Thankful in God’s Presence

N0483940As I think about Good Friday today, I consider God’s sacrifice for all people. It was all-encompassing, complete, total. God opted to be separated from his perfect son, to have the trinity’s perfect communion disrupted, to watch sinful men mercilessly crucify Jesus. God sacrificed so much. Jesus sacrificed his life to be obedient to his father. God truly paid the highest price to be reconciled to humanity, you and me.

Do we offer God the same devotion? Is my life one of thanksgiving where I daily offer all I am and have to be used as God desires? When I do get to that place, am I able to remain there? It takes so much concentration and intentionality to keep our eyes on Christ despite the three-ring circus constantly going on around us. But the key isn’t just our effort or our service, but our

time in God’s presence.

No mere checklist of service or sacrifice could replace a heart surrendered to God, resting in his presence. He wants us to know him better, learn to abide in him, walk day by day with him as our constant companion, pray without ceasing.

It’s God who transforms our hearts, triggers our thankfulness, fuels our passion to serve, stirs our compassion for all people, and deeply satisfies our desires. The more we know God, the more we want to know him. We develop a love and appreciation for him and his ways, his style, his joys. Saint Augustine says it well in his book, Confessions, “But the emptier I was, the more unappetizing such (godly) food became.” Running from God, hiding from him, choosing to live to merely satisfy our worldly desires removes the fuel needed to keep the fire burning brightly.

Pursuing God increases our desire to pursue God.

Spending time in God’s presence increases our desire to spend time in God’s presence.

James 4:8 says,  “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” If it seems someone has walked away, it isn’t God, it’s us. God wants our hearts absolutely devoted to him, able to find rest and joy in him. We do have a part in that though. It isn’t magic.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.      Jeremiah 29:13


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