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Walking in His Presence

By Tal Haroni 

 

As believers, our primary calling is to reflect the image of Jesus in our lives. 

 

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” – Romans 8:28–29.

 

God constantly presents us with opportunities to grow and mature in this calling. One could say that our lives on earth are like a “training ground” or a “gym” where the calling to be conformed to the image of Jesus grows and develops. Each of us is in a different place and season in life, and we often tend to desire to be elsewhere or in another season – to move on to the next phase.

 

For example, singles often desire to be married, young couples want children, parents of young children want them to grow up, and parents of grown children await their departure from home. This natural inclination for progression is not inherently negative. But what about this current season and time? Perhaps this season and time are preparing us for what is to come. What if the uncomfortable place you find yourself in is precisely where someone else needs to encounter the Lord?

 

I find it challenging for us to remain present in the here and now. I invite you to take a moment of presence and reflection – close your eyes and try to be in the moment – what are you feeling in your senses? What do you smell? Hear? Taste? Touch? Are you comfortable? Uncomfortable? Take three deep breaths and focus for a moment on your current reality. Where is God in your thoughts, in your senses?

 

Last year, I went to France for a period of solitude. I was there for 10 days, and towards the end, I longed so much to return home that despite all my attempts to be in the moment, my mind was already focused on the next day. In my mind, I was already back home. In fact, I completely missed the last day; my body was in France, but in my heart and mind were already in Israel. When I think about it, it makes me sad because I knew I would eventually return home and life would continue, but I could have enjoyed another moment in France. Have you experienced this feeling?

 

“At the time of their journey, they entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his words. But Martha was distracted by all the serving tasks. She approached him and said, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.’ The Lord replied to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'”  – Luke 10:38–42

 

In this story, much has been written about it, and many messages have been derived from it. I’m sure this is familiar to you. Yet, what is the good part? Are we now called to leave our work? To sit at Jesus’ feet all day? After all, Jesus himself served, ministered, and also took time to pray and be in solitude. So what does he mean? Perhaps it’s about motives? What motivates me to serve the Lord or to do what I do? Is my motivation to be seen, praised, or encouraged? Or is my motivation to conform to the image of Jesus, to radiate his light, and to be a witness to His love?

 

Mary chose to be in that moment; she chose to sit, to be in Jesus’ presence. And Jesus also invites you and me to be in His presence all the time. To share our lives and decisions with Him. To walk with Him and not just serve Him. To live for Him. Not only to fill our lives with doing but to find times of being too.

 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22–23

 

God’s grace is new for us every day. No matter where we are today, whether we are single, parents, or grandparents, God gives us enough grace for this day, for this season. Jesus invites us to be in His presence, to recognize His presence in every given moment. Try to find His presence right now. To be attentive to Him, because every little thing matters to Him.

 

God has given us different spheres of influence, different places where we can train and become more like Him. He also puts us in different places and brings different people into our lives where we have the opportunity to show them Yeshua. In the “training ground” or “gym” of life, we not only grow and become more like Him, but we also show others who Jesus is and invite them to be like Him too.

 

Let’s walk in the Lord’s presence, from the grace given us for this season and for today. Let’s remain present, in the here and now of our lives, yes, with hope for the future, but focusing on the things that lay before us now.

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