Friday, September 26, 2014

Practicing The Presence of God

      One of the secrets of living for Christ is to be sensitive to the presence of God in every area of life. Being spiritual is an art. It is an act of yielding to the Holy Spirit in our daily walk and life. I trust this material will wet your taste to the possibilities of dwelling in the presence of God. The following material is from my new book on Foundations Of Godly Living:

Practicing The Presence of God

"Why would anyone desire to be in the presence of the One who dwells in unapproachable light? Why would anyone want to stand before the God who is so holy that He cannot look upon sin? Why would anyone long for the God who slays sinners, rebukes sin and damns the souls of rebels with everlasting punishment? Why would anyone delight in the presence of One who sits on a throne of judgment? The answer is found in the gospel of God’s sovereign grace. Because of the life and death of Jesus Christ we can have peace with God and can enjoy God’s fellowship and love on a level never known before. The Psalmist understood the joys and wonders of being in the presence of God when he said, “In your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11. Only those redeemed from their sins and washed in the blood of God’s Son can approach Him with holy boldness and find this everlasting peace and joy. The apostle wrote, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us through the veil, that is His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies wasted with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22.

God is omnipresent. This means God is everywhere. David said in Psalm 139:7-8 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? {8} If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.” 

In the book of Acts 17:27-28 it reads, "So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; {28} "for in Him we live and move and have our being…” 

As we understand the doctrine of the presence of God it is essential for believers to live in the light of this glorious truth. The presence of God should be more than just a doctrinal concept. Christians should know the joy and the reality of dwelling in the secret place of the Most High. One of the reasons for the low level of spiritual experience among most evangelicals today is the fact that their lives are not being lived in God’s presence. For most believers today there is very little reverence in worship. There is very little wonder and awe of God’s greatness and sovereignty. There is very little passionate and consistent prayer or soaking and drenching ourselves in the Word of God. Instead we see many believers living marginal lives of mediocrity, levity, and shallowness. All of this is due to one fact alone. Most evangelicals know little or nothing of practicing the presence of Christ and living in the reality of His indwelling. Jacob had a marvelous experience one magic night under the stars in the desert. He awoke from a deep sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place and I did not know it.” Genesis 28:16. Christians need to practice the presence of Christ. This means training themselves to understand that they are always in the presence of God.  
God reveals Himself to those that seek Him earnestly. Deuteronomy 4:29, "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” As always God desires that we seek to come near Him and when we do then He reveals Himself to us.

How do we practice the presence of God?

One way to practice Gods presence is to draw near to God. We draw near in confession of sin and repentance. If there is sin in our lives we will not sense God’s presence. When we come clean in the presence of God the Lord is often pleased to draw near to His people. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8. God delights to draw near to those who take the time and who make the effort to draw near to Him. We draw near to God by the means of prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other Christians, and by worshipping daily and on the Lord’s Day. Great saints are not great saints by accident. They are those who have spent their life pursuing God and finding the joys of living in God’s presence. The evidence of having been in the presence of God is revealed by an increased interest in God’s being and a decrease of interest in self. C. S. Lewis in his classic book, Mere Christianity said:

“The real test of being in the presence of God is that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.”

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