Re-Thinking the Presence of God

December 2, 2008

A note from our brother, Raimund:

In our current Bible study, at the end of the chapter on God’s presence, the author lists 4 points about how to bring God’s presence into our lives (p65-66).  The approach Don Whitney suggests to find the presence of God is primarily a mental approach of meditating on God’s presence.

I have been re-thinking this approach to God lately.  What if we pursue God’s presence in our lives by simply living a life of faith first and then meditating on it, in that order?  I think it would help us tremendously in bringing Scripture into our lives as the living Word of God.

Many of us can relate to having children.  1 or 2 children!  That was the plan.  3 children!  Hmm, maybe something is a little bit off here.  How are we going to pay for their college?  4 children!  God just moved in! This is not meant to be a cookie-cutter approach to increase God’s presence by having more children. For Abraham, God’s presence came with the second child.  For Mary, It was the first.  If you are Irish Catholic, 4 children may be a sign of the lack of the presence of God.  I know an Irish Catholic family with 9 brothers and sisters.  Each one of them, in turn, has anywhere from 6-9 children.  I guess they assume God knows what He is talking about when He says that more children are better than less (Prov 13:24).

How about Rich Hodge selling his house in Connecticut and moving to South Africa?  I bet he has been in the presence of God ever since and that he has plenty to meditate on now, AFTER having lived his NEW life for a while.  If he would have thought about it too much before making the move, he might have never gone. After all, there are plenty of serious, legitimate issues to be raised in moving to South Africa.

I am trying to show that perhaps we need to suspend our minds, abandon some or even many of the plans we have made, and simply live first.  Thinking about something too much up-front brings all the things that can go wrong into our thinking, and by the time we have thought it through, we have become too scared to make a move.

This kind of life will likely be one of many mistakes, ups and downs.  Paul had a whole list of disasters for his life (2 Cor 11:23-28).  In such a life of trouble, we will quickly turn to daily prayer and reading of His Word.  And then we will find God’s presence, as Whitney says, through meditation, but only after we have started the real life.


2 Responses to “Re-Thinking the Presence of God”

  1. Chae Says:

    Thanks Raimund for your thoughts and encouragement. I’ve been thinking similarly, ie that we think too much before we act. Even regarding our church ministries.. we tend to try to do a lot of discussions & careful planning before we actually do the activity. As Edward commented in one of the sermons, especially as we attempt to be more proactive in the ‘broadcast’ part of our ministry vision, we probably need to think less and do more, all the while learning from mistakes.

  2. DK Says:

    I personally think we can think more AND do more because the two are not mutually exclusive. That little conjunction makes a big difference. Perhaps a different way to look at it is how is one’s thinking hindering or helping one’s ability to act.

    But I agree that there’s certainly truth to the whole “paralysis from analysis” idea.

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