I have a feeling that’s a question that we’ll hear a lot of over the next few weeks. If you aren’t familiar with what we mean by that yet, then let me help you out.
It’s a question that Greg Boyd asks throughout his book Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now. In fact, you can’t go more than a few pages in the book without seeing a post-it note asking that very question.
In the introduction, Boyd shares the story about a personal experience that he had when he became very aware of God’s presence. In that moment he experienced a clarity and a sense of wonder about God’s creation that made him feel more alive than ever.
After careful study of the Scriptures and writings of classic authors like Brother Lawrence, Boyd quickly realized that God is always there. Therefore, the most important thing that we can is not to try to find His presence, but simply become aware of it.
Many of us may have experienced an awareness of God’s presence before, but we all know that it can ‘leave’ as quickly as it ‘appeared’. But that doesn’t mean that God left. Hence Boyd’s question…
Are you awake?
That’s what I find so exciting about a book (and a group discussion) like this one. I know that the presence of God brings a life-transforming power, and I know that’s something that I can use more of in my life. And you probably can too.
It’s always been a goal of mine here at BibleDude.net to have the discussions that help all of us grow closer to God, and allow Him to change our lives. I believe when that happens, we can go change our world.
So I pray that not only will many become more aware of God’s presence, but also that many more are transformed by it. I pray for all of those who are reading and joining this discussion, and that it reaches the people that it needs to. I pray that through this discussion may God use us to change our world so that we can be a part of bringing honor and glory to His ever present presence. Amen.
Hey! Great start to the discussions of [present perfect]. It has had me remembering things that I'd thought long forgotten about experiencing the constant presence of God in my day to day life. It certainly has me wondering if I've been awake lately or not……
I really found this book to be a great help in the journey to be more christlike in the midst of our very human, fleshly life/experience. If I could alter one slight thing from the book I would change the catchphrase, 'are you awake' which appears throughout the book to 'are you aware' which for me personally helps me better connect with the idea of God's presence being something that is always available and I need only to be aware of it.
God is *now,* Greg writes. And I'm resting in that Truth.
I spend so much time reviewing the past, and far too much time in anxiety over some future event I cannot control. But God is NOW. I don't want to miss the miracle of the NOW-GOD.
This book is a blessing. I'm delighted to be a part of this project, Dude.
It's crazy how easy it is for us to 'forget' how to experience God. We get so wrapped up in the day to day, that we forget to be aware of the One who made it all possible. I really believe that this could be a great 'wake up' call for many of us in the church!
Thanks for the thoughts Bryant! I'm looking forward to your review of chapter one going up on Wednesday!
Great point Rich! I totally agree, but also appreciate the word “awake”. Either way, I think that the important distinction is that we realize that we have a responsibility to make it happen. We must 'wake up' or 'become aware' to what's already there.
I appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts! I look forward to hearing more from you throughout this project! I'm expecting some great conversation! Thanks dude!
AMEN! Too much time is wasted 'reviewing the past' and 'in anxiety over the future' that we forget to capture the NOW moment that God wants us to focus on… WITH HIM!
I agree, and am glad to have you on the project! I'm looking forward to great things!
“The present moment is ALL that is real.” This is so simple – and yet so true. And yet too often we don't live in the present moment. We focus on our past, or we plan for our future. We don't give ourselves time to just BE. To be awake to the ways in which God is blessing us with his presence each day.
As I write this, one of my kitties is climbing up on my lap and covering the keyboard. I can't help but think that maybe God is in that sweet kitty – just begging me to stop and BE awake for a few minutes.
Staying awake …
One of the things I've started doing to help me remember that God is with me (and each one of us) at all times is that I've started visualizing Him with me. I visualize Him sitting at the table or on the couch or walking next to me. It is still very easy to let that image slip from my mind, but the more I do it, the better I am able to “stay awake”. An amazing side effect has been some very close and intimate conversations with Jesus as I engage in the visualization. Becoming aware of each moment is very liberating.
I love the idea of the kitty climbing up like that 'requesting' your attention! I have a small dog that's kinda the same way. Either way, it's a cool picture of God saying to us… “would you mind noticing me, even if it's just for a minute?”
That's a cool idea! I can see how that would help! But I'm sure that you'd get some funny looks doing that in the grocery store…
Seriously though, that is a good idea, and I agree that being aware of His presence at each moment can be VERY liberating. There's a cool feeling that you get when you realize that the Creator of the Universe is right there with you!
Thanks for coming by and sharing Tim!