Day 24

Walking in God’s Presence

from the The Presence of God reading plan

Genesis 5:21-24, Matthew 4:18-25, Luke 8:1-3, Luke 10:38-42, Mark 8:34-38, John 15:1-8, Galatians 5:16-26

BY Bailey Gillespie

We are called to follow Jesus and walk with Him daily, learning about life in His kingdom.

Earlier this year, I started taking long walks at a local park. Because it was springtime, the surrounding fields were vibrant and the aroma of honeysuckle lingered in the air. These walks became my evening pilgrimage. No matter how restless my heart and body became during the day, this steady, put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other rhythm of movement restored me to balance by the end of each mile. Disharmony and agitation were exchanged for peace and surrender.

During a lonely three months, Jesus kept me company on these walks. I’ve always felt closest to God in nature, and there’s something about the art of walking that draws me in even closer. Maybe it’s the sights along the way or the forward movement itself that feels like taking action. Whatever the reasons, I feel invited into something—into new ways of seeing and being that are unlike what I experience sitting under a cozy blanket or at a cherry-red stoplight.

Walking with God isn’t limited to the act of walking, though. After all, what about those who don’t have that physical capacity? Walking with God is about accepting the invitation to keep company with Him. As we intentionally keep company with our Savior, we become more aware of His presence and learn to move to the rhythms of His love.

When Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee, He called out for Peter and Andrew to follow, and the disciples “immediately… left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:20). This was an invitation into companionship with Jesus. It was an invitation into new ways of seeing and being. It required action—and not just from their feet but also from their hearts.

Jesus also called out to John and his brother James, the son of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21). He then drew those from the regions of Galilee, Jerusalem, the Decapolis, Judea, and the Jordan (v.25). You might call Him a collector of people because of how His presence compelled others to follow. Of course, this wasn’t a lust for attention; it was because there was something about Jesus’s company that transformed people.

It’s easy to grow distant and inattentive to Jesus’s presence. But because the Holy Spirit inhabits us, we know that God never leaves us. We can’t escape Him, but we can walk toward things that draw us away. This is why Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I in you” (John 15:4). Walking with awareness of God brings us intimacy and abundant life that just isn’t possible apart from a relationship with Him.

There will always be activities and anxieties that feel urgent. I hope we learn the slow, steady practice of walking with our God every hour of the day because it’s here that we grow in our relationship with Him and learn the rhythms of His love. Whatever our hands find to do, I hope we carry a willingness to drop our nets when He calls and keep company with Jesus.

Post Comments (37)

37 thoughts on "Walking in God’s Presence"

  1. Anneliese Peterson says:

    I needed that reminded.

  2. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord thank you for your word.

  3. Dezarae Dorsey says:

    I desire a constant audience with God where I’m observing him and he’s observing me.

  4. Alicia McCann says:

    Lord, may I remember to walk with awareness of you and not get so busy I forget to be in relationship with you

  5. Kathryn Green says:

    Probably my favorite devotional of this study. I resonated with baileys words regarding walking as “one foot in front of the other” a “type of action we can take”. God is so Good to abide with us. Prayers that we walk in step with the spirit today

  6. Jennifer Haines says:

    Wow. This one spoke to me. Does anyone else look upon their past or maybe even present and see works of the flesh and less fruit of the Spirit? Jokingly I think there goes my heaven, but not fully joking. How often do I let my fears and anxieties make me feel urgent and needed and do I let my outbursts of anger prevail? If I just step back, cool off, let the fruit of the Spirit fill me, maybe I can get past these struggles and feel peace and calm …

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      Had some similar thoughts as I read the Galatians passage as well. ❤️So long to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit rather than letting my anxieties/frustrations/-anger take over. Thankful that Jesus will complete that work in us as we surrender to Him. You’re not alone, sister!

  7. Gail F says:

    Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Left their father! I am convicted! Feeling responsible for my elderly mother there are times where my focus is on her and her happiness and not on Jesus and his plan for her. I must follow him.

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