When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
Genesis 28:16, NIV*
This is the Jacob who stole his brother’s birthright and was now fleeing for his life under the guise of visiting extended family to seek a wife. Not exactly abiding in God’s presence at this point in his life, was he?
On the road, “He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:12, NIV*) And he saw God, who spoke to him.
God had been with Jacob all along, and Jacob hadn’t known it. Or lived like it. But when he recognized God, he worshipped.
It’s so easy to worship God in church and daily devotions, but then to go into daily life as if He’s not present. Violet Nesdoly touched on this recently at Other Food: Daily Devos when she quoted Nancy Pearcey’s book, Total Truth: “Sadly, many Christians … give cognitive assent to the great truths of Scripture but they make their practical, day-to-day decisions based only on what they can see, hear, measure, and calculate.”
Violet was talking about choosing to live daily life based on God’s Word, but the principle applies to living with awareness of God. You can read the whole post here: “Word-Directed Living.”
I’ve seen a few references lately to a book called The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel. One of the questions Craig asks on his website is “Do you live your life as if God is in the room, or do you assume He’s not paying attention?”
It’s so easy to forget, or to get distracted. If we’re not vigilant, intentional, and reminding ourselves to rely on God, we can act as if we’re on our own.
Promise-Keeping God, You said You’d never leave nor forsake us and yet we sometimes live like you’ve set us loose. Forgive us for being so easily distracted by life, and remind us of Your nearness. Help us learn to live daily in Your presence, confident in You and following Your leading.
Our song is Michael Card’s “Emmanuel.”
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
So true, Janet. I was reading about Solomon today. Started out so well, and in the end, in spite of all the wisdom and blessing God had given him, he still strayed. I pray that God would keep me from doing that. It’s so easy to take Him for granted.
It’s scary how easy it is. But God only lets us drift so far before He starts working to get our attention. My prayer is A) not to drift and B) if I start to, that I’ll be sensitive when He first starts to correct my course… instead of requiring what Peter Furler on his new album calls “a kick of love”.