Part II of our God Still Speaks Series
In last week’s blog we looked at how God still speaks to humanity in post-biblical times. We determined that if God is still speaking, we need to listen. I gave you three steps to better hear what God is telling you. Today’s post is an explanation of the first step: cultivating an awareness of God’s presence.
This is important because it reminds us God is not a distant being disinterested in us, occasionally glancing our way from His far away throne in Heaven. He’s not simply watching us from afar, leaving us to our own devices. He is very close and very interested in our lives.
This understanding also allows us to properly understand how God can speak to us. Thinking about God as a distant being causes us to think that He will only speak to us from without and never within. While God can use situations, physical objects, and other people to speak to us, He also will usually communicate with us within our hearts and minds. He also provides us with inner peace to help us know the message comes from Him.
Therefore, we want to cultivate an awareness of God’s presence to continuously recall God is with us. This will help us grow in our friendship with God and better learn how He speaks to us. We will then see God isn’t a distant king sitting on a throne far away in Heaven, but a close, interactive king, sitting on His throne in our hearts.
By cultivate, of course, we mean we want to practice acknowledging that God is present to us, as a guest in our soul and a friend holding our hand. We practice this as often as possible so that it becomes an instinct or habit that comes about naturally. Like a friend with automatically think to call when something happens to us, we want to remember that God is always near and dear to us.
Furthermore, we want to remember that He has something to tell us as well. When we cultivate our awareness of the presence of God, we prepare our hearts to hear Him. In a way, we are standing at attention, anticipating His message, because our spiritual gaze is rested upon Him. It’s hard to miss the words of a friend when we are aware of their presence to us, anticipating their message. So too with God.
Therefore, we want to be aware of God’s presence in our lives as often as we can. We want to recall that He is very close to us and, indeed, is speaking to us. If you would like to cultivate this awareness of His presence more, I suggest that you practice the following:
- Ask God in prayer each morning to help you be more aware of His presence
- Spend some time, maybe just 10 minutes, each day meditating or thinking about God and where He is in relevance to you
- Sing praise and worship or other religious songs to Him
- Do one of your favorite activities alone where you can spend the whole time speaking to God while you do it. For example, golfing, playing an instrument, painting, working with clay, gardening, cooking, exercising, walking/running, or anything else you might enjoy doing on your own. All of these are great ways to spend time with God
- As my 96-year-old grandfather does, say, “Let us remember that we are in the presence of God” before every meal blessing and prayer
- Reflect on the beauty you encounter. Every time you see people you love, trees, the ocean, or a sunset, recall who made them and thank Him for it
- Read the bible and ask God questions about it in prayer. The answer may or may not come immediately, but sometimes you can be gifted with an answer
- Mentally associate your phone with God so whenever you pull out your phone it reminds you of God’s presence. You can then spend a moment thinking about Him and His presence before you do whatever you need to do
- Whenever you feel bored, allow it to be another invitation to think about God and how close He is to you. This will also solve any problems you have with boredom
- When you pray, use your imagination to understand the one you are speaking to is close to you and not far away. We don’t call out the clouds with our prayers but speak to the God who dwells within us
There are countless other ways to cultivate your awareness of God’s presence in your life as well. We would love to hear any other tips you might have! And if you are hoping to further improve your awareness of God in your life, I suggest that you listen to a number of our podcasts at https://zenithministries.com/podcast-series/. I would suggest “How We Can See God, God is Working in Our Lives”, and “How to Pray Without Ceasing” to start.