When we think of the presence of God today we think of this wonderful place, maybe heaven, maybe in some tranquil place that resonates peace and calmness; but most assuredly we think of the presence of God as being a holy place where God is at.
When Moses was about to release the tribes of Israel to enter into the land for which they had waited forty hears to possess, the Lord God made a promise to Moses, that he would have is presence go before them in the land they had been promised (Exodus 33:14).
David reported that when he is in the presence of the Lord it is a time of “great joy” (Psalm 21:6).
Again he testified that because God leads him steadily along the pathway of life, “I experience absolute joy in your presence; you always give me sheer delight” (Psalm 16:11).
Jesus told the disciples just before he ascended up to the Father, "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, or age" (Matthew 28:20).
All three of these examples show us some glorious way in which God has presented to man his presence, which ensures we can know his presence and be in his presence.
The Location of God's Presence.
Being in the presence of someone denotes being near them. Generally we are referring to the location of which the person is in when we say we are in their presence. It would be difficult to not be in God's presence when comparing to location because God is omnipresent. There is no place you can go where the Lord God is not there. This is why the psalmist said,
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You [are] there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me" [Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV].
Because God is anywhere and everywhere, by location, we are always in his presence.
The thing is, we are not always conscious of being in his presence, because we as humans have not learned how to look into the spirit enough yet to see God in his omnipresent existence. This is why God can say to us, "I am with you always," because he is there with us even now. So we have to learn how to recognize this omnipresent existence so we can immerse ourselves into him and be that which he would have us to be.
How to be Aware of the Presence of the Lord
The difference between a person who is aware of the presence of God and a person that is not aware, depends upon the way they make themselves available to God.
If you are a person that will:
Quiet yourself long enough to actually hear the voice of God.
Draw close to the Lord to learn more of him.
Purposely make yourself available for intimate fellowship with God.
Then you will become a person that is aware of God's omnipresence with you.
When I was a senior in high school, that is in my 12th year of lower education, the main building of the school caught fire and burned to the grown. It was an old school; at that time around two hundred years old. Because we did not have a main education building the two largest churches in town allowed us to use their buildings so we could finish out the school year. The 1st Baptist Church was behind the building that burned, and the large Methodist Church was across the street, in front of the main building of the school. I remember students acting out or using bad words while in class; and as they would realize we were in a church building, they would excuse themselves for using bad language or acting out in some bad way. We all would react that same way, all the time, if we just realized we are always in God's presence. We do not have to be in a church building to be in his presence.
As a way of reference, we tend to treat God's presence as a special place where we can go to have special fellowship with him. This is true, his presence is a place we hold special, but the reality is most people have not learned how to be aware of His presence. This concept of awareness, is the purpose by which I am presenting this study; that we become aware God is with us, in our presence at all times, and that we have him here with us without needing to become religious enough for God to show up.
What God's Presence Does for Us
1. God is Always Available.
Because God is always with us, we can know that with his presence we have God being available for us. We think God will only make himself known to us if we live holy enough or if we are doing everything right. This is not true, but because of God's unfailing love for us, he is always available to us. It is only in times of our rejection and our sin that God pulls back from making himself always available. His omnipresence is also his omni-availability.
When we call he hears us because he is available (Psalm 4:1,3).
When we hurt he sees our hurt because he is always there seeing your pain and available to help in our suffering (Psalm 119:153; 1Peter 5:7).
When we have need, he is aware of that need because he is always available and knows what we have need of (Matt 6:8, 32; Luke 12:30).
2. You are Always Taken Care of by His Ability.
Because God is always with us and because he cares for all our needs, he takes care of us.
God will use his ability to solve our need, and many times He has taken care of it before we knew there was a need.
This is why we can do all things in Christ Jesus as Philippians 4:13 teaches:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
The presence of God in our lives gives us complete and full power in who God is and the ability to do anything we need to do for any need we may have.
3. We have God's attributes present with us all the time.
God's attributes are shown in the Fruit of the Spirit. Because God's presence is with us always, we have Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control in us and with us. We can use these things because it is God that is in our presences at all times.
Power of His Presence
Many of us have testimonies of what God's presence has done to guide our lives, open us up to opportunities, moved obstacles out of the way, changed our heart, and made us fearless to serve in our callings.
God attaches a condition to his presence in our lives. This condition is found in 2Chronicles 15. In the previous chapter, King Asa had led the armies of Judah to a great victory over Ethiopia's million-man army. Yet Asa testified it was God's presence that had scattered the enemy:
"Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with you to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, 0 Lord, our God; for we rest on you, and in your name we go against this multitude...So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa..." (2 Chronicles 14:11-12).
As Asa and his armies led the triumphant procession back to Jerusalem, a prophet named Azariah met them at the city gate with this message from God: "Hear you me, Asa...The Lord is with you, while you be with him; and if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God...But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them" (2Chr.15:1-4).
Here is the secret of getting and maintaining the presence of God in your life. The Lord reminded Asa: "Asa, don't ever forget how you got this victory. You sought me with all your heart, turning wholly to me, when you were in trouble - and I sent my presence to you. It was my presence that put your enemies to chase!"
It was in the presence of God that King Asa found all power that would fight for him and help him win his battles.
We have this same sustaining power over us, at all times, in the omnipresence of God.
How to Get in His Presence
Though God is always in our presence because he is omnipresent, we are not always in His presence. Without being active to exist in the presence of God, we will most likely not be in God's presence. There are things you can do on a daily basis to help you "be in" the presence of God.
1. You must approach God with all your sin dealt with.
God demands purity. He demands a pure spirit. He will not fellowship with sin.
This is why the priests always had to make themselves clean with sacrifices before they could minister before the Lord. If you are wanting to be in the presence of God you must be in a state of purity. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7). When we come to Jesus and accept his sacrifice for our sin, then we are in a place to have fellowship with God. We are made clean and we can now go into the presence our God.
2. Singing Praises to Him, and Worshiping God will help bring you into his presences.
Because God inhabits the praise of his people, singing and praising the Lord causes us to transcend past the mundane and moves us into the spiritual consciousness we so desire to be in with God. This is why being in church and sing hymns and songs unto the Lord is the simplest way we feel close to God. Nothing can draw you closer to God than praising who God is. Nothing can build you up easier of faster than having corporate worship together with other believers.
3. Reading in the Scripture will help bring you into the presence of God.
God's presence is in his Word. The Word is God's expressed words, breathed out by the power of Holy Spirit. When you speak out loud the words of the Bible you will sense God's presence, and you will begin to know what it feels like to be in his presence.
4. Spend Time in Study of the Word.
To know God's presence is to know his Word. When you take time to learn from the Bible, you will become knowledgeable of who God is and what he wants us to do about who he is. As you grow in knowledge and understanding you begin to see that God can work through you and that he has given us certain things, certain gift and callings, so we can continue in the things of God, and learn how to be in his presence.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ." [1Co 2:12-16 NKJV]
5. Pull away and Spend Time in Prayer.
There are times we do not know what to do nor what to say, so simply pulling away and speaking Jesus name in prayer and talking with God in private, draws you into a presence with God that is unequal to anything else in life. Being in a state of prayer will enhance you being aware of God's presence. It is here you start hearing His voice better. It is here you start having close and sweet fellowship with the creator, our God and our King.
6. Breath Him in.
Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God".
It is in the being still and quiet that you truly learn God.
It is here you hear His voice.
It is here, being still, that you come to know who God is because you have taken your mind off of life and placed it on God.
Take time to stop and just breath God in. Allow yourself to become so lost in who God is you do not remember who you are outside of Christ Jesus.
Speak his name out Loud and bask in the glory and power of his name.
Now you are ready to start having intimacy in His presences.
Intimacy in His Presence
The intimacy of living in the presence of God is immeasurable. The value of being in His presence cannot be matched to anything or any experience we may live through. Our greatest experiences with a father, parent, or dear friend, does not compare to the quality and emotional belonging that you gain from the presence of God. Living in God's presence requires a holiness that is beyond a day-to-day existence; but requires absolute surrender to Jesus Christ and worship of the Heavenly Father. Being able to give yourself to God in such a manner is strange to even people of faith. Most Christians think of being in the presence God is going to a church service or being in a deep state of study or prayer. Though these are ways to bring you into His holy presence, there is a place in fellowship with the Father and Savior that surpasses prayer, study, and worship. To experience the presence of God as a means of friendship and pure fellowship demands giving yourself completely over to God. It demands being in a state of crucifixion that you are truly dead in your human nature, and are being Jesus in His holy nature. You not only experience being with the Father, and Jesus Christ, but you experience being with the Holy Spirit. Being intimate in the presence of God will involve the full Trinity of His holy presences.
Are you truly willing to spend the time it will take to abide in His presence?
It would require you spending time in the Word.
It would require you surrendering your opinions and understandings over to God and listening to His voice. It will require you to understand you can hear His voice before you will have intimacy with the Lord, because he will talk with you.
It would require you being open to what God wants, because He will not fellowship outside His own will.
In these types of moments you truly grow in the presence of God. You become the will of God and his presence absorbs you, reaching deep into your soul and bringing you into a more satisfying fellowship with God. You begin to understand true peace and true joy, as you are completely taken over by the presence of God and the Holy Spirit.
God's Presence is a Place of Blessings
God's presence is always looked at as a place of great blessing.
This is why we want to go to heaven, God is there.
King David counted it great joy to experience the Lord's presence:
For David says concerning Him: "I foresaw the LORD always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of joy in your presence." [Act 2:25-28 NKJV]
Peter understood the presence of God being a blessing for all those who had placed faith in Christ: "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord",(Acts 3:19).
We know the ultimate blessing for all believers is being with Christ: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1John 3:2).
This is why we must grasp the omnipresence of God in our lives. We must come to know God as he is and we must use what God has given us in revelation, His Word, to know who we are. In doing so, we can come into the presence of God and have true fellowship with him. We can come to know him as he is and we can enjoy that fellowship in experience not just in statements of knowledge.
Experiencing the presence of God is truly the ultimate blessing. To know God and to be known by him, creates an experience in us that is incomparable to anything you will ever know or ever do. Being in His presence; being near to God himself, the creator, the one who gives us breath; being near the one who has provided us with salvation, an basking on his being, is truly the ultimate of all human experience.