September 2, 2013

Psalm 16:11 
You make known to me the path of life;
 in your presence there is fullness of joy;
 at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Last week we talked about the benefits of living in Jesus’presence. This week we’re going to begin looking at “how”we can make Jesus a reality in our lives daily.
Because life is made up of many different moments and experiences, we can look at this from lots of angles. There are …
  • Regular, everyday moments (some good and some just in-between or “okay”)
  • Moments of everyday frustration, impatience or small anxieties of life
  • Moments of waiting or exercising restraint (in the good and bad)
  • Life-altering moments where your faith is truly tested and you’re rocked to your very core
Whether you’re facing the good, the bad or the in-between, the goal should not be getting to the “end result,” but rather living fully ALIVE in Him in the moment. Otherwise, we spend our lives frustrated and devoid of joy, simply waiting until the storm passes or the next phase of life begins. God did not intend for us to live our lives like zombies going through life like dead women walking. His plan is one of life, joy and peace in the midst of it all!
Today, let’s focus on those regular, everyday moments (the good and in-between or “okay” moments). Now you may be thinking that it’s odd to have to learn how to be fully ALIVE in Him when things are going well, but actually it is in those moments when it’s often the most difficult to remain in Him.
Read the following verses and think about your everyday life.
John 15:4-5 – Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
The word for abide in these verses is meno. It means to stay, remain, continue, dwell, be present.
According to this verse, I am to dwell with, stay and be present with the vine, Jesus, because apart from Him I can’t do anything.
Galatians 5:16 – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
The word for walk in that verse is peripateo, which means to make one’s way, to progress, regulate one’s life, to conduct one’s self.
This tells me that I am to go about my everyday life “by the Spirit.” And what does that mean? From this verse it means that if I am going about my day in the Spirit, I will not gratify the desires of my flesh. So the Holy Spirit will convict me of sin and help me to walk about my day living ALIVE in the Spirit and not the flesh.
But what else is the Holy Spirit to do for us as we walk (peripateo) about our daily lives?
So I am to go about my days (good and in-between days) in the very presence of God receiving life, comfort, wisdom, hope, freedom, help and producing all kinds of fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control).
In light of all of this, don’t you think that if you are including the presence of God in your joyful moments that your joys are going to be doubled because you’re remaining in HIM? I do!
And for those “okay” times, don’t you think doing this will add a little life to those moments too? Definitely!
Below are some practical ways that members of our Sweet Connections panel shared that can help you live fully ALIVE in Him in those everyday moments of life.
Casey Willis shared that rather than having one specific prayer time each day, she liked to have an open-ended prayer time with God. As she goes about her daily life, she talks to God as though He is standing right beside her. She also tries to choose “the better thing” described in Luke 10:41-42 as she goes about her day, remembering to reflect on God’s Word and the power it has in her life!
Caroline Daniel worships God in nature and with praise music as a way of remaining ALIVE in HIM. Worshiping this way ushers her into the very presence of the Lord and is a reminder that He is with her always!
Suella Jones loves to serve others, and in doing so she finds herself in the arms of Jesus. There is no greater joy than helping others by showing them God’s love. This brings Suella enthusiasm and energy as God continues to use her at any age and stage of life!
Leigh Ann Keels says that God’s Word is a constant reminder to her that Jesus is with her. She has seen God use His Word to minister to her in the good times and the hard times. Memorizing and meditating on a specific verse helps her remember that His presence is there!
Questions for you …
  • What do you do in your daily life to focus your thoughts on Jesus, especially when things are going well?
  • Will you remember to include Him in ALL that you do by inviting Him to be a part of your everyday life?
  • What will you do today to live fully ALIVE In Jesus’presence?
Next week, we’ll look at the everyday frustrations and small anxieties of life and discover how we can all live fully ALIVE in HIM during those life moments as well.
Jacqueline C. Heider 
Director of Discipleship & Women’s Ministry