Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Living in God’s Presence

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I used to think that God wanted me to work for Him. I ministered to my husband and three children first: keeping a casually clean home, cooking meals from scratch with my limited recipe base, minimizing mountains of dirty laundry, and participating in the life of my family at home, church, school and play.

I was under the impression that God also desired for me to spend all of my free time serving in the soup kitchen, going to Bible studies, taking abandoned children into our home, helping to lead worship in my church, teaching adults how to read, witnessing to everyone I met and a myriad of other activities as a Pastor's wife.

However, these very activities stole time away from my ability to actually live in the presence of God. Remember when Jesus went to the pool? He only healed one man (John 5:1-18).

Another time, when Jesus walked through the crowd, only the woman who touched his garment was healed (Luke 8:43-48). He could have healed everyone, but He lost a measure of spiritual energy whenever He did; so He paced Himself, used His power wisely and did only those things which God's Spirit directed Him to do.

Jesus taught the crowds, but He spent more time in solitary places communing with our Father God (Matthew 6:9-13, 11:25-26, 14:23; Luke 6:12, 22:32, 22:41-44, 23:34; John 11:41-42, 12:27-28, 17:1-26). He drew His strength, confidence and anointing from this relationship.

We can learn a lesson from Jesus’ life. He listened to God, heard His direction and did only what the Father said and did (John 5:19, 8:28, 12:49). He lived in the very center of God’s will. Now, He calls us to do this very same thing.

Sometimes, I actually argue with the Spirit’s leading, or discount it as a human thought which just floated through my mind. Maybe I am tired and I do not want to follow the Spirit’s leading. 

I have my own agenda for my day; so I decide to take a nap or go to the pool or make some craft instead of obeying my Father’s will. When I do, I quickly learn that I grieved the Holy Spirit and missed an opportunity to further the Kingdom of God and to receive His blessings.

Sometimes, God will lead us to nap, because of what lies ahead in our evening, or He has a person at the pool or golf course whom He wants us to talk to about Jesus. The point is to walk in the Spirit, so we do not reap the consequences of living in the flesh.

Father God, keep our thoughts centered on You as we learn to walk only in Your ways. Give us ears to hear and eyes to see the spiritual realm of life, so we do not walk in the flesh, but in Your Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). We want to live for Your glory and to further Your Kingdom in the earth. You are our everything and we live to bring You pleasure.

We want to seek and to save the lost, just like Jesus did. We want to impact Your Kingdom in the earth every day that we reside on this earth. Remind us to smile at people, to engage strangers in conversation if they are willing, to minister to our neighbors' needs, to visit the sick and hospitalized, to do true religion that is pure and undefiled (James 1:27).

Thought for the Day:
We no longer rely on our human reasoning to direct our day, because we seek the Lord; He directs our path (Proverbs 3:5-6) as we walk through our day communing with our Father and following His Spirit’s direction even if it makes no human sense to us at all.


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