Living in the presence of God

1. The presence of God is a wonderful place to be.

Glory and honour are in his presence. Strength and gladness are in his dwelling place. (I Chron 16v27)

Seeing what Jesus did amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” (Mark 2v12)

2. The presence of God is what God wants us to experience.

You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16v11)

Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life – life in all its fullness” (John 10v10)

3. The presence of God is not just for special people to experience.

God has chosen the foolish… weak…low class…despised nothings so no one should glory in his presence. (I Cor 1v27-29)

When the Pharisee saw the woman anointing Jesus’ feet, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner.” (Luke 7v39)

4. The presence of God is awesome in different ways, depending on our relationship with God.

 As wax melts before the fire so let the wicked perish at the presence of God, but let the righteous be glad and rejoice. (Psalm 68v2)

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there…

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them….

The children shouting in the temple area… Jesus said, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.” (Matt 21v12-16)

5. The presence of God at some point in our experience is not in itself a sign that we are in a right relationship with God.

Then you shall begin to say, “We have eaten and drunk in your presence, and you have taught in our streets.” But he shall say, “I don’t know you or where you come from.” (Luke 13v26,27)

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 7v21)

6. The presence of God is an uncomfortable place to be when we become aware of our failure to live as He wants us to.

And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord amongst the trees of the garden. (Gen 3v8)

Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” …Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid…” (Luke 5v8,10)

7. The presence of God can be our ongoing experience when we are forgiven and made clean from our wrongdoing.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51v10,11)

The son said to him, “Father I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him…. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.” (Luke 15v21-23)

8. The presence of God is a happy place for us to enjoy.

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise to him with psalms. (Psalm 95v2)

Jesus said, “Abide in my love… I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15v 9,11)

9. The presence of God goes with us wherever we go.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there; If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139v7)

Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another one called alongside to be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth” (John 14v16)

“Remember I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28v20)

10. The presence of God pursues us when we drift from God’s purpose for our lives.

But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa, and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord………. (Jonah 1v3)

After Simon Peter had denied knowing Jesus, Jesus “was raised on the third day, and he appeared to Peter and then to the twelve.” (I Cor 15v5)

Later at the lakeside Jesus brought Peter back into service. “Simon, son of John do you love me?………..Feed my lambs…… Take care of my sheep.”

(John 21v15-17)

11. The presence of God with us means that we can fulfil what God has called us to.

About leading his people on their journey, God said to Moses, “My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33v14)

Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt 11v28)

“Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matt 10v19,20)

12. The presence of God is a safe place for us.

Those who take refuge in you – You shall hide them in the shelter of your presence from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues. (Psalm 31v19,20)

Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice and they follow me… No one can snatch them out of my hand… No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10v27-29)

13. The presence of God is not meant to be a rare occurrence, rather a daily experience.

The upright will dwell in your presence. (Psalm 140v13)

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, they will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

(John 14v23)

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them – and they with me.”

 (Rev 3v20)

14. The presence of God which we experience here will be complete and ongoing in heaven.

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen (Jude v24)

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me… I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to myself so that where I am you may be also.” (John 14v1,3)

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