Walking in God’s Presence: A Short Devotional
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 few 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 home under a cozy blanket or at a cherry-red stoplight.
Walking with God isn’t limited to walking, though. After all, what about those with physical limitations who don’t have that ability? Walking with God is about accepting the invitation to keep company with Him. As we keep company with our Savior, we become more aware of His presence in everyday life 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 God’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 an awareness of God’s presence brings us intimacy and abundant life that isn’t possible apart from a relationship with Him.
As we keep company with our Savior, we become more aware of His presence in everyday life.
There will always be activities and anxieties that feel urgent. May we learn the slow, steady practice of walking in God’s presence 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 pray that in 2023 we carry a willingness to drop our nets when He calls.
Jessup University aims to educate transformational leaders for God’s glory through Christ-centered higher education. We do this by living in Christ, learning in community, and leading in culture. Read more about our mission here.