One aspect of real faith is a constant awareness of God's divine presence
throughout the various routines of daily life. In Paul's sermon on Mar's Hill in
ancient Athens, he told the idolaters about the true and living God. He said,
"God who made the world and all things in it... Lord of heaven and earth... He
Himself gives to all life and breath and all things... He is not far from each
one of us for in Him we live and move and exist..." (excerpts from Acts
17:24-28). How fortunate is the person who has developed within himself or
herself this consciousness of God.
It is easy for such a one to pray because God is near (1 Pet. 3:12). Fears and
anxieties are greatly reduced and replaced with confidence and purpose (Psa.
46:1). The power of temptation is greatly reduced (Heb. 4:13) and thanksgiving
is easy and joyful (James 1:17). This kind of faith obviously makes for a
calmer, happier human being - one that is capable of great satisfaction and
contentment. Reverence for Almighty God does not diminish from a person's well
being, but rather makes for an abundant life - now and in the age to come. As
Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly." (John
Suppose God suddenly demanded that we repay Him for all that He provides for us.
Suppose He said if payment was not made, that He would withdraw all those things
that, up to this point, at least, He has given freely. If He sent us a bill, how
could we even hope to pay it?
For example, the Bible teaches that God prepared the light and the sun (Psa.
74:6). Suppose He threatened to turn them off if we did not pay within 30 days.
The book of Job asks the question, "Were He to snatch them away, who could
restrain Him?" (Job 9:12). And what if payment were due for our bodies which He
designed? The Psalmist acknowledges "I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psa.
139:14). And who can put a price tag on love, joy and peace? Can we repay Him
for the air that we breathe and the earth upon which we live? And the value of
all these is small when compared to the life which Jesus offered up for us on
the cross to secure our redemption. What if God, fed up with all the mocking and
irreverence and blasphemy, just said "pay up!"
Fortunately, God has not asked for remuneration, but He has commanded that we
honor Him as God; to respect Him, obey Him and love Him (Eccl. 12:13; Matt. 7:21
and 1 John 5:3). In fact, respecting, obeying and loving God are all related -
you really do not have one without the others. He is deserving of our complete
devotion and undying gratitude.
It helps to always maintain that consciousness of God and all that He is, and
what He deserves from us. He is not far away at all.
By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 10.6; June 2003