the weblog of Alan Knox

The Presence of God

Posted by on Feb 12, 2008 in discipleship | 5 comments

Last week, our family helped some friends celebrate the birthday of one of their sons. We had a great time eating and talking and watching a movie together. At one point, I had a great discussion with two good friends concerning the presence of God.

One of my friends is reading Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God, which sparked our conversation. I read this little book (which is available free online) a few years ago, and it had a big impact on me, much like it is having on my friend. Brother Lawrence describes the reality, simplicity, and intimacy of living in God’s presence – not just daily, but moment by moment.

Every aspect of our life – not just our “spiritual” lives – should be affected by the presence of God. For example, if God is always present with his children – and I believe that he is – then everything that we do is in communication with him. When we talk, God hears us. When we move, God knows. What we feel, God is aware of it. There is nothing in our lives that we do not communicate to God. But, if all of life is communicated to God, then what is prayer? What is the significance of prayer? I believe that prayer is when we are aware of our communication with God. Thus, prayer is not only when we sit alone and “talk” to God, although that is prayer. Prayer also occurs during our conversations with other people, if we are aware that God is present and that he is part of our coversation.

But, what about other aspects of life – especially the apsects of life that are not considered “spiritual”? Does God’s presence – and living in the reality of God’s presence – affect those aspects of our lives as well? Yes! Absolutely! For example, consider the concept of contentment. We usually base our contenment on how we feel about ourselves, other people, our jobs, our homes, our money, our health, etc. But God tells us that we can be content because he is with us and will never leave us (Heb. 13:5). If we become less than content because of situations in our life, then that is a demonstration that we are not living in the presence of God – we are not content with God himself. More than likely, we had become content with the blessings that we were receiving from God instead of being content with God himself.

What other aspects of our lives do you think would be affected if we learned to live in the reality, the simplicity, and the intimacy of the presence of God? How would these areas be affected by our living in the reality of God’s presence?


5 Comments

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  1. 2-12-2008

    I work as a State Auditor (Put up the wooden stakes and garlic, folks. I audit the State Government in the state I live in, not individuals.) I have worked here for two years. In that time and all the different audit supervisors I have worked for I have found only one that it is difficult to work for-it just happens to be my current supervisor. She talks to me like I’m dumb as a box of rocks and we don’t see eye to eye on how to do some of the procedures on the audit.

    Anyway, this post made me think of how God is there in the middle of her stupidity and that I need to remember that fact. I’m going to concentrate on doing a great job and asking God to love her through me. Thanks for the post.

  2. 2-13-2008

    Truly learning to “live by the Spirit” sums it all up for me. It seems that God currently has both of His hands all up in my business. He literall does want it all!

    He wants me, in every situation to be led by His Spirit alone. No place, circumstance or event can be deemed “unacceptable for” or “off limits to” a move of the Spirit any longer.

    Now what does that look like? From what I can tell, I’ll likely never know, so I just call it play-by-play obedience. :)

  3. 2-13-2008

    What an awesome post.

    As a Southern Baptist, I have noticed the lack of interest in spiritual matters among my peers. If they were asked about the presence of God in their lives (let alone their church), I’m sure the sound of crickets would be deafening.

    I think that the practice of the presence of God would affect how we treat other people. I have complained to my SB friends that Baptists are some of the most unfriendly people I’ve ever met. I also think that it would have an incredibly sanctifying affect; we would be more aware that God is present when we are tempted to sin. I swear: when I sin, I must be acknowledging my disbelief that He is present with me. How humiliating.

    God bless you brother. Keep up the great work.

    Billy

  4. 2-13-2008

    Billy,

    I think you make a good point. I also remember reading in Psalm 1 how the godly person meditates on the law of God day and night. I think if we did that we would all be much more cognizant of the presense of God in our lives.

  5. 2-13-2008

    Joe,

    Thanks for sharing some of your struggles in living in the presence of God at work. I think I can relate, especially in past work experiences.

    Joel,

    I agree that “living by the Spirit” and even “walking in the Spirit” would be similar to “living in the presence of God”. Recognizing that all of our business is God’s business and then giving him all of our business certainly requires living in the Spirit aware of God’s presence moment by moment.

    Billy,

    Welcome to my blog and thank you for the comment! I agree that our interactions with other people would become more godly if we treated them as if God was in our midst… which he is.

    -Alan