Sometimes I think that I can gauge my spiritual strength on my level of awareness of God. This may seem like a funny concept if you have not thought about it. Aren’t all Christians aware of God? Haven’t they committed their life to him? When asked if they believed in God, wouldn’t all respond with a resounding, “Yes.” True enough. However, it is not enough to acknowledge God when prompted to do so through a direct question.
For me, an active awareness of God strengthens my faith and leads me into the too often unchartered waters of a pro-active life for God. I’m pretty good at staying away from the things I shouldn’t do (although I do slip there occasionally). But I can become extremely lax or forgetful about pursuing the good things with the same rigor I avoid the bad things.
A active awareness of God gives me a totally different outlook on life. Without it, I tend to get caught up in current of life and focus on temporal, inconsequential matters. I begin to think and live like the world without even realizing it.
Maintaining an active awareness of God can be a challenge. That’s why I need continual reminders on a daily basis. Here are some items that I have found strengthen my faith and provide a greater level of awareness of God.
Some of the best ways to maintain this focus can be found in the age-old traditions of prayer and Scripture. It makes a difference when I begin and end my day with prayer. I try to utter praise when I am struck by the beauty of nature and God’s creation. Shorter prayers can provide quick source of strength and power, prayers like the Jesus prayer, the Serenity prayer, sections of Psalms, or the Lord’s prayer. These prayers can be said in a few seconds, but they snap one back into the realities of the gospel.
Scriptures written on the heart or a card can be of great benefit throughout the day. I usually go to the YMCA on my lunch break, and they have a basket with random scriptures on a piece of paper. I pick up one every day and read it as I’m walking back to work. There should be times devoted to diligent study of God’s word, but it also provides strength in small, regular doses throughout the day.
Verbalizing statements of faith and trust in God should be a regular part of our conversation. These statements that randomly surface in conversations throughout the day can be a good indicator of our thoughts and our heart.
I can be a particularly forgetful and/or distracted person, and I find these practices to be vital to maintaining an active awareness of God.
Dear Lord, help me to be aware of you throughout the day! May I acknowledge you in all my thoughts and ways. May you be glorified in my life!