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Discerning God’s Presence in Everyday Life

Holy Spirit

Discerning God’s Presence in Everyday Life

Our day-to-day lives are mostly spent doing ordinary, routine activities such as working, sleeping, eating, commuting, doing household chores, and maintaining personal hygiene. The few hours, if any, that remain are normally dedicated to family, friends, hobbies, entertainment, and spiritual pursuits.[1] It is in this last category (spiritual pursuits) that our Christian culture has usually counseled us to develop our faith and pursue God’s presence and kingdom. While practices such as Scripture reading and study, prayer and meditation, and fellowship and service to others are vitally important for our Christian experience, they generally are not incorporated into the remainder of our day.

Yet, if we are to live entirely for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31Romans 12:11 Peter 4:11), then the twenty or so hours we dedicate daily to mundane tasks and demands should be as spiritually significant as our “special times” with the Lord. Thus, a fundamental aspect of our Christianity must be discerning the presence of God and His kingdom in our everyday lives.

If this is true, why do so many of us overlook this down-to-earth spirituality and only seek spiritual nourishment in the little free time we have each day? One possible reason is our tendency to take everyday activities for granted because of their sameness and repetition. In general, the everyday is ignored until it becomes a problem. Since we find nothing remarkable in the ordinary, we conclude that it has no spiritual value.

As a result, many of us seek out extraordinary experiences in our limited free moments. By doing this, we too readily place our Christian experience into the category of the unusual and, thereby, overlook the valuable spiritual dimension of everyday life. Both orientations, however, are vital. Just as we are to pursue and hopefully encounter the extraordinary (supernatural manifestations of God’s love and kingdom rule on earth), we are also to discern the presence of God in the mundane and humdrum activities of life.

 

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