For those of you who are parents, I'm sure you've noticed that children always have a way of finding their parents. If they had a bad dream, they know that they can find you in your own bed (or if they wake up crying you will come to them). If they hurt themselves, they know to come running to you. If they are lost, they know that if they start to cry for you, you will find them. They also know that if they hold your hand in a crowded place, they will not lose you. There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling a parent has when they realize that their child is lost, and the great joy we experience when we find them is overwhelming. In fact, we would prefer not to lose our children and we try to teach them safety so it doesn't happen. The Bible teaches us what we can do to stay with God. God refers to Himself as our Heavenly Father and just like earthly parents, He doesn't want us to get lost and He is there when we call on Him. But what can we do to keep from getting lost in the first place? David wrote a short psalm about what it takes to stay in God's presence. Please use the link and read Psalm 15.
The description in that psalm sounds like a perfect person, doesn't it? In that list we see a lot of things that tempt us and can make us loosen our grip and pull away from our loving Father's hand. You know how a toddler is pretty sure they're big enough to be on their own and do everything they can to pull their hand out of yours? They just want to go see the pretty, shiny object that is over there! That is the same thing we are doing when we begin to let the sinful things lure us away from God's direction. The minute we begin to pay more attention to those things and decide that we have to have it, we are pulling ourselves out of God's loving presence. Those sinful things do not belong in His courts and we are leaving when we go to participate in them. The problem is, the minute we leave His presence, we are also leaving all those incredible promises for joy, peace, protection, refreshment, and so much more behind with Him.
We are also told in the Bible of God's loving mercy and forgiveness. He forgives us through Jesus! That is amazing! With that forgiveness, God wants us to leave those things behind and stay with Him in His presence. There is so much that is promised to the one who seeks His presence that I just wonder why I am so easily distracted by other things. After all, He is my Father, my Creator, my Savior, and my Lord. How could I forget all that He has done and all He has promised to go to what doesn't even belong in my life anymore? Focusing on who He is and what He has done and what He has promised to do is what helps me keep my eyes off the tempting things of the world that don't provide any satisfaction to my soul.
What are the things that so easily make you pull away from God's presence? Pray and ask God to give you strength and perspective when those temptations come.
This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday.