God? Are You There?
Do you ever find yourself discouraged because you can’t feel God’s presence to KNOW He is there? You look around and it just seems like God is nowhere to be found.
Maybe you have had a string of unanswered prayers, or a series of disappointing events. Maybe you or a loved one are having medical problems that just keep piling up. It can be easy to feel like God has up and left.
Or maybe with our often chaotic, fast-paced lives, full of checklists, meetings, and deadlines, you feel you are not doing enough to make God want to be around.
But you know what? In Hebrews 13:5, God has PROMISED He will never leave us or forsake us! We can be assured of His CONSTANT presence, whether we can feel it or not.
Now that we understand He is always there and will never leave us, we have to ask ourselves, WHY can’t we feel Him in our lives?
Are we actually seeking God in our lives? Are we being mindful of His presence?
Be Mindful of God’s Presence
What exactly is mindfulness? It is simply the awareness of the present moment. Whether you choose to practice mindfulness formally (a dedicated time/place/activity) or informally (while driving, cleaning, cooking, exercising), it is all about focusing on the current moment.
Being mindful is an opportunity to invite God in and experience His presence. We are then able to renew our hearts and minds through Him. Wherever God is, evil cannot be.
Just like anything else, being mindful takes practice. At first you may feel silly, or you may not be able to find God in a specific moment. But don’t worry—God is full of grace, and He rains it down on us freely. He knows our hearts. He knows when we are truly seeking Him.
Simply be still and look for God in a specific moment.
Small Ways to be Mindful of God’s Presence
There are many simple ways we can focus on Him and be mindful of His presence.
Have you actually spoken to God recently? God wants to have a relationship with us. He wants us to talk with Him about the good and the bad, about the things that bring us joy and the things that cause us stress. He wants us to bring it ALL and lay it at His feet.
Make a habit of talking to God throughout your day—about everything. The large and the small. Maybe talk to Him on your morning commute, or while walking the dog. Maybe sitting in the carpool line or while making dinner. Often His presence can be found in the smile of a passerby.
2. Set Reminders to be Mindful
Sometimes we need reminders to set aside time for our relationship with God. We have to give ourselves permission to step away from our desks or the fuss of the world, even if for only a moment to reconnect and focus.
A great tool that Bart Scarborough mentioned during his webinar is the One Minute Pause app. One Minute Pause is a simple way to reconnect with God in the midst of your busy day. The app is from John Eldredge, the author of Wild at Heart, and is based on the One Minute Pause chapter in his book Get Your Life Back. The app encourages you to practice releasing everything to God and inviting Him to fill you.
For me personally, I know I need reminders, or I forget. Yes, I am the person who has a note on the door reminding me to grab my water bottle, or set a timer to pick up a kid from soccer practice. Why? Because we get busy. Our minds go to a thousand other places and we simply forget.
Well, the same is true about being mindful of God’s presence. I leave my Bible out all the time, on the kitchen counter or on my bedside table, because if I put it away on a bookshelf, I will forget to actually pick it up and read it.
I have a sticky note on the dash of my car reminding me to say “Good morning” to my Lord and Savior. It helps me slow down in my morning rush to get out the door and off to work, and take time to acknowledge God and be aware of His presence in my life.
3. Challenge Yourself to Find God
Challenge yourself to find God in at least one situation, circumstance, or event every day. Make it a habit, or a game with yourself or family. I am often surprised where I find God.
People feel God’s presence more strongly in different places. I know my mother, who is musically inclined, feels His presence most strongly when she is behind the piano, playing and lifting her voice in song. Some feel His presence more when they are out in nature watching the sunrise or seeing a mother deer with her new fawn.
I encourage you to share with others where you have seen or felt God’s presence. They will remember and find it easier to find Him in circumstances they typically would not.
4. Ground Yourself to the Present
When I am having a particularly hard time clearing my mind to focus on God, I use a technique I learned from an article at calminggrace.com to ground myself to the present moment.
The exercise involves exploring each of your five senses one at a time. For example, name five things you can see (your phone, computer, water bottle, etc.). Name four things you can feel. Think about the texture of your clothes, the temperature of the room, the chair you are sitting in. And so on with all five senses.
Mentally naming each item helps to quiet your busy thoughts and begin to focus on the task of seeking God. As you notice and name things you can sense, thank God for them. Acknowledging the details helps you to focus on things you may have not considered before.
Use these Christian mindfulness techniques to connect with God throughout your day. The reality is that God IS with us, and with some work on our part, we can feel His presence in everything we do.
As Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The goal of The Redeemed is to provide men a supportive, communal environment where they can discuss their problems, worries, and feelings of “brokenness” without fear of being judged or censored. Please consider joining us for one of our podcasts or online small groups.
In these challenging, uncertain times, many men feel broken and alone. The Redeemed aims to show them they’re not alone in their brokenness, and that God’s love and strength are available to them too—not in spite of their human failings, but because.
If you would like to tell your story, talk, have someone listen, or surround yourself with those who have experienced brokenness and restoration, please contact The Redeemed.