TOTAL CHRISTIAN LIFE MINISTRY

Life From God vs. Life with God

by Cynthia Jennings on November 10, 2021

God has a sense of humor. I’m laughing out loud. God will often have me reflect on various times in my life where my mind had me questioning my Christian walk.

I’m remembering a time long ago as I was doing chores, I audibly said, “isn’t this Christian life supposed to be more exciting than this?” “I know life isn’t all sunshine and flowers—but surely it has to be more than housework, marriage, kids, and going out to eat.” “I’m longing for God’s joy daily in my life, I long for His peace in trials.” “I long for love and kindness to flow through me, I long to see “God moments” and miracles beyond my own abilities.” I want what God promised for my life in His Word!” “Where is this joy I’m always hearing about?” “Jesus where are you!!”

OoooWeeee!!! How naïve was I? LOL!!

At that time, I had not yet fully comprehended nor was I fully equipped to combat the schemes of the enemy through the power of Jesus Christ. I was looking at God like an attendant of an arcade, doling out prizes. When I acquire enough tickets {attend all church services regularly}, I can cash in on some joy and peace. When that runs out and I acquire more tickets, I will return for more joy and peace or whatever I think is being doled out at the time.

My then perspective of God and my attempts to chase those prizes left me sad, anxious, annoyed and bored. And the worst part, because the enemy had me believing life is less-than, I often thought something is wrong with God and His Word doesn’t seem to come true in my life. I was viewing my walk as life from God.

Inevitably and over time, God grabbed hold of my heart and transformed me with one of the bluntest lessons of my life: The good life isn’t from God; it’s with God.

What a gracious God we get to do life with — a fulfilling, abundant life that’s found when we quit searching for it and start seeking Him alone (Matthew 6:33).

As God grabbed hold of my heart, I questioned what the difference was in searching for God and seeking Him. After a bit of research, and what seemed like a simple distinction. The Holy Spirit illuminated the distinction within my spirit. The simple but profound difference between the word “search” and “seek”: the object of search is the place you are looking in, whereas the, object of seek is the item you are trying to locate. “Search” is more objective and task-oriented while “seek” has an element of need and single-mindedness.

“Seeking.” So, what does that mean practically? Both the Old and New Testament describes it as a “setting of the mind and heart” on God.  Amos 5:4, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Colossians 3:1. It is a conscious intentional focusing of our minds attention and hearts affection on God. “Seeking” is the need for God.

“Seek” in the biblical sense doesn’t just mean, gaining an intellectual {head} knowledge of God, but seeking His presence. “Prescence” is a common translation of the Hebrew word “face.” We are to literally seek His face. This can’t be done if we’re only searching for Him in a physical place.

 

As I started sinking into this idea, I saw it everywhere in Scripture. Understanding the difference between “search” and “seek” provided me with wisdom to interpret and apply the meaning of the following scriptures:

John 15:4 teaches, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” {emphasis added}.

Psalm 16:11 reveals, You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. {emphasis added}.

Isaiah 26:3 assures, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” {emphasis added}.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m doing life with God?” It’s a cute catchphrase…. but how do we actually make life with God real in our everyday lives?

The answer: When we pursue an awareness of God’s presence all around us. This means including Him in our thoughts and communicating with Him throughout the day. Yes, this looks like praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

The concept of praying without ceasing can feel a bit overwhelming, but think of it like this: if you’re in a car riding with your spouse, close friend, or even your children, conversation would naturally happen. There would be comfortable quiet moments where there’d be nothing to say, but as thoughts pop into your head you’d simply speak them because that person is right there. The same applies when you pursue an awareness of God’s presence all around us.

Here are a few tips to start you on your journey of pursuing an awareness of God’s presence all around you:

  1. Pray that you would live with such a vibrant awareness of God with you that you would call out to Him in prayer throughout you day.
  2. Be intentional and set out time in your morning for prayer with God.
  3. Throughout your day recognize the conversation starters all around you.
    • As you do chores, while at work or school, pray that He’d be glorified in the work. (Colossians 3:23)
    • As you answer or make a call, thank Him for the direct access that we always have with Him. (Hebrews 4:16)
    • If any fears arise, fix your eyes on Him, remembering His power so He can swallow up your fears. (Isaiah 26:3)
    • As you make decisions, ask for His wisdom in all you do. (James 1:5)
    • Be patient as you wait on His answer, and be content knowing God has the best for you. (Romans 8:25;Phillippians 4:11)

Prayer is essential to living the good life that God offers us through the gift of salvation.

 

Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus, I want to talk consistently and confidentially with You. Please open my eyes to the things in my life that are holding me back from that, and help me to pursue an awareness of Your presence every day. Amen.

 

PEARLStoPONDER: It’s God’s presence that transforms our days. It’s God’s presence that transforms our lives.

1 Chronicles 16:11-- Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Proverbs 8:17-- I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Acts 17:27-- that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.

 

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