Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. – Exodus 33:15 (NIV)
I don’t want to make a single move if the presence of God does not go with me. I want to pursue His presence with all that I have, relentlessly. I cannot, and will not, move without knowing that He is with me. As I’m on this pursuit of His presence, I am realizing that it isn’t a matter of begging God to show up – He is already here! It is rather a ‘me’ thing. I need to become more aware of His presence in every moment of my life. I need to cultivate that awareness in my spirit so I don’t forget that I am never alone and that I have access to Him at all times. Genesis 28:16 says ‘Jacob woke from his sleep. He said, “God is in this place – truly. And I didn’t even know it!”. It is possible to ‘miss’ God sometimes but He promises that He is there.
Can anyone hide from me? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” asks the LORD. – Jeremiah 23:24 (NLT)
It’s easy in the midst of everything we’re going through to forget that He’s with us, always. As James 4:8 so beautifully promises us, when we draw near to God He will draw near to us. He’s always accessible and always present, but this relationship is a two-way street – we must draw near to Him in order to get that deeper relationship. Our greatest desire, our only desire should be to dwell in the presence of the Lord, forever.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple. – Psalm 27:4 (NIV)
Psalm 27:8 goes on to say that the psalmist’s heart tells him to “Seek His face!”. I want my heart to be so in tune with that desire for His presence that in times when my brain forgets how close He is, my heart commands me to seek His face.
So how do we train ourselves to be more aware of His presence in our lives?
We must become familiar with the attributes of God and the ways in which He works for the good of those who love Him. God is so multi-faceted, we will never get to the end of Him – there will always be more to discover and more to love. I find that the more I learn about the nature of God and all that He’s done for me, the deeper I love Him and the more I praise Him. When we’re in that place of knowing His characteristics in our hearts we can become more aware of the ways in which He is working in our lives and more aware of His presence. If you believe that the Bible is God-breathed and true in its entirety, then you must scour the pages for more of Him. The more you learn about Him, the more you will love Him and the more you love Him the deeper your relationship with Him.
Colossians 3:1-2 says that because we have been raised with Christ, we must set our hearts on things above and not on earthly things. Hand in hand with that, we must keep our eyes on the prize at the end of this crazy race called life. Our reward is in heaven and our hope on earth is the promise of eternal life with Him where we won’t have any of the distractions and we’ll be in His physical presence – a promise that is too great for me to even imagine. If we bear these promises in mind during our struggles and even the good times, we’re drawing near to Him.
Another practical way to pursue His presence everyday is to recognize that EVERY good thing comes from God (James 1:17) and to take a second to thank Him. When I look into my baby’s eyes, I thank Him. When my husband texts me to say that he loves me, I thank the Lord. When the special parking space for mothers with children is free at the grocery store and I can park right outside the doors, I thank Him. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s good it came from God and He deserves every ‘thank you’ that we have to offer plus more. Recognizing that God is working for us every second of every day forces our souls to draw near to Him. I don’t know about you, but when I thank the Lord for something, no matter how small, a beautiful peace settles on me and I immediately feel Him near.
This pursuit of His presence is something that we’re told to do in the word and it’s something that will enrich your life ten-fold. Will you pursue His presence?