When Nancy Burphy spoke about her philosophies, the most personally challenging one for me was, “It’s virtually impossible to linger in God’s presence and remain the same.” This is where I struggle. I often feel like I am remaining the same, so what does that mean?
When we linger in God’s presence, He will change us. He will work from the inside out. When this happens, we can feel it. When God reshapes us, there should be visible evidence of transformation. But life is still life—we hurt others and we get hurt.How do we live a life that shows change?
I Peter 1:16 says, “Be Holy for I am Holy.” Is this even attainable? At times “being holy” seems hypocritical. We can draw peace when we understand that we are not perfect, we will make mistakes. But God looks at the intention of our hearts, despite these mistakes. Holiness is not about action, but the desire of our hearts.
These are all questions that I wrestle with, because at the end of the day, to be like Jesus (lingering in His presence) means to not hold grudges, to forgive everyone, and to remain positive. The easy thing is to be human—to be angry or snap back. At the end of the day, who does it really hurt? There must be a balance of having a heart with holy intention and the actions proving it.
In I Samuel 16:7 it says, “God does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Too many times we hold others to the standard of expectations that we put on ourselves. We as “man” cannot see the heart, so we judge when we should be loving.
Lingering in God’s presence isn’t about the outward actions that others see, it’s about whether or not we are consumed with Jesus’ love and are showing that in our lives. If we are lingering in Jesus’ presence, both our heart and actions should align.
Christians can get it wrong when we only see actions and assume that we are holier then others, but this mindset does not align with the message of Jesus.
Executive Coordinator – God of Hope