How Is God a Part of Our Lives?
Last week in “What are your priorities?” I wondered if God is a part of our lives. Does he have first place, given lessor attention, squeezed in, or an afterthought? Next is the contrast between our intention and our reality—which seldom match.
A follow-up consideration is “How is he a part of our lives?” Again, this isn’t a discussion about ideal theory but the real results of what occurs on a daily basis. Some considerations are:
Read about Him: If God is important to us, we should want to get to know him better. One way is to read about him. The Bible is the best source. Though frequency and quantity (such as one chapter every day) are noble goals, they’re also legalistic. The key is focusing on quality, be it one verse or four chapters, occurring three times a day to once a week.
Talk to Him: Communication with God happens through prayer, but not the bow-your-head, close-your-eyes oration that happens in church or before meals. Prayer is casual interaction, informal and frequent throughout the day (and night).
Make Him Part of Our Actions and Words: We talk about what’s important to us and our activities confirm it. What do our words and actions say about us? While God doesn’t need to show up in every sentence and deed, his persistent reality shouldn’t be far away.
Spend Time With Him: Western society doesn’t value silence, solitude, or meditation. Yet when we do these things with a focus on God, we connect with him, deepening our understanding of him and relationship to him.
Let Him Permeate Our Thoughts: Can God become part of our subconscious, residing near the surface throughout the day? While it seems unlikely and impractical, Brother Lawrence serves as an example for us to aspire to (see The Practice of the Presence of God.)
Regardless of the priority we give God, we can always make him more fully part of our lives. The question is do we want to?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.