Thursday, April 24, 2014

Living in the Presence of God

We hear the words so often that we don’t really hear them.  “Let’s all enter into the presence of the Lord,” the worship leader or pastor says.  Yet, do we really appreciate what that means?  What a glorious thing to be able to stand in the presence of the Almighty Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  We are invited as welcome guests, nay more than guests, beloved children into the very throne room of God to enjoy fellowship with him. 

    It is a glorious thing, indeed, Sunday after Sunday to enter the presence of God surrounded by our sisters and brothers. But what about Monday through Saturday?  What happens in the intervening six days that we have to be coaxed back into the presence of God?  Has God somehow deserted us in that time?  Has He withdrawn His presence from us?  If not, then why do we need to be invited back into the presence of the Lord? 

    God is omnipresent.  He is everywhere.  David wrote, “Where shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven thou art t here: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost part of the sea even there shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139.7-10.

    So, if God has been there with me all week long, why do I need to be called back into His presence on Sunday.  Perhaps its because I’ve been living as if he was not there. His presence has been there, but I have not been experiencing it.

    Think about it this way.  Have you ever been working intently on something or absorbed in a book or TV show and someone walked into the room without you noticing?  They stand there quietly for several seconds or minutes before you notice them in the room. 

    It’s called selective perception.  We don’t perceive everything possible to be perceived in any setting.  We perceive what our minds are focused on. So, even though God is standing right beside me while I’m teaching my classes at school, I might not notice that because I’m not thinking about it.  I am focusing on the job and not on the one who sustains me on my job.

    Now, I’m not saying that one should float through life in a trance-like state absorbed with “spiritual” meditations all day long.  We certainly do need to focus at times on the things of life.  We have all known those folk who are “so heavenly minded, they are no earthly good.”   But even in those times when my attention is turned toward this life, his image should still be shining in my peripheral vision.  And when this life begins to overwhelm me, then instead of letting the darkness descend around me, I need to heighten my awareness of his presence. 

    Experiencing the presence of Good should not be a sporadic thing.  It should be a constant experience in the life of a believer.  Sometimes it will be in the foreground like in moments of private devotion and public worship.  The rest of the time it will be the pervasive ambiance of daily living.  It needs to be the backdrop against which the grand drama of life unfolds.  It should take no more than an instant for the believer to shift focus and find His presence sustaining, comforting, encouraging and directing one’s life.

Lord, today, let me be no more than a thought away from your presence. Amen

No comments:

Post a Comment