Young twins were buckled in the back seat of their dad’s car.
“Where are we going, Daddy?” came a little voice from the back seat.
Wanting to seize a teachable moment and communicate at a level they would understand, the dad answered, “To God’s house.”
“Wow!” both boys answered together. It was obvious they were excited.
As soon as the car stopped in the church parking lot,the little guy that had asked the question had his door open. He went running inside the church, while calling at the same time, “God! God? God are you here?”
By the time his dad got inside, the little fellow was back at the front door, “I guess God’s not home.”
And I want to ask you, are you experiencing the presence of God in your life?
As a child of God shouldn’t we not only be experiencing His presence, but carrying His presence
Aren’t we temples/churches, dwelling places for the Presence of God?
Are you experiencing His glory?
One lady shared with me, what I believe is indicative of so many people today. She explained how busy she was, trying to juggle home, family, job and ministry. She explained how many demands were being made on her time and energy. Her comments ended with, “I struggle to quiet my heart.”
We struggle to quiet our hearts
I would say that many of us experience that struggle. The picture is painted vividly for us in a biblical context in the life of Martha as she struggled to get the meal on the table while stepping over a house full of guests. But quieting our hearts is important, if we want to experience the presence of God.
I like to share briefly with you what I shared with these leaders, but in this blog instead of thinking in the context of a leader, I’m asking you to take it personal.
One of the first verses I learned as a child in the girl’s ministry was
Isaiah 60:1(niv) “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.”
It is time for you to arise, to realize that God’s glory can shine upon you. God wants to partner with you and cause you to be a light that reflects His glory. Expect His glory, His light to rest on your life and on your words. Expect His presence on your home , not just the church you attend.
Don’t stop there.
I didn’t memorize verse two, but it is happening before my eyes. “Darkness as black as night will cover all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD will shine over you.” In the midst of the darkness, His glory should be shining over you!
While His presence is vital, it is not automatic.
Let’s look at Moses to see some important keys to experience God’s presence.
It was an ordinary day in the life of a shepherd. Herding. Watching. Herding. Watching. Hot sun. Dry throat? Dry bread? Herding. Watching. Herding…you get the point. But Moses noticed something, he saw a bush burning. While it wasn’t particularly unusual in itself, when the fire continued to burn, he went to investigate. (Exodus 3:3) He was curious, so he turned aside or he paid attention. In Exodus 3:4 it says that when Moses turned aside that God spoke.
Often we do not experience the voice of God or the presence of God,
because we do not know how to turn aside.
I offer the following suggestions to help you “turn aside” or pay attention.
Moses saw something.
Develop the habit of reading Scripture.
- Get a plan.
- Start simple. Even a few verses a day is a good start.
- Proverbs or the Gospels is where many people start. Or Psalms if you need encouragement.
- There are dozens, maybe hundreds of Bible plans at https://www.youversion.com.
- Don’t rush.
- Read for more than information. Read to nourish your spirit.
Quiet your spirit.
This is critical. Because we live in a culture of loudness, many people have lost their ability or maybe they never discovered it in the first place, to hear God’s voice speaking quietly to them. Proverbs 20:27 kjv “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.”
Pick a time and a place that has the fewest distractions. Take a notebook with you. If you think of something you need to do, write it down and go back to thinking about the scripture you just read.
Are you fighting a hundred different thoughts bombarding your mind at one time? Play quiet worship music or begin to sing a worship song quietly. The words should be very simple, and sung to God, not just words about God.
Focus your thoughts on the goodness of God.
Think about a single subject that describes the nature of God. Love. Holy. Faithful. Truth. These are a few that describe God. Think about one of the many facets. Think about how it touches and impacts your life. Reflect or think about the love of God or how good God is. Psalms is filled with songs where the writers reflected or thought about God’s goodness, then wrote down their thoughts. We need to think about the goodness of God. Our culture doesn’t think about stuff very often. Our whirl of activities leave us spinning instead of thinking. This time of reflection doesn’t need to be long.
Then express thankfulness for the good things that God has done. Can you think of a time, you felt God’s amazing love? Thank you God for that time you showed your love to me by protecting me,” for example.
Briefly continue with worshipping God for not only what He does, but for Whom He is. “God you are love. God you are Holy. God, I worship you!” Worship Him deeply from a sincere and genuine place in your heart. Don’t worry about impressing Him. Just love on Him.
Thanksgiving focuses on what God does. Worship focuses on Who He is.
Then in the quietness of that moment pray something along this line… “God, what are you saying to me from your Word? What do you want me to understand?” Take a few moments to get quiet and listen.
As you spend time with God’s Word reading, thinking, reflecting on what it means and asking the Holy Spirit to show you how to live it out in your life, you will be amazed at the revelation that God will bring. You will also begin to experience His presence at a new level.
I’d love to hear from you. How do you quiet your heart to spend meaningful time with God?