There’s a bit more to avoiding the obvious things that don’t lead to practicing God’s presence. “I think the devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds. He will not allow quietness.” – Jim Elliot
We live in a world of information and sound overload. Noise is the default. From social media, to news on the TV or radio and even music from your heads phones.
Being receptive to God requires quiet and stillness of the heart. It doesn’t mean a vow of silence (you could use that some times). It does mean being intentional about unplugging from the noise.
You can be intentional sometimes by turning off the music, audiobook or radio in your car. Or make it a practice to unplug from your phone or social media for a hour after work.
Whatever you do, guard against the noise.
Your mind is also never still when you are in so much hurry. It is obvious that you miss a lot in your surrounding in the process. You sense so much more when you slow down.
Can you build intentional times during the day to slow down? Schedule some time on your calendar to take a walk around your building. So you can quietly and slowly converse and listen to him.
Another thought is to sometimes drive at a slower pace. Or staying in the longer checkout lane at the store when a new lane opens up..
Be intentional about slowing down.
“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” – Luke 5:15-16
Jesus took time away from the crowds to connect deeply with God. Connecting deeply at times requires being by yourself.
This doesn’t mean you can’t experience God in a crowd. Yet, if you spend the whole day with people, you might have a harder time remembering or finding space to converse with Him.
The best way to fight this is to have reminders on your phone and calendar to withdraw. You can make this daily, weekly and even monthly.
Remembering What’s Most Essential
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42
Why and how we choose to practice God’s presence is very important to remember.
Our days are filled with so much negativity and challenges. Our hope in the midst of being anxious or troubled is God. Quiet time is not meant to be a daily dose of God which you take and forget.
It ought to salt you up and fill you with light to change the world around you. Like Martha in the verse quoted above busyness, can cause you to miss the ‘good portion’.
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Even busyness in the things of God can result in investing in things which can be taken away from you.
Practicing God’s presence refuels you. It gives you joy and peace to be able to give that in return to a world that needs it. It gives God glory and you lasting joy.
This post walked through recommendations on how to go about this. One essential thing to keep in mind is how you can fall into making this another checkbox, like Martha. To avoid this here’s one recommendation.
Make it your goal in each of these moments of connecting with God to set the gaze of your heart on him. That’s it.
A moment of practicing God’s presence can be as simple as:
- Taking a deep breath
- Clearing your mind
- Filling it with thoughts of Him and His love
- Setting the gaze of your soul and being on Him
This can be in your car, while in the store, right before a meeting, an exam or walking into your house. It could be for only 10 secs. Don’t get discouraged if you forget often. There’s a reason why we call this practicing His presence. May His words abide in you as you seek to abide in Him.