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
Several years ago an acquaintance told me she and her husband were going to travel to Lakeland, FL, where a “healing revival” had purportedly broken out. When I asked them if they were going because they needed healing, they replied that they just wanted to witness “God doing stuff.” Even though I have nothing against…
What does it mean to live in the presence of God now? How do we do this? What does it mean to be in the presence of God for eternity? In this video produced by The Work of the People, Greg Boyd shares what it means to for us to be in God’s presence and allow…
Jeff Goins invited blogger Sundi Jo to share some thoughts on The Power of being Present in an Age of Urgency. It’s a call to slow down and notice what we really care about. It’s a call to prioritize our lives so that the things that really matter rise to the surface and the things…
Tim Nash and his wife, Hannah, live in Nottingham, England, and are church planters for the Methodist Church. They started a Jesus-centered community called Garden-City, which is becoming a wonderful spiritual family for young followers of Jesus and spiritual seekers. For the last few years Tim has also been producing Nomad Podcast, a podcast that interviews leading thinkers and practitioners from around the…
All who place their trust in Jesus look forward to a day when he will return and fully establish the kingdom of God. When this happens, Scripture promises that everything will change. There will be no more sickness, death, hunger, natural disasters, violence, fear, heartaches, sin, or evil. There will be no more racism, nationalism,…
Greg talks about privacy and intimacy in the context of the presence of Christ. Episode 567 http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0567.mp3