically invisible and inaudible. In order to walk with God, we have to get these verses firmly engrained into our minds. Since our physical eyes and ears do not remind us of His presence (as they would for other people), we may need other reminders!
When I was a young man, I wrote the word “Pray” in tiny little letters and taped it to my wristwatch. When I checked the time, I remembered that God was with me and talked with Him for a little while! Of course, the problem with those kinds of reminders is that they themselves become easy to ignore after a short period of time. So we may need to change reminders from time to time. We could put notes on mirrors, on our steering wheel, on door knobs, on our computer screens, etc. just to remind us that “He is Here!”
But our goal should be to simply remember that He is always here, and be determined not to ignore Him!
Learning to walk with God like that will make a huge difference in the way we live. He is there to give us wisdom. He is there to encourage us. He is there to help us react well to those unexpected confrontations and circumstances that catch us by surprise. We just have to remember Him.
Do you find yourself having little “mini-conversations” with God throughout the day? When you are alone, do you often say things like, “Lord, where do I go from here?” or “Lord, would you please show me how to handle this?” or “Thank you, Lord! You made that work out so well!”
I would encourage you to get in the habit of sprinkling references to God into your conversations with others. “God has really blessed me today!” or “I’m not sure what to do about that, I need to talk to the Lord about it.” or “Why don’t I pray with you about that right now? Do you mind if I do that?” or (after a compliment) “Well, thanks! But the Lord has just been good to me. I like to give Him the glory!”
If we want to become strong in the Lord, we have to learn to really walk with Him. We cannot ignore Him all day long, then offer a quick prayer at night or a quick devotion in the morning! Sure, there are times for extended conversations with Him. But we must not ignore Him between those extended conversations!
But–and this question may surprise you–which “God” are we walking with?
That may seem like a dumb question. But it really is not dumb at all. We’ll consider it in the next post. (Go to “What is Your God Like?”)