Topic: God is...Present - Tonight, a different approach - a list - to help us grow in our Christian life - Most will agree that in a general way that God is present, but will go further to see how we must be aware of the presence of God
To do so, we must do certain things:
1) We must accept that we are accepted
- We can see ourselves as difficult to love - We can wonder how God would accept us - Yet He knows we are broken and He accepts us based on Christ
Hebrews 10:19-22 - Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
- We do not always want to draw near to God - We should be drawing near to God and we can, in the full assurance of faith
2) Be conscious of the facts of God's presence
- Sometimes we do not have all the information - The Bible is clear about the presence of God in general creation and specially in the lives of individuals
Jeremiah 23:23-24 - “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off? 24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.
Psalm 139:7-12 - 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. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Isaiah 57:15 - For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
- God is present whether we sense it or not - For the believer, not only is God present with us in our physical environment, but we are also already present with God in the spiritual environment
Colossians 3:1-3 - If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
- We live our lives in the throne room of God - God is also present within us as believers
3) Be intentional in our thoughts and actions
- Spiritual maturity does not come by accident - We cannot sit around waiting for something to happen, we must be preparing ourselves to be used by God - We need time to be with God, to communicate with Him - Often there are too many distractions - The more aware you are of the presence of God, the more likely we are to develop love for Him
4) Be alert to the signs of God moving around us
1 Kings 19:11-12 - Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
- The presence of God is not always blatant and dramatic - He is often found in the quiet places - We can talk to God as we talk to a friend
A practical note: Pray out loud, because it is harder to lose focus
5) Rest in the fact of His presence
- We need not worry that He is not there - Failure to rest is to doubt God's promises
Final note - The presence of God is not punitive, there to find fault to punish - He says He will not leave us or forsake us - His presence is to support and encourage us
We should seek His presence as a good and joyful thing