Practicing the presence of God

by sumpteretc

Our small group has just started a new study, and as a part of that study we are to be working on doing everything in our lives just as Jesus would do them. In principle, I agree strongly with this idea. I think every Christian ought to live every moment as an act of worship, live every moment on purpose. Yet when it comes to actually applying this to my daily life, I seem somehow intransigient. It’s not that I don’t want to live daily in God’s presence (I don’t think), it’s just that . . . I don’t know, maybe it seems like a lot of work or that it will keep me from doing what I want to do. Is that not the height of arrogance–to think that my idea of how to spend my time is somehow superior to God’s plan? It reminds me of that quote–was it by G.K. Chesterton?–“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

This morning I was reading about the cloud that rested over the tabernacle in the wilderness. The sons of Israel seemed completely content to follow it without question. If it moved, they moved. If it hung out for a week or two, they hung out for a week or two. If it moved within a few hours, they moved within a few hours. For a stubborn and rebellious people, they seemed remarkably in tune with God’s leadership. Now granted, the Holy Spirit is perhaps more subtle than a visible cloud. It may not always be quite so obvious when it’s time to move. But I’m guessing I might not see the cloud move in big ways, because I’ve never learned to follow the gentle nudges.

I don’t want to admit how wrong I am in this area. My self rears up and says, “Oh, come on! You have the right to live life the way you want to. Where’s the me time if you’re going to always be focused on God? That’s just gonna be a lot of work.” And yet I know that there’s no way I could spend my time more profitably than just in following God’s plan.

I know introspection is not always healthy, and I especially tend toward the morbid.