Last time, I laid the foundation for why we should work from rest, which is simply abiding in Christ when you’re busy doing other things. It might be a good idea to read part one first if you haven’t already done so.
And, as I mentioned last time, the Christian life (that gives life) is only possible when abiding in Christ is fully integrated into everything we do. For Christ is your life. And this is possible because you don’t leave Jesus when you walk out of your prayer closet or end your Bible study. You are always in Him, and He is always in you.
So, abiding is really about learning how to be “present” and being aware of His presence 24/7, whether you’re working, with family or friends, by yourself, or doing anything else.
It’s about never losing that connection with Him throughout your day.
Learning how to be “present” in His presence
The key to being affective in our faith, and the foundation behind all of these points, is found in simply acknowledging what’s already in you. Notice what Paul said to Philemon (bold-text added for emphasis)…
“that the sharing of your faith
may become effective
by the acknowledgment of every good thing
which is in you in Christ Jesus.” (Philemon 1:6)
So, in this light, I want to share some practical ways I “practice the presence of God” (using the Brother Lawrence term) during my busy schedule. While I do set aside devotional quiet time with God, these are all things I do afterward, even while everything is going crazy around me.
1.) Start by acknowledging who you are and Whose you are. This is more of an overarching mindset that keeps me working from rest instead of performance, or the need for affirmation from others. It’s a mindset that influences everything I do throughout the day. And it’s so ingrained in my thinking that I don’t have to think about it directly anymore.
But if you’ve never meditated on who you are in Christ, you should rehearse what God says about you until it becomes second-nature. Here’s a partial list:
– I died and my life is Christ’s life (Gal.2:20; Col.3:3)
– Christ’s death, burial and resurrection was my death, burial and resurrection. I walk in newness of life, completely free from the power of sin (Rom.6:1-14)
– I’m a NEW creation, my old life is completely gone! (2 Cor.5:17)
– I’m loved the same way God loves Himself! (John 15:9)
– I’m so valued by God that He paid Jesus for me (John 3:16)
– I’m already complete in Christ (Col.2:10)
– I’m completely forgiven of all past, present and future sins—God is not holding my sins against me anymore (2 Cor.5:19; Heb.10:10, 17)
– I have Christ’s righteousness and His holiness (2 Cor.5:21; 1 Pet.2:9)
– I’m ALWAYS seated in heavenly places with Christ. This is where the real me lives from right now (Eph.2:6; Col.3:1-3; Phil.3:20; Heb.12:22)
– As Jesus is, so am I. His ministry is my ministry (1 John 4:17; John 14:12)
– I don’t have fear but a sound mind, power and love. For I have the mind of Christ (2 Tim.1:7; 1 John 4:18; 1 Cor.2:16)
– I’m not a dirty sinner or slave anymore but a co-heir with Christ. I am God’s son and man’s servant (John 15:15; Gal.4:7; 1 Pet.4:10)
This list is just a start. There are many more truths I won’t go into here because I’ve talked about this a LOT. If you want to dig deeper, you can check out my posts on identity.
Having these truths deeply ingrained in my thinking helps frame my attitude throughout my day and keeps me connected to God by freeing me from the enemy’s lies that try to disconnect me.
Of course, like any new way of thinking, it will require concentrated study at first, which you won’t be able to do during your busy day. But once you’ve done this, and your mind is renewed, you’re ready to go live it out!
2.) Use a 10-minute timer! If you’ve never done this before, you’ve got to try it out! Simply set the timer on your phone to go off every ten minutes (I think there’s an iPhone app for this called “10 minute worship”). Hit “snooze” when it goes off and pause for a moment to praise God and thank Him for making His home in you.
Of all the things I’ve done, this has had the most profound effect on me. And you can do this in every situation. Of course, you can stop and start again whenever you need to (and when you’re sleeping).
If you’re interested in experiencing a serious upgrade in the transforming presence of God, be sure to read Carol Arnott’s article and watch the brief video where she explains how it’s worked for her in her busy schedule. Then try it for a month! It really works! People have actually been healed of diseases doing this.
3.) Listen to devotional music during the day. You can do this while driving your car or wear ear buds when walking or working, if possible.
One devotional series I highly recommend is Graham Cooke’s devotional soaking series. You can get it here. I listen to it all the time in my car.
The point is, you’re soaking it in rather than actively listening to it. It’s just in the background while you’re doing other things. But it’ll keep your fires stoked in God’s presence!
4.) Pray in the Spirit. I pray in the Spirit throughout the day, and rarely do people know I’m doing it. I’m talking about praying in tongues. But I’m NOT talking about the gift of tongues, which is a prophetic gift to be interpreted (1 Cor.12:10, 30; 14:27).
Praying in the Holy Spirit is for personal edification–when your human spirit is praying directly with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.14:4, 14-15; Jude 1:20).
You have total control over this prayer language, you can do it under your breath, in a busy crowd, or any situation (that doesn’t require you to also talk at the same time).
I understand that some of my readers may not pray in tongues, and that’s okay. You can skip this step. But understand that Paul wished we ALL spoke in tongues (1 Cor.14:5). This prayer language for everyone.
Paul also said that he prayed this way more than everyone else and differentiated it from the prophetic gift (1 Cor.14:18-19).
Praying in the Spirit is also a powerful weapon in your spiritual armor that’s often overlooked. (Eph.6:18)
I really think you’re missing out on a wonderful edification gift meant for you to stay powerfully connected to God if you don’t. But I’ll leave that up to you. For an interesting university study on praying in tongues, see video here…
These four points are simply tools to encourage communion with God throughout your day and build your faith. Again, I can do these while I’m busy doing other things.
And you’ll find that the more you do this, the more clearly you will hear His voice and experience His presence. You’ll also begin to hear Papa’s heart for other people in your conversations which you can share with them and bless them.
One last thing here. These are not rules or things to make God love or accept you more. Even if you did none of these things, and never spent time with Him, He would still love and accept you exactly the same. No, this is not another performance trip and it should not be seen as “spiritual disciplines (which can become religious idolatry). These are simply tools to increase communion with God throughout your day (see 2 Cor.13:14).
Is all this abiding stuff worth it?
Well, besides the aforementioned fact that abiding in Christ is the only version of Christianity that God gave us, let me ask you…is being filled with all the fullness that fills God worth it? (Eph.3:19). Is HIS joy “remaining in you” worth it? (John 15:11) Or HIS unfathomable love, peace, patience, goodness, righteousness, self-control fully operating in your life worth it? (Gal.5:22-23). How about being able to fruitfully partner with your heavenly Father, glorifying Him with your everyday doings? (John 15:7-8).
How about a life totally free from guilt, condemnation, shame, regret, fear, anxiety, burnout, frustration…is it worth it?
I’ll let you decide.