There’s an old saying – you can fool some of the people all of the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. From experience, I think that’s true. There are some people who never seem to have any idea what’s going on, they seem constantly disconnected from the reality around them. I think we can confess that we’ve all felt like that occasionally and when we realise it, we have a ‘slap forehead’ moment. Usually, we realise because someone is standing next to us with a sceptical word or look that makes us stop and think.
I read something this morning that made me stop and think – not a sceptical word or look but a moment of clarity.
Most of us operate much of the time with little awareness of our true purpose.
I don’t know what that phrase does to you but it makes me cry because it is absolutely true for me. I go through my day disconnected from God. Yes, right now my mind is fixed on Him and has been pretty much since I woke, but once this is done and I move on to go shopping that changes.
It’s not deliberate, I don’t think ‘ok God done. On with life.’ But that’s how I live. In the kitchen chopping veg, wiping the counters, loading the dishwasher my mind’s on grumbles or the next step or what’s outside or tomorrow’s jobs or if Mark’s out later or did I remember the washing or… Now there is nothing wrong with any of those things – except the grumbles – but that’s not my purpose. I wrote yesterday about loving His presence, I’ve read and loved The Practise of the Presence of God but somehow the penny does not drop. I get fooled – allow myself to be fooled – into thinking my life is segmented into God-time, witnessing/doing ‘God-stuff’ and the rest of my life. It isn’t.
It is all one, all of it, every aspect from the first blink in the morning to the last wink of sleep – and even the microsecond between those two. It is all to be spent in His presence. I was talking to God about it earlier:
Me: Father I was loving Your presence and then I lost it.
Father: I didn’t go anywhere…
Nope, He didn’t move – I did like I always do. I had decided to reread Brother Lawrence book and I just found an audio version on YouTube but the title gives the answer. The PRACTICE of the presence of God. That is the practice of staying in His presence, of being aware of His presence, of never fooling myself into forgetting that everything I do is important to Him, can be offered to Him.
I was reading the instructions God gave for consecrating a High Priest and He reveals His purpose.
45 I will live among the Israelites and be their God. 46 And they will know that I am the Eternal their God, who led them out of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Eternal One their God.
You ever read that before? It’s WOW. And more so because our deliverance from sin is for that same purpose, for Him to make a home with us and us with Him. He wants to be in our presence just as much as He wants us to be in His Presence because the more time we spend together the more I will become like Him.
He never leaves me no matter what I do but I forget He’s there. Stunning I know because He is God and how do I manage to forget that? How do I manage to forget He is watching, He is listening, He is beside me, within me? But I do.
It’s not about walking through life chanting psalms, hands folded, eyes closed oblivious to what’s around me. It’s about being aware that He is more real than anything else. That when I load the dishwasher He wants to talk to me about the family and how I love them and He loves them. When I shop He wants to check the shelves with me and remind me of the workers, the people around me, the goodness of His provision, the priorities of our finances. When I watch TV He wants to view the shows with me and remind me of the actors need of Him, of the values being displayed and how they measure up against His. When I am falling asleep He wants to be my last thought, the surety of knowing He is there etc.
19 Your overflowing goodness
You have kept for those who live in awe of You,
And You share Your goodness with those who make You their sanctuary.
20 You hide them, You shelter them in Your presence,
safe from the conspiracies of sinful men.
You keep them in Your tent,
safe from the slander of accusing tongues.
I’m praying today for one extra moment of awareness of His presence because my life is built out of moments.