Thank you so much. Great writing Benjamin. This is truly a wonderful way to explain God's presence. Not only I am encouraged more, I am also more aware and glad to know that there are more people that experience God's presence.
God bless you. This is great but I was also expecting to see an awareness that He lives in us. Yes, that's another aspect of His presence entirely.
- Living in His Presence: Experiencing the Presence of God in Your Everyday Life;
- Whos the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America.
- Cheap Thrills.
There are many things I didn't cover in this article, but you can easily find resources on them on the Internet. But I couldn't find much on the aspects I covered here. A Yearning Heart's Journey. Musings from the secret place at the feet of Jesus. Search for:. Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?
Jer Acts Or where can I flee from Your presence?
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If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. Ps You have taken hold of my right hand. Psalm Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him. Deut Zec Hebr Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. My flesh also will dwell securely. For they say, 'The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.
He will never see it. Jamie Rohrbaugh December 17, at PM. Kevin Elliott June 14, at AM. Deen Adelakun Jr. April 25, at PM. Of feelings. Of supernatural experiences that go beyond the daily norm. With that mind, here are four simple, utterly ordinary, utterly profound ways we can enjoy the presence of God every day. Every second of every day, we truly are in the presence of God.
No need to handle relics or offer prayers to the saints. But because we are in Christ, this reality goes even deeper. We are not just in the presence of God in the same way that the rest of creation is. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in us, and we truly are temples of God.
This is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians :. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? These are absolutely breathtaking words. If we are in Christ, the presence of God truly is within us, and we have access to this glorious presence at all times through Christ our mediator.
The presence of God is not walled off by a massive curtain, not hidden away inside the Holy of Holies, accessible only by the High Priest once a year. The Holy Spirit has relocated and now dwells within. We can commune with God and experience his presence in the car, on the subway, in our cubicle, at small group, and anywhere else.
Just as the presence of God hovered over the waters in Genesis 1, so the presence of God hovers over the pages of Scripture. The Bible is no ordinary book, no mere collection of words and pages. Hebrews reminds us that the Word of God is alive:. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. When we open the pages of Scripture , we are encountering the living, active, speaking God. It is no safe thing to open up the Bible.
You never know how God will meet you as you pore over the sacred text. Every time we open the Bible, we are encountering the presence of God in a unique, powerful way. Consider, for a moment, the glorious nature of prayer. God, the creator of the universe, the King of Kings, the one who keeps planets in the proper orbit and atoms from splitting, wants us to request things of him. God wants us to open our hearts before him, to bring him our burdens , to request big, audacious things of him. And this is not a mere cathartic exercise, like journaling or talking through problems with friends.
In this scenario, we look inwardly for the divine presence as we go about our daily activities, because God and His kingdom are not found in our everyday tasks as much as God is brought to remembrance in all that we do. Although this is also a commendable spiritual practice, it does not deal directly with the potential sacredness of ordinary activities and the qualities of God's kingdom hidden within them.
Life in the Presence of God - InterVarsity Press
Ultimately, the key is to discern God and His kingdom in our everyday affairs—be they raising a family, running a home, giving a business presentation or writing a school paper—and not apart from them. To this end, we need to show reverent attentiveness to the task at hand rather than practice an ancient, monastic withdrawal from it. By carefully focusing on the present moment, we can not only deeply engage this activity with our five senses but also see and hear through it to the even greater reality underlying it.
Now, in the midst of our routine chores and special tasks, we have an opportunity to find the qualities and values of God's kingdom without withdrawing our hearts and minds away for prayer and meditation. Several ideas relate to this heightened awareness. In order to live and work in the present moment, we must believe that there is nothing more important than the here and now.
It is not easy, though, to remain focused on what is before us.
Life in the Presence of God
Our minds keep pulling us away from the immediate issue. If we are to overcome this inclination, we must develop an ongoing attitude that enables us to view our work within a larger framework as we submit ourselves to God moment by moment. Two and one-half centuries ago, the Jesuit priest Jean-Pierre de Caussade made the point:. The present moment is like a desert in which simple souls see and rejoice only in God, being solely concerned to do what he asks of them. All the rest is left behind, forgotten and surrendered to him. De Caussade implied that those of us who rest in the present moment are like the ancient monks who renounced everything for God specifically, those who dedicated their lives to contemplation and practiced rigorous self-denial.
We, too, forsake all distractions concerning the past and future that divert us from obeying God's immediate will. For example, by reverently attending to our tasks, we can overcome the desire to escape our daily lot. When work seems overwhelming, destructive, futile, or of little value, we are to trust that, with God's help, we can make some sense of the situation, work to create new possibilities, discern the hidden and often mysterious aspects of His kingdom, and mature spiritually in the process.
Finally, this here-and-now spirituality provides a useful correction of desert monastic thought on work. Rather than thinking about God as we work as did the Desert Fathers and Mothers , we can find God in our work. The sacredness of the present moment is a truth that is not realized quickly. Only slowly does it move from a pious idea to a reality that is recognized within our every action. It is discovered through spiritual disciplines, one of the best of which is so ordinary that it is generally overlooked: work.
If we live even in a minimally conscious way, we soon realize that life offers us numerous opportunities for self-denial.
Living Constantly in the Presence of God
Accordingly, we begin not with the monastic practices of fasting, night prayers and strict work practices, but with reverent attention to our ordinary activities. When we focus entirely on the classic spiritual disciplines of abstinence, we fail to see that the primary locus of self-denial is in our everyday activities.
Indeed, if we never exercised self-denial at work, we would be a constant plaything of our whims and thus do real harm to others. What if mothers only fed their infants when it was convenient, or fathers only paid bills when nothing interesting was on television? What if homemakers only cleaned and sorted when they felt like it? We can see where this would lead family life. Likewise, employees who long to tell their bosses that they are making life miserable for them may exercise self-denial for the sake of their jobs and workplace harmony.
Work is its own spiritual discipline. Choosing to stay late at work to help a peer complete a project, telling the truth when our job is at stake, studying for a test instead of talking on the phone with a friend, shuttling the kids around town all afternoon so that they can participate in sports or take music lessons, taking the trash out rather than pressing it down in the wastebasket, focusing on a particular task so it is done with excellence, volunteering to deliver meals to the homebound once a week in place of playing golf—these acts of self-denial are basic expressions of Christian spirituality and, more significantly, the kingdom of God.
This point brings out a key difference between monastic and modern forms of abstinence. The ancient desert monks tended to purposely orchestrate situations in which they used simple, non-distracting forms of manual labor to free their hearts and minds for meditation. This approach was adopted because they believed that routine, everyday activities generally blocked communion with God and, thus, spiritual development. We, on the other hand, can use the ordinary, day-to-day demands and frustrations of work as opportunities to exercise self-denial.
As such, they are sandpaper for our souls and the seedbed for God's kingdom rule and reign in our lives. His research and teaching specialty is in desert spirituality and practical theology. He also pastored in the Calvary Chapel and Vineyard movements for over fifteen years. His burden is to train students in spiritual formation from an end-time ministry perspective. Charles and his wife, Karen, moved to Kansas City in from California.