Living in God’s Presence

Psalm 116:1-19

He has saved me from death,
     my eyes from tears,
     my feet from stumbling.
And so I walk in the LORD’s presence
     as I live here on earth!

Psalm 116:8-9

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what it means to live all of the time in God’s presence. I’m not focusing on the fact that God is always present in my life. This is a given, a wondrous implication of God’s grace. He is always with me.

But am I always with him? To be sure, since God is with me, then I am with him. But I am wondering not so much about this reality as I am about my awareness of it. Am I living each moment with a sense of God’s presence in my life?

The author of Psalm 116 is doing this very thing. He says: “I walk in the LORD’s presence as I live here on earth!” (116:9). Notice that he isn’t living “before God’s face,” as the Hebrew might be literally rendered, only when doing obviously religious things, like praying, attending weekly services, and reading the Scriptures. Rather, the sense of this verse is that the psalmist is living with a sense of God’s presence throughout his life on earth.

Notice, too, that the psalm writer is not doing this in order to earn God’s favor. Rather, he is doing so in response to what God has done for him already: “He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the LORD’s presence as I live here on earth!” (116:8-9). Living before God each day is a response to his gracious salvation.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What helps you to be aware of God’s presence in your life? Are you ever aware of God’s presence as you’re doing your work? What difference does this make?

PRAYER: O Lord, how I thank you for the reminder of Psalm 116. I want to walk in your presence each moment of each day. I yearn to learn how to be aware of you, not just when I’m focusing fully on you, but also when I’m doing all the other things in my life.

Help me, Lord, to live in your presence when I’m sorting through my email. Help me to live in your presence when I lead a meeting. Help me to be aware of you when I’m talking with a friend. Help me to attend to you when I’m having dinner with my family...and in all the other actions of daily life. Amen.