Practicing the Presence of God
by Bob Gaudi
“You have made known to me the path of life; You fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” –Psalm 16:11
I have the good fortune of facilitating a Bible study for fellow experienced Christians—sometimes called “seniors” or older people, but we are going to stick with experienced here…after all, I’m writing this.
Recently during a study, we were discussing a particularly relevant topic: How we can guard against Satan’s attacks? We all have something in our Holy Spirit-supplied tool box to build and maintain our defenses, and we were sharing some of those resources when one of our members said that she “practices the presence of God.” I asked her to explain to us what she meant and how that worked for her. She did, and then WHAM it hit me. Like a sudden flash of bright light in a dark room, I realized God was working through this young lady to provide me with a devotion topic to share with you.
You see, she is always in the presence of God. She knows it and uses it and basks in it. She knows God is in and all around her and she talks to Him on a regular basis. She whispers to Him all the time in thanks, in supplication, in worship, and in asking for help. Sometimes she just talks to Him as she would to a kind and loving heavenly Father, as that is what He is. She knows He is there and that He is listening patiently. He guides her in living life and serving Him and others. She relies on the Lord and knows He is always present. Our basking in the presence of God is the bane of Satan’s mission to deceive and tempt us to sin. It is not possible to listen to and be influenced by Satan if you are tuned into God.
The Lord cares for and about us. He delights in our fellowship and our reliance on Him. He wants each of us to trust in Him and to surrender our entire person to His care. In a word, He loves us to a degree beyond our comprehension. He wants to hear from us and to speak to and be with Him in all we do. He does not want us to feel bad about asking for His help because our asking for His help is surrendering to Him.
Surrender to Him. God is ALWAYS there surrounding us everywhere we go and in whatever we do. He IS there…we just need to understand and accept that fact. He wants us to be like Jesus who said He was one with the Father. Thus He is changing us on a daily basis to model His Son in all ways—from spreading His gospel to reflecting Him.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” He meant it. He is always with us. Practice that presence.
Try saying these four words: Lord, I need you! Say it often enough and you will feel His presence and know beyond doubt that He IS there with you.
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” –Psalm 62:1-2
Heavenly Father, thank You for being You and for Your love, grace, mercy, and presence. Be with us always and remind us of Your loving presence and unfailing forgiveness. Amen.