Being Aware of God's Presence

Commentary by Ben Bowen King

“With You By My Side”
by Justin Graves
from Heart Open Wide

In some denominations, there’s something called the “backslider’s two-step.”  And most Christians, regardless of where they end up Sunday morning, have done that dance.  It starts when everything is going great.  At those times, a quick prayer and maybe a pass through the scriptures fills the spiritual bill.

But then adversity bites and we put on our dancing shoes.

Dance Step One:  You put in some serious “knee-time,” asking God to take care of the situation.

Dance Step Two:  You try to figure out what happened to your relationship with God in the first place.

Then there’s the optional shuffle step where you bargain with God, promising something along these lines:  “Dear God, I won’t ever forget about Your presence again, if You’ll get me out of this fix."

Praise and worship singer Justin Graves sums up the “backslider’s two-step” in “With You By My Side.”  And while praise and worship artists take a lot of guff for simplifying complex theology into an “easy-to-sing chorus,” Graves offers a basic truth that all Christians know but often forget — God is always by our side. And in this case, it’s not a bad idea to repeat that to ourselves over and over again, as ”With You By My Side” does.  Sometimes repetition trumps deep theology.

Let’s do this one “praise and worship” style like you’d see in a mega-church:   Imagine putting up a “power point presentation” on the wall about your relationship with God.  List the times you have desperately called on God’s help in the last few years.  Next to each of those instances, add a line (in imaginary italics) about your relationship with God immediately prior to that time.

Did you do the “backslider’s” two-step?  If you did, how long did it take you to realize, God was  by your side all along?

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