The Expository Files

 God Consciousness

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 10:10).

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
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 From Expository Files 10.6; June 2003