God's Presence In Our Homes
“Moses cried out, “If your presence will not go with me, do not let me move from here!” (1)
For this too, I cry out.
In movie like motion, history plays out women in a radical fervor for the quest of God’s presence! Women have shorn their heads, taken vows of silence for five years, become like hermits and moved into caves with no human interaction!
What’s a mother to do? Not speaking for five minutes is hard enough, not to mention five years! Oh, I’ve tried the hermit trick (at least in another room), but sure enough, 1.6 minutes later a little one knocks at the door! Is there any hope? Today, good news has come your way -- you can enter the 3 R’s! Relax! Rethink! Relief!
Here’s my biggest and only secret… drum roll please! God wants to come into NORMAL DAILY LIFE!
You thought you had to give up those few hours of sleep, didn’t you? To feel God’s presence, you thought you had to have complete and utter quiet, didn’t you? I suppose you thought you had to kick out the children for an hour or so, but couldn’t bring yourself to do it in real life. Worse, you did do it and you became cranky through lack of sleep and the children felt kicked out, which of course they were! Maybe you were thinking of becoming a hermit! Relax and live out the ‘No Mores’! No more guilt for tired-out mums. No more pressure for over-driven mums! Kick out the guilt and preconceived ideas and start to rethink.
Rethink and let reality strike. The other day I was nursing the baby on the bed in our bedroom/kitchen, when out of the blue God said to me, “Vange, tell me what you really think.” Of course, that’s not hard for me to follow. Close friends often call me, “In Your Face ministry.” When I’d finished, God then asked me, “Do you want to hear what I really think?” I expected a follow-up of my opinions but was stunned to hear His heartbeat. “Vange, most people don’t really want to hang out with me. Oh yes, they want to meet with me and I show up and listen to their agendas, but Vange, it’s those who hang out with me who hear my secrets!”
To top that off, a few hours later I heard the words, “Hosea 6:2” echoing through my brain. I didn’t have a clue what it was and proceeded to look it up. I could hardly believe it when I read the words, “And on the third day He will raise us up so that we may live in His presence!” So there you have it! “Living” and “Presence” -- a synonymous duo, not one without the other! They’re twins!
Traditionally, spending time with God is called “devotions”. Does this mean we devote only a slot of time to God? This is selling yourself short! God wants all our time, not a small bit! We need to go from the “once a day meeting” mentality to a “living” mentality! It’s the difference between washing your hands once a day or swimming in the purest clean river. It’s the difference between finding your way through the woods by random flashes of lightning or with daylight streaming all around you!
Before you call me a heretic, let me say that this is not to negate those special times alone with God. But, what He really wants to do is ‘hang out!” The King wants to LIVE with you!
How Vange? How? How do you have time to hear God, read His Word and talk with Him with seven little children around you all day? As easy as pie! We can hear Him from morning to night. In fact, as each child has entered our family, we have experienced a greater dimension of God’s presence in our home.
Instead of going off alone, have God come to your life! It’s like having your best friend around all day with whom you share secrets -- and so it is with God! Forget your lists and agendas to Him. See if He has anything to say to you first. Rekindle your friendship with Him. People don’t fall out of love. They fall out of friendship first! Renew that friendship and watch His presence come!
Open your eyes in the morning and say, “Speak to me Lord” and listen while you nurse your baby! I have Bibles open everywhere. I have one in the stroller, one next to the couch, one open at the washing machine and one at the kitchen sink. Say, “Speak Lord” as you read two verses at the washing machine, swallow that as you fold the clothes, and grab a few more as you cook lunch, or do the night dishes. With several ‘cheap’ Bibles around, you will have a ‘wealth’ of daily relationship, unmatched by any experience you’ve had yet! Adam and Eve “walked and talked” with God. If it was all right for Adam and Eve to do two things at once, then it’s all right for me.
Let Him talk to you as you wash the dishes. Did you hear Him say something? What did you tell Him? You’re doing great, but don’t leave Him at the sink! Take Him to sort out the squabble! Yes, I know, it was pretty hard to scream with God there, wasn’t it? He spoke to you about your children’s destinies then, didn’t He? Yes, those little fighting spirits can be harnessed for His glory, not squashed.
Why don’t you move over a bit and let the Lord sit awhile with you as you cuddle your toddler. Hmmm, look down to your right, the Bible’s open right there. He wants to say something special to you right now. “Wow, Lord, this is too good to be true!”
Okay, you’re getting the picture. Now let the children call the shots for a bit. They love “family time with God”. We usually end up piled on the floor, loving God and letting God speak to us as we play music (without words). Sometimes we play the track from The Man From Snowy River. Now don’t get me wrong, these are children and a few kicks, ouches, squirms, yells and noise are not going to scare God off! He loves it. He lets them be children, and we should too. In fact, God loves to play! So get ready to ‘play out’ the greatest passion play of your soul! What relief!
Relief is “His presence”, or simultaneously referred to in scripture as “His face” in our lives! His presence leads us into His rest! If anything violates His presence, it violates His rest. This is the stuff that energizes and calms us at the same time. For God and man, it is the marriage of His and our heart yearnings, for we can’t live without Him and He longs to live with us! It is the tremendous love affair of His face in our homes!
The call goes out – “Who is she who will devote herself to be close to me?” (2)
The Cry of the King - “Come into my chambers!” (3)
The Lover’s heartbeat – “Let me hear your voice!” (4)
And we respond – “YES, Lord, come and turn your face to our place!
What more can I say? Talk about an “In Your Face ministry!”
Your friend, Vangi
While writing this article my oldest son asked, “What are you writing about, Mum?”
“Enjoying the presence of the Lord in our home,” I replied.
“Tell them to turn off the TV!” he answered.
Primm Springs, Tennessee, USA
- Exodus 33:13-16
- Jeremiah 30:21 NIV, “For who is he will devote himself to be close to Me, declares the Lord.” (James 4:8)
- Song of Solomon 1:4
- Song of Solomon 2:14