The Reality of God’s Presence
God’s presence is real, full of love, and completely transformational. It takes what was broken and brings healing. It takes what was lost and guides us to our rightful place in the Father. It satisfies the weary, brings light to the darkness, and pours out the refreshing rain of God’s love on the dryest, deepest parts of the soul. Scripture contains story after story of God coming down to meet God’s children where they are, and your heavenly Father has the same heart for you as he did them. He longs to make the reality of his presence known to you. He longs to refresh you with his nearness. You were created for encountering God, and you will never be satisfied until you continually live in the experience for which you were created. Allow your desires to be stirred up to encounter the living God this week as we read powerful stories of God’s people encountering his manifest presence. May you respond to God’s word by seeking out that for which you were made: continual encounter with your heavenly Father.
Scripture:“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” Psalm 139:7-8
It’s a troubling truth in Christianity today that many believers don’t know about or aren’t experiencing continual encounter with the real, manifest presence of God. The Bible contains story after story of life-changing, world-altering encounters with the reality of God’s presence. From Moses and the tent of meeting to the disciples at Pentecost, we continually read about God supernaturally encountering his people in real, transformative ways. Jesus died so that we might walk in communion with our heavenly Father not only in heaven, but here on this earth. Biblical characters modeled what it was to experience God consistently in both the New and Old Testaments. God, in his desire to have restored relationship with you, has made the reality of his presence fully available to you. Through the death of Christ there is nothing separating you from him. Before we dive into different stories of God’s manifest presence on the earth, let’s take time to focus on the biblical basis for encountering God. Open your heart and mind to the truth about God’s nearness and allow your faith to be stirred for all the ways your heavenly Father would transform your life through encounter with him.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Scripture is clear that God is omnipresent and his presence can be tangible to us. David describes God’s presence this way: “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
The sons of Korah wrote in Psalm 84:1-2, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” Then in verses 10-12 they declare,
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
There is no doubt in looking at Scripture that God’s presence is real, good, and available to us. Rest in the truth of that for a moment. You can consistently enter into the tangible presence of your heavenly Father anywhere and anytime. Have faith today that God created you to experience him. Encountering his presence is made possible entirely by his grace, so it is available apart from any good or bad thing you do. But, know that God will never force his presence on you. He only fills up what is open and ready to receive. He sweetly calls you to meet with him and waits for you to make space in your life to receive what he longs to give.
There is no more life-giving pursuit you can embark on than the pursuit of God’s presence. Spending time resting in him is meant to be the satisfaction that lays a foundation for you to live the life of abundance made available to you through Jesus. Your role in encountering God is simply seeking him. If you will make time to encounter him, open your heart, and have faith in his word, then you will discover the wellspring of life, joy, love, and transformation that is the presence of our heavenly Father.
Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “You will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Seek and find the presence of the living God today as you meditate on his word and pray.
1. Meditate on the availability of God’s presence. Allow your faith to be stirred up in response to God’s word.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” Psalm 139:7-8
“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’” Acts 17:26-28
2. Now meditate on the goodness of God’s presence. Allow your desires to be stirred as you read about the wonders of encountering the living God.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” Psalm 84:1-2
3. Open your heart to receive his presence. Ask the Spirit to make known God’s nearness. Seek his presence and have faith in his word that when you seek him you will find him.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer wrote, “With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence.” May his statement not be true of you. May you discover the majesty of your God. May you be a child of God who consistently spends time in the presence of the Father. May you be a believer who is empowered with the very presence of God himself working in and through your life. Grow in your pursuit of his presence this week. Commit to earnestly seeking him and allow this week to be transformational in the way you spend time with God.
Extended Reading: Psalm 84
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