What Believers Need: God Awareness

Posted on July 21, 2020


By David Ettinger

Too Many Distractions
This is such a distraction-filled world! More and more I’m finding it difficult to stay focused on the things of God. I used to consume large chunks of Scripture in single readings, but hardly do so anymore. There’s so much good stuff on social media, and I’m not turning off my phone when I know I should. Just one more YouTube video … I tell myself, and that usually leads to three more.

Then things get worse. I really should be reading my Bible right now, but I’m tired, I tell myself. How about I pop in my “Singing in the Rain” DVD and come back to the Bible later? That never works. Can you relate to any of this?

The Problem
I’m not focusing as I used to. I’m not focusing because I’m not giving God the honor He deserves. I never used to struggle with my focus on God; He was my priority.

The problem is “God awareness” – specifically, the lack of it. Believers should be living their lives with God foremost in their hearts and thoughts. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33 to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness …” Am I seeking God above all things as I used to. Not when I’m choosing “Singing in the Rain” over the Bible.

Proverbs 3:6 says this regarding the supremacy God should hold in the lives of believers: “in all your ways submit to him.” Obviously, I can use improvement in this area; what about you?

And here’s one more to mull: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord” (1 Peter 3:15). How do you know if you’re doing this? One sure way is by your actions throughout the day. How much time do you give God? How much regard do you have for Him? How aggressive are you in determining to honor the Lord during driving time, conversations, and dealings with others?

God awareness should be a priority for believers, and we definitely need more of it.

A Great Example
So, what does a life of God awareness look like? A great example is Joseph, the Hebrew cruelly sold by his brothers into Egyptian slavery at age 17, and suffered injustice after injustice.

Three illustrations of Joseph’s extraordinary God awareness stand out.

The first is when Joseph was in charge of the household of an Egyptian official named Potiphar. The mistress of the house, Potiphar’s wife, took a keen interest in the handsome young man and tried to seduce him. His reply to her is praiseworthy: “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). In such a difficult position, Joseph didn’t panic or try to reason his way out of it. Rather, God was foremost in his heart and mind, and Joseph’s primary concern was God’s honor. He put God above himself.

hand Bible

The second illustration comes when, following 13 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Joseph was summoned to Pharaoh’s court to interpret the king’s dream. When Pharaoh asks Joseph if he had the ability to interpret the dream, rather than taking the glory for himself, Joseph humbly declared: “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires” (Genesis 41:16). To Joseph, even in this monumental moment of his life, God came first. His God awareness defied fleshly ambition.

The third illustration is when Joseph confronted his brothers 22 years following their heinous act. He could have sentenced them to prison, tongue-lashed them, or banished them forever from his presence. Instead, comprehending the much-bigger purpose for his being in Egypt, Joseph tenderly assures them: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” (Genesis 45:5). No malice, no vengeance, no anger, just an amazing God awareness that colored his every thought and action.

Oh, To Be Like Joseph!
Every believer should seek to be like Joseph, who revered God above all things, and saw it evidenced in his life. May the Lord give us such Joseph-like God awareness that we may always “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness …” (Matthew 6:33)!