“I pray that out of God’s glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you be rooted and established in love.” Ephesians 3:6-7
John Calvin was one of the main pastors who started the Presbyterian Church, and this week I heard a Calvin scholar lecture on his understanding of time and work ethic. One thing she shared was that Calvin understood God’s presence to be with him 24/7; God dwells in our hearts at every moment.
I figured that could go two ways for us.
Some of us may find that to unbelievable to be true because of the tragedies in life we have experienced. We will have felt abandoned by God at different points, and surely God could not have been present when the bad stuff happened.
Or perhaps some of us may find that too much like an overbearing parent or a clingy significant other. We would rather relegate God to a few hours in a month, then have him stalk our every move and thought.
The truth is though that God’s presence in our life is far more gracious. He does not do it out of a lack of trust like an overbearing parent, nor does he do it out of his own self-deficiency like a clingy date. He does it out of genuine love for us.
And while we may feel abandoned by him at certain points—even Jesus felt abandoned by his Father on the cross—the reality is that God’s hope and love goes into even the most difficult of situations.
The kicker is that for God’s presence to be so pervasive means that every thing we do, everywhere we go, every thought we think, God is with us. It actually challenges us to consider the ways in which we interact with the world.
Are we demonstrating to the world around us that we believe that God is with us at this moment? When a coworker goes off on us or a salesperson is less then attentive? When our spouse disappoints us, or our kids push every button? Are we aware of God’s supportive and gracious love in those moments?