I have been in many meetings where Christians gather and often someone opens that meeting in prayer. That’s a good thing. But more often than not, the guy praying begins to ask God to be present in the room. Sometimes, it almost sounds like we are begging Him to join us.
When that happens, my sinful self wants to raise my hand and remind everyone that God has already gone out on a limb and promised to be with us each and every time we gather in His name. (Remember the scripture in Matthew 18:20 “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am…”)
He went so far as to end His earthly instructions with the promise that He would be with us, even to the end of the age! (Matthew 28:20) So maybe we ought to stop asking Him to join us and start focusing on His actual presence.
Last week in church, we were singing one of Kari Jobe’s praise choruses and one of the lines has been reverberating through my mind ever since. The song begins with the statement that “There’s nothing worth more that will ever come close, nothing can compare, and you are our living hope, your presence Lord.”
And the punch line to the chorus says, “Let us become more aware of your presence…”
One writer addressed that same concept with the injunction that we should turn our affections towards God; we should be more mindful of His involvement in our daily activities and ultimately recognize His participation in our day.
The scripture tells us “He made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14). A modern translation may express that same thought by stating “He came and pitched His tent among us.”
This week, as believers we can have confidence that Christ is choosing to hang out with us. Our job is to become more aware of His presence, to sense His desire to be involved in our decisions, to share in our joys and to comfort us in our pain.
We don’t need to implore Him to come join us. He is already there. But He is kind and gentle and doesn’t impose Himself in a harsh way.
He is waiting for us to give Him permission to intervene. We just need to become more aware of His presence. It will probably transform our week.