Devotions

Life From God vs. Life With God

October 13, 2021
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4 (ESV)
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Isn’t the Christian life supposed to be more exciting than this?

The thought floated through my mind as I folded laundry, as it had often done when I was in the middle of a mundane task. Wasn’t there more? I knew life wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows — but surely it should be more than laundry.

I longed for God’s joy in my daily life. I longed for His peace in trials. I longed for love and kindness to flow through me. I longed to see “God moments” and miracles beyond my own abilities. I wanted what I was pretty confident God had promised for my life in His Word.

I’m embarrassed to admit I often saw God like the cashier of an arcade, doling out prizes. I had just enough tickets for joy and perhaps a little peace, too. Thank you, kind sir. I’ll take my joy and peace, be on my way, and return when I run out.

But all to no avail. My attempts to chase those gifts still left me sad, anxious, annoyed and bored. And the worst part? I assumed that when life felt less-than, something was wrong with God. I even questioned His very Word because it didn’t seem true in my life.

Inevitably and over time, God grabbed hold of my heart and transformed me with one of the most succinct lessons of my life: The good life isn’t from God; it’s with God.

What a gracious God we get to do life with — a fulfilling, abundant life that’s found when we quit searching for it and start seeking Him alone. (Matthew 6:33)

As I started sinking into this idea, I saw it everywhere in Scripture.

John 15:4 teaches, Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (emphasis added).

Psalm 16:11 reveals, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (ESV, emphasis added).

Isaiah 26:3 assures, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (ESV, emphasis added).

It’s God’s presence that transforms our days. It’s God’s presence that transforms our lives.

“Doing life with God” is a cute catchphrase … but how do we make it real in our everyday lives?

We pursue an awareness of God’s presence all around us. Practically speaking, this looks like praying without ceasing. That means including Him in our thoughts and communicating with Him throughout our day.

The concept can feel overwhelming, but think of it like this: If you were riding in a car with a close friend sitting beside you, conversation would naturally happen. There would be comfortable, quiet moments when there’d be nothing to say, but as thoughts popped into your head, you’d simply speak them because that person is right there.

If you want to start praying, try this:

  1. Pray that we would live with such a vibrant awareness of God with us that we would call out to Him in prayer throughout our days.
  2. Carve out five to 10 minutes in your morning for time in prayer with God.
  3. As you go about your day, recognize the conversation starters all around you.

     

    • As you fold the laundry, pray that He’d be glorified in the work. (Colossians 3:23)
    • As you pick up your phone, thank Him for the direct access that we have with Him. (Hebrews 4:16)
    • As fears arise, fix your eyes on Him, remembering His power so He can swallow up your fears. (Isaiah 26:3)
    • As you make decisions, ask for His wisdom in all you do. (James 1:5)

       

Prayer is essential to living the good life that God offers us through the gift of salvation. Heaven awaits us, but prayer is our little slice of heaven on earth, and it’s available to us today! Make time for the good life God’s calling you to today, and walk with Him in prayer.

Dear God, I want to talk confidently and consistently to You in prayer. Open my eyes to the things in my life that are holding me back from that, and help me to pursue an awareness of Your presence every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Check out Valerie Woerner’s new book that released yesterday, Pray Confidently and Consistently: Finally Let Go of the Things Holding You Back from Your Most Important Conversation. Valerie helps you identify the weights holding back your prayer life. Order your copy today!

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FOR DEEPER STUDY

Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV)

In what ways have you felt like you’re missing out on the good life? How would spending the seemingly mundane moments in the presence of the Lord radically change your life?

© 2021 by Valerie Woerner. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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