Using our faith in everyday life.
Engage with God in life.
Recognising God’s presence in our lives.
Believe in God. Gain positive changes in life.
This particular article is the first in the website section, “God in life.” See the Menu Bar/ Navigation Bar above please.
This (God in life) section, and the previous “God in church” section, both support the website’s primary or main section, “Journey of faith.” (Again see the Menu Bar above.) Our ‘reward’ for taking that journey is explained in the article, “What does faith offer us?“
During my professional auditing career I relied on disciplined analysis and evaluation to succeed. I simply say that I am ‘driven’ to investigate ‘any stuff I don’t yet understand’. (It’s just in my DNA.) And when I decided to trial Christianity seriously, by applying it to my life and joining the Church, I certainly used my professional skills to do so. I can now report just how successful that journey was, after thirty plus years of practise. Actually, I’ve got to say that it amazes me!
And if YOU are a ‘thinker’ like me, I will say that it won’t challenge your journey of faith at all. No, it will actually help you! Please note that I was supported by a qualified team when developing this website. The majority of the team members are Christian clergy. (To read more about the who’s, how’s and why’s of this website please click here.)
This particular article explains how we can recognise God’s presence, or his existence, by deliberately ‘engaging with him’ in life. And when I write, “engaging with him”, I mean use the Bible-based ways that are available to connect with him: praying for his help with things, watching out (or even asking) for his guidance, trusting him to help us when those ‘hard times’ arrive in our lives. Yes, by engaging with the Lord through these examples of faith and trust, we are simply opening ourselves to his ‘grace‘.
2. GOD’S GRACE SUPPLIES PROOF
I maintain that the Bible explains to us: ‘who’ God is, what he has done for us, what he expects of us, and how we can walk through life (and beyond) with him … to our benefit. And it can be proven, to a large degree, by simply putting our Bible-based faith to the test.
Essentially, I came to find that the use of faith in everyday life can provide us with the opportunity to experience God’s presence there. That is, as he attempts to provide his loving care; his ‘grace‘, to each of us. God proves that he does exist, there in our lives, and as a result we ‘benefit‘ from his gifts of grace. Without doubt to those who know him, he is a God of both love and action. More on that later.
Yes, God’s grace can supply us with all the ‘proof we need‘ to believe he is the ‘real deal’.
3. CAN WE IGNORE THE CHURCH?
Look, you may well be asking right now – if it is possible to build belief in God by recognising his presence in our day-to-day lives, are there good reasons why we should join a church? Well, the answer is a firm “YES” from my point of view. And trust me, I learnt that the hard way myself! Have a look at the article, “Too good to be true?” for an explanation.
For ‘starters’, our church will lead us as we gather a Bible-based understanding of our loving God and how to be faithful to him. You see, we need that faith knowledge if we are ever going to come to believe he is real: a genuine positive force in our lives and the lives of others. And there is much more! Keep reading please.
And to varying degrees, dependent on what ‘type of church‘ we attend, we can certainly witness and experience evidence of God’s presence there as well. I bravely wrote those words … knowing that you may just be scratching your head right now. But here’s a ‘curve ball’! Some of the ‘most powerful evidence‘ of God’s very existence is, for example, available to each of us in the Church’s Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement. Absolutely!
PLEASE, also see the brief article, “Why we go to church”, if you have any doubts at all on the need to go to church.
4. THE USE OF FAITH IN PERSPECTIVE
But, getting back to the subject matter of this article, how do we start this use of ‘faith’ within everyday life? Well, most importantly, we must just take the first step, no matter how small it may be. We firstly trust or suppose through our ‘faith‘ that God is there. Then gradually we move on to fully using the two-way ‘personal relationship‘ that we eventually find is available to us. The Bible and our ‘church of choice‘ will lead us through this process.
4.1 Life changing potential
Basically, we look for God within our lives. We open ourselves TO him and fully engage WITH him. And when we do, his life changing power; his grace or loving care can be released there. Of course, by necessity there are limits on what we can expect from God in this regard. I definitely make all this stuff clear later.
The fact of the matter is that when we do open our lives to him, in this manner within our journey of Christian faith, the evidence that flows to us does in turn give us rewards. So, yes we get the evidence that we need to ‘believe in him’. And we gain positive benefits in our lives from the use of faith as a result. He really does want to lovingly ‘walk’ with each of us through life! God especially wants us to ‘keep him in the loop’ during day-to-day life.
4.2 Our responsibilities
Yes, there are indeed life changing ‘benefits‘ available to practising Christians. But faith as such does come with ‘responsibilities’ on our part as well. That becomes clear as our Bible-based knowledge grows.
Again I do need to make it clear that Christian faith is not just about what we can get out of it for ourselves. No, it is not just ‘all about me!’ We consistently learn of our actual responsibilities, as practising Christians, through ‘going to church’ and of course reading the Bible.
4.3 God’s priorities for us
Before moving on I also want to make it clear that, although I know God can make our lives more purposeful and contented through our use of faith, I do NOT support the theories of “Prosperity Theology.” That theology – with Bible verses taken out of context according to my understanding and real-life experiences – suggests that we can all be totally healthy, wealthy and happy, with God’s help of course.
NO, my view of contentment in life for us Christians, as a result of our faith, does not relate to financial wealth and certainly does not guarantee continually good health. The Lord knows each one of us intimately. His plan for each of our life journeys relates to our genuine ‘needs’ and the ‘needs’ of others. It doesn’t normally relate to our own ‘wish lists’.
And to be honest, each of us must also be prepared for bad stuff to happen in life. Those issues, relating to life’s hardships, and how God can assist us when they do occur, are discussed in the articles, “Suffering and evil” and “God during hard times”.
5. RECOGNISING HIS PRESENCE IN OUR LIVES
But yes, we have to put an effort into creating that relationship with him.
Firstly, there is no other way to ‘work out’ whether he really does exist. Secondly, as I have highlighted already, we cannot receive the potential benefits of that relationship, i.e. if we do not engage with him.
5.1 Beginning to engage with him
From ‘my own‘ research and life experiences, there are two common areas where God’s presence can become evident to us within our ‘daily lives’. They are both readily available to people beginning their faith journey. The first is through recognising his ‘guiding‘ and ‘helping hand‘. The second is through the beneficial use of ‘prayers of request‘.
These areas, then, are where we can begin looking for evidence of God’s presence in our lives. Articles in this section of the website (see the Menu Bar above) discuss those Bible-based practises. I have also included some advice on how to hear God’s own ‘still small voice‘.
5.2 Evaluating our beginner results
I suggest that you please take your time to read the guidance offered, through those links above, and then put it to the test. Begin to carefully build your own ‘evidence-based‘ belief as a direct result.
Now, I mentioned above that the Church’s Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement offers what I referred to as potentially powerful, personal evidence of the Lord’s presence there; his very existence. But I have to make it clear … evidence of God’s presence in our day-to-day lives is rarely as dramatic as that.
I am referring to the beginning of our faith journey here, when engaging with God through following his guidance, making prayers of request etc. When engaging or connecting like that, it’s usually more like recognising positive things happening, ‘against the odds’, as a result of that relationship with him. And on occasions ‘strongly’ against the odds! When following his Bible-based advice, that is.
Clearly us ‘thinkers’ are not too affected when stuff like that happens once, or maybe even twice in close succession. But when continual patterns of unlikely ‘positive’ events begin to arise? Well, we start to think about it all a bit more. We question outcomes eh?
In the case of those positive faith-based events, it is generally a case of ‘more of the same’, ‘more of the same’, ‘more of the same’ and the possibilities/ probabilities that eventually arise from that. And remember my analysis and evaluation-based career. Trust me. Yes, like you, I can think!
5.3 Developing a deeper relationship
You will also notice how a number of articles, later in this section of the website, explain where God’s presence in everyday life does become the most obvious. That includes when our relationship with him grows closer. Relevant articles are: “Mature prayer”, “Trusting God day to day”, “Trusting God with your life” and even “God during hard times”.
I am suggesting that once you have built up a basic level of belief in God, it is then a good idea to take the next step. That means working towards a closer, more faithful and trusting relationship with him. And in turn that includes keeping him ‘in the loop’ within every major part of everyday life.
I believe then you WILL find that the evidence really does start to ‘stack up’.
5.4 Don’t miss out!
My opinion is that quite a few Christians never ‘completely’ take that step above. They never build the deep relationship in life that God wants to have with each of us. These people can miss out on the level of ‘contentment and purpose in life‘ that God intends us to enjoy. Yes, a very satisfying life! But, it is up to each of us to take that step if and when we feel we are ready.
Clearly the added purpose in our lives, and that contentment mentioned above that we come to enjoy, are strong evidence of that positive relationship we hold with God.
All I can say in encouragement is – based on my own decades of practise and evaluation – the effort is truly worth it!
My own evaluation of the actual outcomes of applying faith in life, and checking my results with other experienced believers, firstly made it clear to me that God will demonstrate his existence there as a result. BUT, he will make his presence all the more purposeful, beneficial and thereby obvious when we do choose to enter into a deep, trusting, faithful and committed relationship with him.
So yes, greater contentment with life is a major outcome of sound faith. Our lives are transformed substantially in a positive manner, ‘make no bones about it’. I am so confident to write this! Honestly, if I came to believe it so wholeheartedly, I am fairly sure you can too.
Yes, God’s presence in your life can become ‘patently’ clear!
Let’s get into it then! Continue to the next article, “God’s guidance”. It is the intro article for the sub section titled, “God’s guiding hand” in this “God in life” section of the website. See the Menu Bar above please.