Practicing His Presence

Ok
so you probably have heard this term before, “practicing His Presence”

But I had not heard of it until today when my pastor mentioned it to me….

It is a good process of thinking. Basically, you practice God’s presence in your life when you

acknowledge that He is present and there in your life.

Once you acknowledge that God is present in your life

you inevitably would live differently. Imagine God is watching your every move…

This way of thinking is an interesting one and a good one.

It should change sinful behavior.

Anyways, just a thought.

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Another Experiencing God moment

God is not glorified by making our plans succeed. He receives glory when His will is done in His way.

Understanding what God is about to do where I am is more important than telling God what I want to do for Him.

This part of submission is hard for me. I get these cool, big dreams and I want to do them for God, but that is not how it works. God will come to me. I need to relax and submit to God.

If the dreams are God’s dreams and He wants to work through me to do something I could never do than that is what is suppose to Happen. That is how God will work. He has His own wa and His own agenda! God will not adjust to me. I must adjust to Him.

Experiencing God moment

“We do not sit down and dream what we want to do for God and then call God in to help us accomplish it.” (From Experiencing God: Blackaby and King)

“It’s not a question of what you can do for me…what can I do for you, My King?” (Tree63)

I am guilty of these things. I will sometimes find myself dreaming of what I think God wants and then I will ask God for help doing it….

But it does not work that way. We must die to ourself and submit to God and what He is doing. We must die to ourself and let God do what He is going to do (not what we want to do or what we thing He is going to do) and then we must join Him in HIS work!

Freight work

There are a lot of LTL/Freight companies out there:

Not to mention several other smaller ones…

Anyway despite the bad economy, people still want freight and they want to ship it.

With that said, my company UPS Freight is hiring. If you are interested in working for us check out UPSFreightjobs.com

Tell them Alex Dolin told you about the job.

Click on “Dockworker” and if you live in Columbus, Oh….you can work with me and we can talk theology!

Alex

The word "Christian."

“It is used these days in a very loose sense by a great many people. Some people mean no more by it than a person who attempts to live a good life. In that sense I suppose there would be Christians of all sects and creeds; but I do not think that is the proper sense of the word, if only because it would imply that all the people who are not Christians — all the Buddhists, Confucians, Mohammedans, and so on — are not trying to live a good life.

I do not mean by a Christian any person who tries to live decently according to his lights. I think you must have a certain amount of definite belief before you have a right to call yourself a Christian. The word does not have quite such a full-blooded meaning now as it had in the times of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. In those days, if a man said that he was a Christian, it was known what he meant. You accepted a whole collection of creeds which were set out with great precision, and every single syllable of those creeds you believed with the whole strength of your convictions.”

This is a quote from “Why I am Not a Christian” by Bertrand Russell written in 1927.

Wow, in 1927! Today these words ring even more true!

People in general, (Christians included) do not know what it means to be a Christian. The word does not have the same strength or meaning it used to! There is a lack of understanding of the basic orthodox doctrines of Christianity. In 2009, our culture is even more relativistic and post-modern than it was in 1927.

What does it mean to be a disciple?

When one chooses to be a Christian, one becomes a follower of God. There are things that our leader, God, asks us to do as followers.These conditions of being a follower or disciple of God are not always easy. God wants a real relationship with his followers and when believers meet these conditions spiritual growth occurs. Personal spiritual growth is really important in being a disciple.

According to Barna success in making true disciples is: Seeing “men, women, boys and girls committed to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and growing daily in their knowledge, love, and service to Him.” Barna calls for Christians to single-mindedly focus, day to day on Jesus. The kind of obsession for Jesus that disciples have is all-consuming. They are passionately devoted to Him. They make a lifelong commitment to a lifestyle of following Jesus. But the personal devotion is only the half of it. And my favorite analogy is that of a coin. On one side disciples are committed to personal growth. But on the other side of the coin disciples are committed to sharing and multiplying themselves.

Some of the conditions of being a follower of Jesus are self-denial, renunciation, “leaving it all,” steadfastness, fruitfulness, and love. Jesus taught that God does not like half-heartedness. God desires a real relationship with his followers therefore it is imperative that followers show that they are serious about their faith and put God first. There could be many people who say that they are Christians and many people who want to follow Jesus but they are not truly followers because they are not willing to follow through on these conditions.

The first condition, self-denial, is setting aside one’s own plans, goals, desires in life and following God’s instead. This is one of the hardest things about being a disciple of Jesus. Our life is no longer ours, but Christ’s. This first thing disciples must do according to Barna, fits here. It is “disciples must be assured of salvation by grace alone.” The “getting in” to the discipleship club is that we realize that it is not about us. Nothing we can do will save us. It is only by God’s grace, therefore it is essential that we deny ourselves completely. Being a disciple of Christ means that we will have to choose between the desires of our own flesh and the plans of God.

The second condition, renunciation, means to reject or renounce earthly pleasures. It is a sacrifice. Take the idea of self-denial and step it up to the next level. Not only are you denying your own plans and pleasures but now also rejecting all earthly pleasures and desires as well. Remember God wants all of us in our relationship to Him, not just to be compartmentalized to Sunday mornings only. The second thing disciples must do is “learn and understand principles of Christian living.” If we reject the earthly things we need to replace the void in our lives. Understanding the essentials of Christianity is absolutely necessary to living (a Christian lifestyle) practically and passing it on. Instead of indoctrinating ourselves with the world’s ways we are to learn the ways of being a Christian.

The next condition of “leaving it all” builds on the same ideas of self-denial and renunciation. We are taught by Jesus to follow him. Not to follow our own ways, not to follow the ways of this world, instead we are told to “leave all” behind. This might mean leaving behind other “important” things like family, friends, or a career to do God’s will instead. Luke chapter fourteen tells us to leave behind our family, our possessions and instead take up our crosses to follow Christ! And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple (v. 27).” “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple (v. 33).” “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple(v. 26).”

The fourth condition is steadfastness. Steadfastness means to be dedicated, devoted, loyal, and fixed on a goal. When it comes to being a disciple we are to be fixed on following Christ. We are to align our thoughts, doctrines, and teachings up with what Christ teaches in the Bible. The third thing disciples must do is “obey Gods commands.” (John 14). Perfection is not required but dedicated devotion and steadfast commitment towards following the laws is required!
We are to be fruitful. Christians will bear fruits of the Spirit. This also progresses from being steadfast. If someone is steadfast in their faith, abides in Christ, and is serious about their relationship with God then they will inevitably become more like Christ. This means they will act and behave differently. They will love. They will have peace, joy, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. The fourth, fifth, and sixth thing disciples must do fit under being fruitful. Disciples must represent God as His ambassadors. Those who are not Christians will know that you are a disciple because of your fruit and lifestyle. Disciples must love and serve others (John 13). Disciples must reproduce themselves in Christ.

In other words, if a disciple is truly a disciple, he is sharing Jesus with others. He is so zealous about Jesus that he wants (and is) telling others about Him! He is reproducing himself. He is reproducing his passion for Christ and setting other’s ablaze in that same passion!

In conclusion, being a disciple means being a zealot for Christ. It means giving everything over. Not only is it surrender but it is a new life. It is a new life in Christ. It is about maintaining a passion for my first love. Being a disciple to me means dedicating my all to Christ. I love Christ. For all that He has done for me, I want to serve Him. I want to learn from Him. I read and study about Him in the Word to become more like Him. When my focus is on Him, my life is transformed. I am serving and loving others. I am growing my own faith, but I am also telling others about him. Being a disciple is a dedication to a day-to-day, moment-by-moment lifestyle.

Barna, George. Growing True Disciples. Waterbrook Press: Colorado Springs, CO, 2001.