My friends and I try to spend time each day just “being” in God’s presence. This time spent with God is different from those prayer times where we talk to God or listen to Him. Being with God is letting Him know, “I want to sit still with You and just be.” And then, simply being.
Sometimes people ask me if “being” is doing nothing. I assure them that, no, being in God’s presence is definitely not the same as doing nothing. Being is a very intentional choice to sit with God, focus on Him, fill yourself up with His presence, and enjoy just being with Him. In other words, being is a very definite action.
In the early fall, I spent some time outdoors just being in God’s presence. After that time with Him, I reflected on what had just transpired. I wanted to make a note of some things that had taken place during that time of “just being” and how it had affected me.
As I sat there focusing on God’s presence, I became more aware that I am God’s daughter. I breathed in His handiwork all around me, as I saw His majesty, creativity, His love that went into all creation. I was able to worship Him with my whole being. I breathed in His healing presence, as His presence cleansed me from toxicity absorbed through the trials of daily life and the noise of the world around me.
I know I was also affecting the atmosphere with His peace that flowed through me, even as His presence stirred my inner joy in awareness of His creation of me.
I felt how the birds singing around me and all of nature were teaching me how to worship Him. I breathed in a deep feeling of security, of belonging to God. I became aware that this sense of belonging can be shared with others. As that sense of belonging grows deeper in my heart, I am able to help others recognize how they too belong to God securely and completely.
Those are just a few things I was aware of after my quiet time of sitting and “being” with God. But that was merely a glimpse. So much more took place that I can’t even identify.
When we spend quiet time with God, we aren’t aware of how much He is doing in us. We often see it later, as the good fruit He has nurtured begins to grow and become visible in our lives. Perhaps we encounter a stressful situation later in the day, but we are at peace. And we are able to help others from that place of peace. God planted those seeds of peace in us during our quiet time with Him, while we were just being.
Quiet time is not about what we can sense is happening. It’s simply about focusing our whole being on God. It’s not about what He does – although He is doing many things in us. Instead, it’s just about being with Him.
Even so, I wrote this reflection purposely trying to be aware of some things that took place. (Notice I wrote it after my time sitting with God, not during.) I wrote it because I wanted to share an answer to the question: Is “being” the same as doing nothing? The answer is evident from these reflections. Being with God is definitely not nothing. It is a very big something of spending time with the Creator of the universe. The fact that we are invited to spend time with Him, that He desires to be with us, blows my mind every time.
In sharing these reflections, I want to be careful not to minimize the depths of what actually takes place during our quiet time with God. These reflections are just a glimpse of how being is absolutely an action that allows so many things to take place – some we can reflect on afterwards, as I have, and many more things we will only know by the good fruit we see in our daily lives.
God is with us all the time. He never leaves us. But often our thoughts, our actions, our focus are not toward Him. The intentional practice of spending quiet time with God, deciding just to sit still and be with Him, helps us redirect toward His presence which is always with us.
Copyright © 2019 by Janet Eriksson
Janet Eriksson is an intercessor, writer, and teacher in Dahlonega, Georgia. She loves conversation with friends, front porch swings, sweet tea, and spending time on lakes and rivers. The author of nine books and editor of many more, Janet blogs and teaches at https://adventureswithgod.blog/. She enjoys volunteering with Transformations. Janet received her M. Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary.