The Presence of God How do we practice it in our day to day? By Debra Torres
There’s a little status indicator light on my dishwasher that lets me know when I need some more rinse aid. In bright yellow green, it tells when things are getting a bit “lo.”
The sign bugs me. I don’t usually have any rinse aid, so it often catches my eye when I enter the kitchen.
It’s a constant reminder that I’m lacking in some way. And who needs that?
The man I bought the dishwasher from told me that the light would go out after a few runs of the washer. But it’s been over a year now, and the glowing message still let’s me know that I’m a bit “lo.”
Sometime back though, I rethought my dilemma and gave my problem a spiritual upgrade. You see there’s a portion of scripture in Matthew 28:20 that reminds us of Jesus’ constant presence, and it just happens to start with a familiar word: “Lo, I am with you always.”
Dictionary.com says that “lo” is actually an interjection frequently used in Biblical expressions and it means: “look! see!"
More and more I am being encouraged to welcome God’s presence into every moment of my life. I’ll be honest with you – it’s not easy. Often, I get caught up with my schedule and before I know it, a whole day has gone by, and I’ve forgotten to pray, give thanks or simply “be” with God.
Do you struggle with the same thing?
What if we instead, practiced God’s presence all day, everyday? What if we let him in on the little things that bug us and those special moments that bring us joy?
I’ve found that God doesn’t barge in our day to day, but instead waits to be invited.
And this has to be a conscious effort on our part.
Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” devotional reminds me often about the benefits that come when I invite God’s presence into every moment of my day. Here’s what was written on November 10th: “As you move from stillness into the activities of your day, do not relinquish your attentiveness to Me. If something troubles you, talk it over with Me. If you get bored with what you are doing, fill the time with prayers and praise. When someone irritates you, don’t let your thoughts linger on that person’s faults. Gently nudge your mind back to Me. Every moment is precious if you keep your focus on me. Any day can be a good day, because My Presence permeates all time.”
How much peace do we miss out on because we don’t do this?
It does take effort, but I know that it’s a habit worth forming.
Brother Lawrence held a lowly position working in a French monastery kitchen in the 1600s.
And yet, people were drawn to him for his character and close intimacy with God.
After his death, his words from conversations and letters were published in a book entitled, “The Practice of the Presence of God.”
And the book has gone on to bless Christians for centuries. I remember reading portions of the book long ago and being struck by Brother Lawrence’s ability to transform even the lowliest of tasks, like mopping the monastery floor, into special moments with his Father God.
I like his advice here on learning how to start practicing the presence of God and how to keep it up: “That in order to form a habit of conversing with GOD continually, and referring all we do to Him, we must at first apply to Him with some diligence: but that after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.”
In other words, it takes some work to begin with, but after experiencing its benefits, we can practice God’s presence with ease.
When I was a new Christian, I faithfully read the Daily Guideposts devotionals, and they always gave me a nugget of truth that I could take into each day.
I remember reading a piece once about an Asian man named “Lo.”
After Lo became a Christian, he was overjoyed to find a scripture that he felt was written just for him. “Lo, I am with you always”!
And even if your name’s not “Lo,” the scripture is for you, too.