Living in the Presence of God

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Nine Marks of a Disciple

Intimacy with Christ results in activity in the world, not the other way around.

In order to do things for Christ, we first need to be in Him. Numerous Scripture passages show this, teaching us to carry Him with us throughout the day rather than trying to confine our intimacy with Him to contained moments.

Abiding in Christ

Consider the words of Jesus in John 15:4–5:

Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself but must remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

That image of abiding is something we do every moment of every day. It’s not confined merely to the morning or evening—it takes practice, and it involves focusing on God’s presence constantly.

This awareness of His presence won’t come naturally—the things of this world seek to distract us. We need to cultivate it. If we are passive, then the world will decide our thoughts. We need to actively seek to live in His presence.

Exercises to Practice God’s Presence

There are certain exercises we can put into practice that help orient our lives toward God.

Even before we rise from bed, we can begin practicing God’s presence. Our first thoughts of the day are important, so it is beneficial to meditate on the excellencies of Christ. We must remember to submit to and depend on Him, thanking Him and loving Him for who He is and for what He has done. One way to do so is by praying through Scripture.

Another exercise is to seek God’s presence even in the most ordinary of routines—taking out the trash, for example, or washing dishes. Try to train yourself to transmute these mundane moments into an extraordinary awareness of His presence. After all, every moment provides an opportunity to glorify God.

As you select exercises to cultivate an awareness of the presence of God, pray that you would choose Jesus above all else in the world, abiding in Him to the glory of God.

Want to go deeper? Take a look at Ken’s Practicing God’s Presence series, which is based on Ken’s book A Guide to Practicing God’s Presence. The exercises are also available as an app.

Watch Ken’s previous Friday morning study videos here.

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