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Always in His Presence

Sunlight beaming through some forest trees


In Ephesians 1:4 we’re told that the Christian has been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world in order to be holy and blameless before God.  Ultimately the only thing that matters is how we live and how we appear before him. 


Those words “before him” are powerful.  All of life now – and throughout eternity – is lived before him.  Our primary orientation should not be toward the world or focused on its approval.  Our thoughts should not be directed toward gaining the favor of others or seeking their approval.  Our focus rather should be on God and God alone.


Our lives should never be a performance before men, but rather a humble service in the sight of God.  Our prayers must not be directed toward others with a view to sounding spiritual, but rather with words addressed to God.  Few people truly pray in public.  They lecture, review, announce, teach, preach and perform – but seldom do they actually pray.


Prayer is our humble worship in the presence of God.  Prayer is our dependence upon him as we seek his favor, blessing and help.  Prayer must be solely focused on and directed toward God. 


We are always in God’s presence.  What others think does not matter.  We need to live, breath, serve, pray, worship and work knowing that we are always serving the Lord.     


Whether serving in the church or at the workplace or in the community, we must serve in a manner that in no way curries the favor of others.  We must work and do a good job for one reason alone:  we are serving the Lord.  Always.  Regardless of what we are doing, we are serving the Lord.


A man chopping some wood

Paul put it this way in Colossians, chapter 3: “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (verses 22-24)


Paul does not say that we should try to serve the Lord – or that we should work “as if” serving the Lord; he says we are serving the Lord.  Entering financial data on a form, teaching a class, cleaning up the church kitchen, attending a business conference, mowing the lawn, speaking to a child about honoring God - - whatever you are doing, you are serving the Lord.  The believer has no choice!  He is always serving the Lord.


In some ways this concept is encouraging; in others it is sobering.  It is encouraging to know that our labor always has value, meaning and significance.  On the other hand, it is sobering in that God sees our motives as much as our labor.  He sees not only the work of our hands, but the attitude of our hearts.  Hebrews 4:13 reminds us that “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”


Someone once asked Daniel Webster to identify the greatest thought he ever had.  Webster simply replied, “My greatest thought is of my accountability to God.” 


It should be our greatest thought as well.




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