Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Presence of God

It's easy to get caught up in distracting ourselves from what we really need or searching for what we need in other things. I no longer am searching for what I need, because I know and have experienced that Christ has everything I need to satisfy, however I do distract myself or try to satisfy that need with other things. It's funny how that works and how easy it seems to do. The book I am reading through a second time with the Women's Bible Study at my church, "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World", had a great example of this:

Joanna Weaver, the author, tells a story of her pastor's wife, Teri Myers. Teri was preparing a four course meal for some company she was having over that night, and had been so busy that she forgot to eat lunch. A few hours before her guests were supposed to arrive, Teri decided to eat a couple Snickers bars to tide her over until dinner. Well, the Snickers did the trick and gave her energy to finish up the final preparations. At dinner however, Teri could barely eat a few bites, she no longer was hungry. She had prepared this amazing dinner and couldn't even eat it!

Ok, so the hunger here is a little different than the hunger or desire that I was talking about, but it definitely is similar. Weaver writes:
"We were designed to be close to God. Just as our bodies hunger and thirst for food and drink, our spirits hunger and thirst for his presence. But just as it's possible to bloat our bodies with empty calories, we can find ways to pacify our spiritual cravings without really getting the nourishment we need. We can fill up with spiritual Snickers bars while all the time our spirits are withering for want of real food.

If you're having a little trouble feeling close to God-- or even wanting to draw close-- you might want to consider what activities you are using to fill the empty places of your life. What's taking the edge off of your for him?"

The pastor of my church, J.D. Greear, is teaching on the presence of God over the next few months. This past Sunday he answered what exactly the presence of God is and how we can get the presence of God. He stated that "presence is the point of Christianity." We tend to make or even feel like Christianity is about doing, doing, doing, however what Christianity is really about is finding the presence of God. Feeling a sense of His great love, His power, His grace, experiencing who He really is...

I think the Lord is definitely trying to speak to me here, getting somewhat of the same message twice in one week! I distract myself with many things, some good and some bad, but my conviction is that what I need to focus most importantly on is being close to God and that being close to God doesn't mean doing the right things, it means experiencing His presence, having that intimacy with Him! Sometimes it seems impossible to do enough, be good enough, be godly enough... It's a relief to know that it has nothing to do with what I need to do, but what Christ has done. Although I've known that nothing I do changes God's faithfulness, it doesn't change the fact that I fail to experience what my relationship with him is all about. Just as I need to lessen distractions and take time to spend with my husband to have a good relationship, I need to do the same with God. Having that intimate relationship is more than just doing the right things, it's about the experience and feelings I have with the other person. So I'm going to work on and pray for that earnest desire to have that intimate relationship with Christ and experience His presence!


Janie Mann said...

Laura, that was an amazing post. I know recently I was thinking about how when I experience joy or sadness I forget to get on my knees and come unto the Lord and rather I will seek out other people first. I think it's so important that we avoid distractions that keep us from putting our Father first, even good things. I'm always inspired by your faith and willingness to share your personal relationship with God with us. Love you.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog! Thanks for sharing your heart. -Karen