We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded solely by your direct support. Please consider supporting this project.

morningGod

Wake Up to God’s Presence

Jesus taught us to “remain” in him. We read this in John 15:4-5:

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

The Greek word translated “remain,” means “to take up permanent residence.” Jesus makes this clear when he said that just as branches are attached to a vine, we are to be attached to him. Branches don’t visit a vine once in a while on special occasions. Rather, branches are permanently attached to their source of life. So too, we are to take up permanent resident in Christ, remaining attached to him at all times as our source of all life.

One way that do this is to “wake up” to this reality. I find that the most uncomplicated time of the day is when I first open my eyes in the morning. My heart and mind is clearest before I get filled with the cares and concerns of the day. Biblical authors expressed the preference for worshiping praying, and meditating on God as the first act of the day (see Ps. 5:3; 59:16; 88:13; 90:14).

Frank Laubach, a missionary who wrote about ways he remained in Christ, testified that he found it helpful to practice the presence of God when he first woke up in the morning. Each morning, he wrote, “I compel my mind to open straight out toward God.”

He also wrote, “I wait and listen with determined sensitiveness. I fix my attention there, and sometimes it requires a long time early in the morning. I determine not to get out of bed until that mind set upon the Lord is settled.”

I too have found the practice of surrendering the first moments of waking consciousness to God to be profoundly helpful. At first it was hard to remember to do this before getting out of bed, but now I find that, more often than not, God is automatically the first thought on my mind. For ten to fifteen minutes, I lie in bed and simply try to remain aware of God’s every-present love. Then I preview my day and offer up each part to God.

This practice sets the tone for the rest of the day. I find that when I do this, it affects my remaining in Christ throughout the rest of the day. Try it and see how you become more aware of God’s presence with you.

—Adapted from Present Perfect, pages 34-40

Related Reading

Podcast: How Do I Feel God’s Presence More?

Greg examines the narratives in our heads, and the neurology in our brains, to help Dan and Julie feel God’s presence more. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0171.mp3 photo: Martin Mutch Source: Here

Podcast: Is It Wrong To Pray to Saints?

Greg discusses the risks and issues associated with praying to anyone or anything other than God. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0242.mp3

Our Insatiable Hunger

The only kind of life animals care about is biological. If their basic physical needs for food and shelter are met, they’re satisfied. Humans also want their basic physical needs met, of course, but that isn’t enough. We hunger for more. Not only do we want to be alive, we want to feel fully alive.…

Worst Sinner Award

Jesus taught: Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank…

In Darkest Times, God is Present

“However much evil was there, it would have been far worse if God was not there pushing back on it.” There is never a time when God is not present, no matter how bad the situation. In this short sermon clip, Greg Boyd talks about how we need to be watchful of the spirit world…

How to Overcome the Flesh Mindset

Unless you have taken intentional steps to change, the way you presently experience yourself and the world around you was mostly chosen for you, not by you. Think about that. You inherited a way of interpreting the world. Your brain has been in the process of becoming programmed by factors outside your control from the…