Nov 072017 0 Responses

5 Ways to Be More Aware of God

On many Saturday’s throughout the year, I watch as a man and woman pledge their earthly lives solely to one another. The vows are the centerpiece of the service as each individual makes some big promises to God, their families, and each other. But those vows are immediately followed by the giving and receiving of rings. Forever to be worn, the rings symbolize the words spoken on that day. They serve a dual purpose. They are a loud announcement to everyone else of the commitments that have been made. And they are a gentle reminder to each individual that they are married and should act accordingly.

Imagine a husband saying, “I forgot I was married.” It’s laughable. While many husbands and wives act as though they are not married, none of them do it innocently. They break their vows by intention not by accident. The commitments they have made dictate the actions they should choose. While it doesn’t ensure the right decisions, it does rightfully put the expectation upon them.

The existence of a spouse dictates how we should act.

The existence of God does the same. (See: The Bad News of God’s Presence)

While spouses don’t lose awareness that they are married, many followers of God lose awareness of His presence. They forget His activity, commands, and desire to work through them. As we lose awareness, we become distracted, discouraged, and disobedient.

Yet when we remain aware of God’s presence, everything changes. Suffering is endured. Uncertainty is managed. Faithfulness is displayed. When we know God is with us, all things are possible. Yet the moment we lose awareness, we are at risk.

5 Ways to Stay Aware

Awareness of God is something we have to grow in and continually stay aware of. Here are five activities which will do both.

1. Read. Daily interaction with God’s Word is the single best step in being aware of God’s presence. Not only will this interaction remind us that God is present, it will show us the nature of His character. While this practice should be educational, it’s focus is primarily relational. It’s not enough to regularly read the Bible the same way you read a book for homework. While study is part of it, read to relate–hear from God, recognize His nature, and be reminded of His faithfulness through the generations.

2. Pray. Talking to God not only reminds us that He is there, but also opens our eyes to the circumstances around us. For prayer to influence our awareness, we must be more effective in praying for God’s activity rather than simply human illness. While it is completely appropriate to pray for grandma’s health, far too often our prayers are nothing more than hospital lists. Instead, we should spend more time praying for and about what is going on around us. When we are asking God to reveal Himself, change our hearts, influence circumstances, and create opportunities, we will pay much more attention to His activity around us. (See: Does Praying Add to Our Anxiety)

3. Obey. Few people see the connection between awareness and obedience. The more aware we are of God, the more likely we are to obey. But the more we obey, the more aware we will be of Him. Obedience breeds awareness. The commands of God often contradict what we think is right. Loving, forgiving, making peace, and many other Biblical precepts require faith. Yet as we trust God more than ourselves, we see how His way is right. As we obey, we better see God’s activity around us.

4. Act. Passivity blinds us to God’s presence. Whenever we aren’t doing anything, it becomes difficult to remember and see God. Action breeds awareness. When we are using our strengths, attempting new things, and trying to make a difference, we are more likely to seek God’s help and be looking for His activity. Action, especially things which involve some risk, awakens our attention.

5. Celebrate. Regularly rehearsing what God has done is an effective step at becoming more aware of His presence. While individuals can do this, it’s much better to celebrate with others. By hearing how God is working in their lives, praying together, and holding each other accountable for what we need to do, we will grow in our awareness. Everyone needs to be reminded that we are not alone and encouraged to keep our relationship with God strong.

Awareness is instrumental to any relationship, especially our relationship with God. While simply being aware of Him doesn’t ensure anything, failing to recognize His presence ensures many negative outcomes.

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