Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

In Old Testament times the Ark of the Covenant symbolized the very presence of God. For years the Ark had sat virtually ignored in a field outside Jerusalem. David made two attempts to bring the Ark home. The first attempt led to disaster, but in 1 Chronicles 16 the Ark is finally brought to the City of David, its rightful place. The entire city joined in the celebration with music and dancing. God was back on His throne and the people were ecstatic!

David wrote a praise that Asaph, the temple worship leader, led the people in. The song was full of praise and worship to God for His faithfulness throughout the years. God had done exactly as He said He would do in spite of Israel’s inability to follow God.

There is a story behind the scenes each of us needs to be aware of as we travel through life. When the Ark was gone it was as though God’s blessing was absent. The people still went about their daily duties. Worship still happened on a limited basis, but there was something missing, the true presence of God.

Because of Jesus we can experience the presence of God at anytime and anyplace, any time of the day. Unlike the days of King David, we don’t need to rely on an ‘ark’ or a church building to worship God. He is always with us, always loving us, always ready to hold us in His everlasting arms of love.

Sometimes we can feel the way David did when the Ark was gone, as though the presence of God were missing in our lives. It’s easy to let things get in the way of our worship of God and the sense of His presence in our lives. It’s as though we have left Him in the field just as Israel left the Ark in the field. We know He is there. We think of Him occasionally through the day, but have no real meaningful communication with Him.

Many things can cause us to ‘leave God in the field’. For some it’s due to a hectic schedule. We have jobs to get to, friends to visit, school to attend and children to raise. The busier we get the more likely we are to neglect the most important thing: our relationship with God.

We leave God in the field when we become disappointed. Our disappointment may be with people when they let us down. This is especially true when people who claim to be ‘christian’ act nothing like Christ. We get burned by their religious bigotry and hypocrisy

Our disappointment may be with God Himself. We pray and get no answers. We read and don’t understand. Religious ritual becomes a meaningless waste of time and energy we would rather use on the golf course or with friends.

God doesn’t move away from us. We move away from Him in subtle, almost undetectable ways. The beauty of the situation is that we can bring God out of the field. He is always there waiting. His love never fails us. His compassion and mercy are there for us. He doesn’t hold grudges.

As Christ-followers it is imperative that we take God out of the field and bring Him into a prominent place in our lives so that we can feel His presence in a real and marvelous way. Make time on a daily basis to have some honest communication with God. Read His word. Talk to Him as you would a loving father or best friend. He’s in the field waiting for you now. He doesn’t care about ‘why you left Him in the field.’ He just wants to be a vital part of your life.  

PRAYER: Father God. I’ve known You were in my life somewhere, but I have missed your presence. I realize today that I’ve let all sorts of things get in the way of our relationship. I don’t pray the way I used to. My Bible has dust on it. I miss you. I’m coming to the field. I ask that you will come back with me. I want to restore the passion I once had to follow you. I can’t do it alone. Empower me with your presence to get over the hurt I feel because of disappointment with You and others. Cleanse me from the emptiness of religion and fill me with relationship with you. In Jesus name, Amen.