Thursday, April 20, 2017

Learning to "Remain In Him" - Awareness Part 2

By Alfred Turley

In the previous post on this subject, I talked about cultivating awareness of God in our lives, and specifically the importance of a daily devotional time with God.

In addition to that foundational time with God, there are other intentional habits and practices that have been helpful to many in cultivating awareness of Christ.  Let's talk about some of them:

Awareness Reminders:  I learned a long time ago that if something doesn't remind me, I could go all day without reconnecting well to God.  But I found if I could do a few things that would help this process that have made a big difference for me:

  • Sticky Notes on mirrors with scripture reminders of key verses.  Putting these on the dashboard of my car has helped many times, or on my computer so when I get to work I am reminded of Him!  Time in the car can be a great time with God if we work to make it that!
  • Quick prayer/awareness times - Setting my phone timer to go off every hour or so, just to prompt me to stop what I am doing and thank God and think of Him and maybe even pray about something that's going on that I really need Him to move in!  I've even set calendar reminders in gmail to remind me to stop a spend a minute with God.
  • Break times at work - Most everyone who has a job gets some sort of break (I hope so) and sometimes taking a bible into the break room can be a major time of 
  • Special prayer locations - I found an isolated stairwell in one place where I worked where I could quickly jump into for a short prayer time with God.  I was in a particularly stressful season, and that place became a true place of refuge for me as I would go there and meet with God and find peace in the storm!

Fasting:  Fasting can seem incredibly intimidating and hard.  And sometimes it is.  But one thing I know, when I choose to sacrifice something I normally do (like eating food!) it sets the day up as one that will regularly remind me of God.

  • Food Fast - Obviously this is the one most talked about in the Bible.  Sometimes just skipping breakfast and/or lunch can make the day much more about God and filled with Him.  The hunger pangs are great natural reminders that I am seeking Jesus and more of Him, and the Holy Spirit always meets me in these times with greater awareness and a sense of His love!  Longer term fasts are very doable and should not be something we are afraid of.  And we will experience a richness with God that is priceless!
  • Internet/Media Fast - I have found fasting social media, internet, and even television, etc. (all but email) can REALLY make me aware of God.  We are so saturated now with media that this simple type of fast can be very powerful and is a lot less intimidating than a food fast.  It drastically makes us aware of how much time we really DO have that we could be putting to a little better use.
  • Other Fast -  There are lots of other types of fasts, but the point is to do something that forces our awareness to move back to Jesus, and to show Him we are serious about seeking Him.  What could you give up for a period that would really get your attention and focus you on God?

Relationships/Fellowship:  As simple as this is, being around people who will push us toward God is one of the best things we can do, and the reason the writer of Hebrews said:
"And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near." (Heb. 10:24-25)

We need one another, and we need God-centered community.  Having people around me remind me of God and His promises and His sufficiency is one of the best Awareness builders we can have in our lives!

Well I guess I could go on and on about all this!  But again, when it comes to "remaining in Christ" so much of it comes from cultivating Awareness.

Praying that each of us today intentionally moves toward spending more time being AWARE of the incredible gift we have of Jesus and His presence in our lives!


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