Presence of God 5

I feel vulnerable.  And when I feel vulnerable, my first reaction is to run away. While I know my response needs to be to run to God, I’m just realizing that this entire week I’ve been running from Him.

What makes you feel vulnerable?

There have been some things brewing like…

Change:

Packing up the house I’ve lived in for eleven years, moving into an old farmhouse that needs rehabbing, planning to move farther from my hometown, friends, and parents.

Loving in the Hard:

Giving your heart to a person or people who don’t love you back and, perhaps, only return harshness is deeply painful and vulnerable.

Revealing Feelings and Emotions:

I’ve been putting my heart out there on social media more.  This is so hard for me.  There is a part of me that doesn’t want to do it, but I know this is what writers and producers do in this day and age. I’m taking baby steps and each one is a bit painful!

On top of these underlying vulnerable items brewing, this week two deaths in the family were added.

Death:

Death, especially unexpected, always makes me feel vulnerable.  I don’t so much fear death itself, but I’m challenged with what’s left behind.

So there you have it, friends. My heart on the table, spread out for you, vulnerable.

The perfect place setting for our guest this week, Jesus. The man at the well.

Now before you check out because you’ve heard about the woman at the well so many times, please wait!  We’re talking about the MAN at the well today.  And he’s worthy of being heard about again and again.  Especially in regards to this passage!

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he” (John 4:9-26 ESV).

Friends, this is the man at the well. The Messiah.  The God who lives inside of you if you’ve yielded to that in your life.

He teaches us here that eternal life isn’t just for the future—on the other side of glory!  It’s for now.  Eternal life is for now. Jesus’s Kingdom life welling up in us now while we live on this earth.

He teaches us to stop running to broken cisterns that hold no water, toward Him, His grace and His Kingdom.  Wasteland to Graceland. He gives us Himself–THE living water that satisfies.

“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
    the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
    broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13 ESV).

And once again, adoring Jesus takes no more time to do than to resist grace and His Kingdom.

We look for ways to avoid Jesus. Sometimes we don’t purposefully or intentionally do that.  Sometimes, we just allow our rushing thoughts to invade us instead of directing them toward Him. We allow our broken cisterns and broken ways of thinking and responding to lead us instead of Him.

Sometimes we avoid the abundant life because it feels scary to move toward our creator when our life circumstances feel vulnerable.  Maybe it’s easy to pretend He’s not there?

But this week’s way to practice God’s presence has interrupted me completely!

All of life…or more of life could be worship with a bit more effort and cooperation with the Holy Spirit.

Is there anyone or anything else worthy of our worship and mindfulness?

In case you missed my last four posts, they are linked below:

Introductory post

The First Way (Finding constant pleasure in His divine company)

The Second Way (Conversing with God in little ways while we do our work)

The Third Way (Do everything with great care)

The Fourth Way (Stop to Praise God)

Here is Brother Lawrence’s fifth way to practice the presence of God…

“Our adoration of God should be done in faith, believing that He really lives in our hearts and that He must be loved and served in spirit and in truth. We need to realize that He is the Independent One, upon whom all of us depend, and that He is aware of everything that happens to us.

The Lord’s perfections are truly beyond measure. By His infinite excellence and His sovereign place as both Creator and Savior, He has the right to possess us and all that exists in both heaven and earth.  It should be His good pleasure to do with each of us whatever He chooses through all time and eternity.  Because of all He is to us, we owe Him our thoughts, words, and actions.  Let us earnestly endeavor to do this.”

 

I need to be reminded this week, that God is good and He is sovereign.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 ESV).

I need to remember that there is more to think about when I fear change, vulnerable love, and death:

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:15-17).

I need to remember to have eternity and Jesus’ kingdom in mind (not my own):

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:18-19).

I need to adore Jesus for who He is, the King of Grace and Steadfast Love:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Am I glad that our church just finished studying the eighth chapter of Romans together! If you’re ever feeling distant from God, just wallow in that passage and be reminded of all the reasons to worship and adore Jesus!

As I close, I want to share Brother Lawrence’s tips on how to adore God:

 How to Adore God:
1. To adore God in spirit and truth means to adore Him as we should.  Because God is Spirit, He must be adored in spirit.  That is to say, we must worship Him with a humble, sincere love that comes from the depth and center of our souls.  Only God can see this adoration, which we must repeat until it becomes part of our nature, as if God were one with our souls and our souls were one with God. Practice will demonstrate this.
2. To adore God in truth, is to recognize Him for what He is and ourselves for what we are.  Adoring God in truth means that our hearts actually see God as infinitely perfect and worthy of our praise.  What man, no matter how little sense he may have, would not exert all his strength to show his respect and love of this great God?
3. To adore God in truth is to admit that our nature is just the opposite of His. Yet, He is willing to make us like Him, if wwe desire it. Who would be so rash as to neglect, even for a moment, the respect, the love, the service, and the continual adoration that we owe Him?
Are you struggling to adore and worship God in the midst of your life circumstances?
Will you strive to adore God in spirit and truth with me this week?  I’m looking to purposely inform my feelings and emotions with scripture so that I can worship and adore Him well.
Next week is the last of this series!

We will be looking at carefully examining ourselves as a way to practice His presence.

If you would like your own copy of Practicing the Presence of God, please click on the Amazon link below.  I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Linking up this week with these encouraging blogs:

purposefulfaith.comPhotobucketHolly Barrett    Messy Marriage    Monday's Musings | What Joy Is Mine     dreamtogether-linkup      linkup     Blooming lavender in a field at sunset in Provence, France      Missional Women    “countingmyblessings"     button 125px        Grab button for Being Confident of This    Dance With Jesus    Imparting Gracesaving4six    Grace-Moments-button.png
   
       Classical Homemaking  

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