So, on this particular day, I decided to spend some time in worship. I plugged my ear-piece into my phone, and began to play worship songs – some in audio format, others in video.
As I began to sing along, my mind drifted to a certain issue that had been bothering me for some time. I began to think of various ways I could fix it – and what the outcomes would be if I didn’t.
As I contemplated, another thought came up which was slightly unrelated to the first, and I began to mentally weigh on that as well. This led to yet another issue on my mind – and I started thinking on that as well.
When that set of songs finished, I put on a worship video – and continued singing along. As I sang, I admired the singer’s outfit and the backup singers’ steps. I also replayed the video a few times because I liked the song – and playing it a certain number of times would make up the remaining minutes left.
When I was done, I got up to leave – and then it came: “Deborah, what did you just do?”
Pause. Then I answered, “I just…worshipped?”
The answer was just one word. “Really.”
It wasn’t even a question.
I didn’t bother replying because – I knew.
I had just wasted one whole hour.
So, I just ‘jejely’ (in Nigerian parlance, ‘quietly’) sat back down, started again…
…and, this time, focused.
Do you know why we ‘feel’ God’s presence in church or fellowship – but we sometimes struggle in our personal relationship with Him? Or why we go into ‘His presence’ during our personal prayer times – and come out emptier than we went in?
It’s simply a ‘God-consciousness.’
Let me explain.
Most people are not being hypocritical when they behave in a certain way at church – and differently at home.
This is because, in church, they are aware they have deliberately left home to come to worship God. Also, everything in church – the songs, the message, Sunday school, etc – is about Him (or should be.)
Simply put, the focus is God. Or Jesus…and, therefore, they are more conscious of Him there. So, they automatically – and unconsciously – conduct themselves accordingly.
However, most of us leave that God-consciousness once we step out of the church doors. We go about our daily activities unconscious of the fact that God is with us right where we are.
Oh, we know it in our heads, “God is everywhere”, but we are not aware of the fact that “He is right here. With me. Now.”
An analogy dropped into my mind as I was writing this:
As a single, (current or past), have you ever been in a general setting (church/class/group/organization) with someone you know – but there was no awareness?
You might even have passed by each other with a perfunctory “hi” – but that’s all.
You forgot about each other as soon as you walked by.
Then, one day, you both find yourselves sitting together and discussing – and there’s a mutual spark. Or chemistry. And it’s as if you are seeing each other for the first time.
What happens the next day?
The environment remains the same, but, now, you are both aware of each other.
That’s the difference.
And because you are now aware – no matter how hard you try – your behaviour in that same environment is influenced to a certain degree.
Most of know God is everywhere, but we are not conscious that He is right there with us – in our rooms, on our beds, in the office, in the car …
We are not aware of Him.
That was what happened to me as I ‘worshipped’ – I ‘knew’ in my head He was there, but I wasn’t aware of Him.
If I was truly aware of Him, it would have influenced how I conducted myself around Him.
Without being legalistic or ritualistic, even your physical posture in praying or worship can be affected when you are aware of God – because you are conscious that you are talking to Someone who is really there.
The more aware we are of God, the more we will ‘feel’ and ‘see’ His presence in our everyday affairs…
…and awareness is gotten through cultivation and Deliberate Focus.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “He that comes to God must believe that He is…” That means you must believe that you are relating with Someone who truly exists – and who is truly involved.
This also includes prayer.
One verse that hit me years ago and transformed my prayer life was 1 John 5:15, particularly the line “…and if we know that He hears us…”
Many times, we don’t see what we ‘pray’ for because we don’t pray to God deliberately and consciously. We whine, complain, cry, grumble, sigh – but we don’t deliberately and consciously ask.
You see, there’s something about deliberately going to God, deliberately focusing on Him, deliberately and consciously talking to Him that makes you KNOW that He heard you – and because you KNOW He heard you, you have the assurance He will answer your prayers.
It’s all about the deliberate consciousness.
It’s all about the awareness.
May we cultivate it.
(Do you have a prayer request? Send it in. We will DEFINITELY be praying.)
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