HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE
GOD’S PRESENCE? – Ray E Horton
My main goal in life for several years has been to be continually aware of the presence of God in My life. How often we get engrossed in our day-to-day routine, relying on our learning and habits, doing things our own way? Oh, to have Him lead us in everything.
I have found that it is true, as the 17th century lay monk, Brother Lawrence, wrote (in the compilation of his letters called “The Practice of the Presence of God”) that it is a matter of practice. The more we practice seeking to experience His presence, the more it becomes habit, a part of our lives. I am not there yet, but I’m on the way.
What do we mean by coming into the Lord’s presence? We know that God is present everywhere at all times, but it is that mutual awareness of each other being together – having connection – that brings change.
Presence is all about connection and awareness. It is all about relationship
I can be in the same room as my wife and busy on the computer, while she is reading a book, and we are so engrossed with these things we are not present to each other. Or, I can be across the country, and talking to her on the telephone, or just thinking about her, and her me, and we are present to each other.
Presence is all about connection and awareness. It is all about relationship. His presence is our source of joy and strength:
“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,” (Acts 2:28 quoting Psalm 16:11). Where will I be filled with the Lord’s joy? In His presence – and “the joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). So, my strength comes from the joy of being in God’s presence.
His presence is:
- Where we hear God.
- Where He confirms all those truths that we believe, which sometimes can otherwise seem to be just platitudes.
- Where He becomes real to us, invading our hearts.
- Where He reveals His love, His goodness, who we are in Christ and so much more.
His Gates and Courts
Let us “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Those gates are to the temple of our hearts, and His courts are where He dwells within us. That is where He will speak to us if we will enter into His presence there.
So, how do we enter in? It’s by faith. We practice being aware of His presence which is already there. I have found that it helps by spending time in our prayer closets early in the day to read His Word, give Him thanks and praise, and to commune with Him. It sets the stage for our awareness of His presence all day long.