Monthly Archives: February 2010

THE PRESENCE OF GOD

In talking to many Christians over the years, I have discovered that the majority have a common theme. While they are born again and love the Lord, there is something missing – they don’t sense the presence of God in their lives. So they journey through life as half-hearted, lukewarm Christians.

Experiencing God’s presence in our lives should be the norm for all Christians, not the exception. But the question that begs to be answered is: what is the presence of God?  As we talk about God’s presence, some might say “but God is omnipresent (all present), so His presence is always with us”! Indeed, one of God’s attributes is omnipresence, which means that He is separate from, but immanent in, His creation.  There is no place in the universe that God’s presence doesn’t dwell. However, even though God is omnipresent, the manifest experience of the reality of His presence in our lives is something totally different.  Defining the presence of God, however, is like defining love – about as easy as nailing jello to a wall.

What is God’s presence? At times God’s presence is as gentle as a silent whisper; at times it is as loud as 100,000 screaming fans in a football stadium. At times it’s as exciting as a roller coaster ride; at times it’s the hush of a ballet.  At times it is dancing with exuberance and joy; at times it is falling on your face in humility and awe.  At times it’s singing at the top of your lungs; at times it’s being so overwhelmed at His glory that you can’t speak.  It is David slaying Goliath, Isaiah on his face before God’s throne, Peter preaching at Pentecost, Paul and Silas in prison praising God.

The presence of God is not a physical manifestation, but an undeniable knowledge that He is with you. My definition of God’s presence is this: God’s presence is the overwhelming result of our abiding in Him in deep intimacy and complete surrender. 

It is popular for Christians to say  “I want more of God”. This is not theologically correct. When someone trusts in Jesus as Savior the Holy Spirit does a marvelous work: He baptizes, seals, and indwells the individual. The indwelling aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work is complete, meaning the Holy Spirit, who is God, comes and makes residence in our lives, and this is a complete indwelling. We don’t get half of God, or ninety percent of God. We get all of Him. Thus we can’t get more of God than we already have.

Thus, the correct statement to make is not ” I want more of God”, it is “I need to give God more of me”.  We need to give God more and more of us until we give Him all of us. As we do this, we empty ourselves of “self” and allow God’s presence to manifest itself in a greater way. When we die to “self” and fall in love with our marvelous God, His power, peace, and anointing engulfs us.

What, then, are the evidences of God’s presence in our lives?  An insatiable hunger for, and a deeper understanding of, His Word;  a strong empowerment for obedience and service; the courage and enablement to resist temptation; a determined perseverance through trials; a renewed ecstasy of worship; an unquenchable thirst for holiness; and a passion for deeper intimacy with Him..

Just think, what if every born again believer lived with God’s presence manifest in their lives? Do you think that the church would have a powerful impact in our world? Imagine how the kingdom of God would be furthered. We NEED God’s presence more than anything else!  Are you living in the presence of our awesome God? If not, I encourage you to take a realistic evaluation of your life. Are you giving more and more of yourself to God in surrender? In Exodus 33:15, Moses, as he was leading the Israelites through their wilderness journey, said this” :If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here”. Moses knew the crucial importance of God’s presence in their midst. In Avalon’s song “I Don’t Want to Go”, the lyrics include the following: “I don’t want to go somewhere if I know that you’re not there, because I know that me without You is a lie…”. May we grasp this truth, and be hungry for God’s manifest presence in our lives.