Understanding the Presence of God
How can we enter the presence of Someone Who is everywhere?
I want to do all I can to prompt personal worship of the Lord Jesus. The answers to questions like the one above will help. True Worship ranges far beyond the sanctuary to the home altar, the place of personal worship and even to the workplace. Worship is a vital part of Life. As people say today, it’s 24-7!
Worship is so much larger than denominational, traditional, or personal preferences. To quote Scripture, worship is the “path of life.”
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)
“With joy in your presence”, the Psalmist says. This brings us back to our question: How can we enter the presence of Someone Who is everywhere? The Bible indicates that there are three characteristics of God’s presence:
- inward presence, and
- manifest presence.
The omnipresence of the Lord means He is everywhere at all times, demonstrating His absolute mastery of time and space, which are, after all, His creations. Paul preached God’s omnipresence to the Greeks at Mars Hill. (Acts.17:28) It is the most general revelation of God’s presence.
The inward presence of the Lord is His presence within the hearts and lives of His people. Throughout the Bible, God speaks of dwelling with and in His people. For example:
… For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. (I Corinthians 6:16)
The manifest presence of the Lord is deeper still. God is present within creation, within His people, and within in the praise of His people. ) The Lord inhabits, or dwells in, the praises of His people. Modern translations also say that He is enthroned upon the praise of His people.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel (Psalm 22:3-5 AV)
Yet thou art holy, enthroned upon the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22: 3-5 RSV)
When God’s people begin to express their praise (thanksgiving and exaltation) to God, He responds! He shares with them a deeper sense of His presence.
How does this happen?
How does the Lord intensify our awareness of His presence? Jesus gives us the answer when we listen to His conversation with Nicodemus. (John 3:5)
- Jesus said that the Spirit of God moves like the wind, unseen and mysterious, yet powerfully obvious in effect.
- Like the air around us, the unseen omnipresence of God surrounds us and gives us life.
We may not be aware of His presence but, just as we would miss air, we would be desperate if His omnipresence were suddenly taken from us.
Still we go on, taking the omnipresence of God for granted as we do the earth’s atmosphere, giving it little thought. But when the air begins to stir, we notice;
- a cool breeze refreshes;
- a mighty wind impresses.
When we turn our hearts toward God to be His people, He begins to move in our hearts, like air beginning to stir. This is His inward presence. And when we begin to praise Him, He moves within us like a mighty wind, powerful in its effect, and we experience His manifest presence
So, praise Him and feel the wind!
This can happen for us privately and publicly, but only when we turn our whole hearts toward Him and forget about everybody else! Worship is the atmosphere of Heaven. Come before His Presence.
Praise Him; worship Him and breathe the air!