Friday, April 19, 2013

Practicing the Presence of God


By Stephen Piersall, God’s Preservation Ministry,  http://sfprs.org/  

Many of us growing up in school have had the opportunity to “practice” whether it was in sports, homework, etc. Practice makes us much better in doing something. We do many things in our daily lives repeatedly, either at school, work, church, or other activities. It comes right down to it that we are practicing. How much time do you practice with God?

Ouch! Were a few toes stepped on by that comment? C’mon, who practices in churches? The Pastor with his sermon, the choir, and musical director with any band instruments, etc. However, Practicing the Presence of God in your life takes time and work. Are we referring to how often you pray, read your Bible, or tithe, or… NO?!

Practicing the presence of God is an awareness of God that flows through our day the way blood circulates through the body, replacing it with nutrients and oxygen. You need that quiet time each day with God with his conscience that he may be speaking to us. His presence fills our lives, through thoughts, feelings, dreams, activities, and in-between moments.

Practicing God’s presence moves his company beyond church gatherings, before meal graces and study time of the Bible to expand our knowledge of his word. Keeping company with God this way changes tasks such as building familiarity into acts of worship because we know at whose feet, we will sit encircling the rest of our lives. This awareness of God’s presence is a part, of how we delight in God: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4)

If you are interested in continuing this quest, consider yourself an experimenter. As an examiner you are not out to impress anyone or achieve anything difficult, but to explore what it means to enjoy God’s presence. Take it slowly; do not rush for immediate results. This is God’s time; worship him. Reap all the wisdom, discernment, love, forgiveness, giving, etc. that you can. Consider asking God to show you if there are ways you already practice his presence without recognizing it. Perhaps you are sitting at a doctor’s office and just stop and reflect and start to pray for the others around you, the staff, and doctors. Sitting at a red light, and looking around and see other sad faces in other cars, or people walking with their heads down, pray for them all accordingly.

During this past week’s "Spiritual Growth Toolbox” class at church, I learned the following, and I hope you find it of great value to help you to Examine your Presence of God:

  1. STILLNESS: Quiet your heart, and listen. In this moment, become present to Jesus.
  2. GRATITUDE: Seeing through the lens of thanks, appreciate God’s gifts in each event of the day.
  3. REFLECTION: Review your positive and negative feelings. Did you choose Jesus’ way in each situation?
  4. JOY & SORROW: Rejoice in a success, or ask forgiveness for sin. If necessary, plan to make amends.
  5. HOPE. Move toward expectation. Ask God to shine a light on tomorrow’s path. Resolve to grow.
Imagine what it must have been like for the disciples to ask Jesus to teach them to pray. What motivates you to Practicing the Presence of God in your life?

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