Review: In Part One on this subject, we learned that God’s presence is often termed “God’s face”, that He tells us to seek His face, that it is a vital need for us, and that He will help us. In Part Two, we will learn basic truth’s about God’s presence, and we will see that He promises His presence if we love and obey Him.
3. BASIC TRUTHS ABOUT GODS PRESENCE.
Here are some basic truths about God’s presence. This is just a start on what is very long list.
- God is always, always, always with us, watching over us, whether we are consciously aware of His presence or not.
- God’s presence is a HUGE blessing.
- God’s presence is a gift, not something we can earn.
- God’s presence is a mystery.
God is always, always, always with us, watching over us, whether we are consciously aware of His presence or not. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:10, and Zephaniah 3:17). Because we know God is always with us, we can go ahead and live our daily life, by faith, and enjoy our life, whether we feel His presence or not. To me, Psalm 37:3 says that if we trust Him and do good, we will then (because of trusting Him and doing good) dwell in the land (which means to me, the promised land, the place where His promises are manifested in our lives.) Then, He will be faithful to us and we will definitely be taken care of.
“Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.” (Psalm 37:3, NIV). I like to dwell on “truly you shall be fed.”
God’s presence is a HUGE blessing. In Psalm 16 we hear David taking refuge in the Lord, praising God and thanking God for His goodness, which includes the joy of His presence. David affirms his commitment to the Lord and tells Him “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, AMPC). The blessings we have when we are in God’s presence are countless. Three of the most precious to me are peace (Exodus 33:14-17), the reassurance of protection (Joshua 1:5; Isaiah 43:1-2), and that joy David speaks of in Psalm 16:11. The most important of these for me, at this moment in my life, is peace.
What blessing of God’s presence do you most need right now?
God tells us specifically that He rewards us when we earnestly seek Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)
God’s presence is a gift, not something we can earn. Being aware of God’s presence is an indescribable privilege and a gift, not to be taken lightly and not to be thought of as something we are “entitled” to or that we can earn. We are to have an attitude of humility before the Lord.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8, NIV)
In John 7:37-39, Jesus promises the Spirit to those who were thirsty for Him. Notice that those who believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit and that the Spirit would be given.
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (NIV)
God’s presence is a mystery. As a human, I cannot expect to completely understand the mystery of being aware of God’s presence. Job 24 says that the wonders God does with the sky and seas are but the “outskirts of his ways or the mere fringes of His force” so “Who dares contemplate or who can understand the thunders of His full, magnificent power? (Job 26:14 AMPC). I can only reverently ponder God’s mysteries and be grateful for His mercies and His lovingkindness.
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 109:6, NIV.
In my opinion if we did understand it more, or could in some measure control it, we would likely misuse it, like we humans have misused our advanced understanding of human sexuality. I will be content with God’s reassurance that
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV.)
However, I will continue to seek His face – always!
4. GOD PROMISES HIS PRESENCE IF WE LOVE AND OBEY HIM
If God promises something, we can be assured He will keep his promise. God does not lie, He does not change His mind, and He does what He says He will do. (I Samuel 15:29)
- One purpose of the Upper Room Discourse.
- God promises He will reveal himself to us and let Himself be clearly seen by us.
- God promises He will make his home in us.
One purpose of the Upper Room Discourse. Chapters 13-17 of the gospel of John are called the Upper Room Discourse, the last time Jesus addressed His disciples as a group. He invited them into a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. And He clearly told them, and us, how to have that intimate relationship. Ponder that fact. Jesus knew the disciples would especially remember what He said to them on that night, and He chose that time to invite them into a closer relationship with Him. Why?
At the end of his discourse, Jesus explains why He had said these things.
“I have told you these things so that (emphasis added) in Me you have [perfect] and complete peace and confidence. In the world, you will have tribulation and trial and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, secure, and undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33, AMPC).
Jesus knew what His disciples would face, and He was making sure they would know how to find His peace.
Jesus knew the trials each of us would face in this world, and He told us clearly how to live in His peace.
God promises He will reveal himself to us and let Himself be clearly seen by us. Jesus told his disciples:
“The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]” (John 14:21, AMPC)
This was one of the verses that helped me overcome depression and fear that had lasted two years. During the healing process, I learned the benefit of meditating on the Word all day long. I carried this verse, and others, everywhere. I repeated the last part of this promise– that He would let me see Him clearly–over and over. That brought comfort when nothing else seemed to.
Knowing I would be able to feel His presence gave me hope, because I knew from experience that the slightest touch from God brings deep peace and joy.
I desperately needed to be aware of God’s presence during those long months and moments of emotional turmoil. During those moments when all I could feel was fear and sadness and hopelessness, that verse always gave hope and a measure of peace, because I knew God would keep His promise, even if it took a while. Sometimes that “while” was part of a day, sometimes much longer, but He always did—and still does—allow me the unspeakable privilege of seeing Him clearly. He helps me feel I am not alone.
God promises He will make His Home in us. Jesus promises that if we love God and obey His commandments, He will make his home in us. Jesus gave one of the most comforting promises possible when He said
“. . . If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching[; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.” (John 14:23)
That means, that even when we cannot feel His presence, He IS living in us and He IS with us. He is always with us because He makes his home, his living place, with us. I liken that to when a child walks through the front door, calling out “Mama!” That child knows Mama is there—because Mama is always there. Mama lives there, Mama makes her home there, with that child, and that child knows if he calls to her, he will hear her voice and he can go find her.
I think (and this is just my idea, not a specific example from the Bible) it could be like God and I live in the same home, but sometimes we are not in the same room, and I have to go find him or, the other way around! We are with Him and He is with us in the same house, but we are not in His presence until we go to where He is. And, like the perfect parent He is, He always responds to our calling out for Him. If we go where He is, we will see His face.
When I bring my grandsons back to their house after a visit, they call out “Mama! Papa!” as soon as they walk through the door. Papa might be in the back yard, and Mama might be using the computer in the bedroom, but my grandsons know their parents are somewhere in the house, ready with a hug and an ear to hear what they did. And my grandsons want to be in their presence, to see Mama and Papa – face to face.