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Whose presence are you in?

gods-presence-coupleHave you ever acted differently depending on whom you are hanging around?

When I was a university professor, I noticed that students were keenly aware of their language when they were in my office or in my classroom.  Many vulgarities may have entered their minds or formed on their tongues, but as they opened their mouth to verbalize them, they suddenly become aware of my presence and their mouths would close.  They realized that I didn’t appreciate those words and I in turn appreciated that they were sensitive to that.  However, once they left my presence, they would often slip back into the coarse language that is ever so common on college campuses and throughout our world.

Maybe you can remember back to your own school days.  Did you ever find yourself in the presence of someone you were trying to impress?  It was amazing to me how a male could be utterly charming in my presence and then transform back into a primitive creature once he let his guard down around his friends.  Do I even need to address dating back then?  For many, what happened in the living room while sitting under the watchful eye of parents and what happened after getting in the car were also two completely different scenarios.

Do you notice a pattern?  It is very easy to sin when we are not in the presence of someone we respect or an elder watching over us.  In fact, it may even seem desirable at the time. However, when we are in the presence of that person, our demeanor changes; we think before we speak, we consider before we act, and we control our thoughts.  You may be wondering who is going to follow you around 24-7 to keep you in check.  The answer is GOD.  He has already made a promise that he will never leave our side; he is always there:  I will never leave you nor forsake you. – Josh 1:5.

Now that we know he is constantly with us, the next question is, are you aware of his presence?  Take God with you everywhere!  When you wake up, when you’re in the car, when you’re at school, when you’re at work, when you’re playing sports, and even when you’re watching television.  He will guide and direct you.  His presence will guide you on the right path and guard you from sin.  His presence does not promise that we will never be challenged with sin, but acknowledging him will protect us from falling victim to it.

God’s presence will always be with you.  He is faithful.  We will all come across adversity and challenge, but if we stay focused on God’s presence in our lives, we will stay the course.

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! –Isaiah 26:3 (TLB)