Hungry for God’s presence

Being at Bethany last week has re-awakened in me a hunger and thirst for the presence of God.  Not that I didn’t already have this hunger – but it has been stirred up significantly in recent days.   I want to taste and see the goodness of God on a daily basis.  One of my areas of ministry is preparing and leading worship for our church intercessory team and I am sensing a deep desire to see our church intercessors move more fully into the presence and glory of God.  I also desire this for our small groups and small group leaders.

But isn’t God everywhere?  True, He is.   Theologians call this “God’s omnipresence” (omni is Latin for everywhere). King David expressed his awareness of God’s omnipresence like this ( Psalm 139:7-10 ),

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.

However, I believe that David wasn’t just stating an abstract theological truth, he was communicating an experience.  In other words, David didn’t just believe intellectually that God was present everywhere; He consciously sensed God’s presence everywhere.

Powerful experiences of the presence of God are not new.   There are many examples of this in the Bible.  Here are just a few :

  • Moses and the bush that was burning but was not consumed
  • Elijah and the fire from heaven on Mount Carmel
  • Elijah and the still small voice in which he sensed the presence of God
  • Healing miracles at the command of Jesus
  • The Transfiguration of Jesus
  • The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
  • Paul’s experience of being caught up to the third heaven
  • John’s experience of the majesty of Jesus described in Revelation chapter 1

Such experiences always result in a sense of awe, wonder and holy fear at the power and holiness of God.

I believe that Jesus Christ is returning sometime in the next generation.  He told us we would not know the day or the hour of his return, but he did say that we can tell the times and seasons, and he left us many signs which are being fulfilled in our day.  The people of God will be tested as never before, and there will be intense persecution.  Many will fall away before the Lord returns, but there will also be greater revelations of God’s glory than ever before, as the glorious bride (the believing, enduring church) is prepared for her bridegroom (Jesus).

If this is correct, then it is more important than ever that we learn to endure.  The shallow, soft, me-centred Christianity of much of the North American church will not stand the test.  Only a church that has learned to be intimate with the Lord will be able to stand and thrive in the Last Days.

We are made for intimacy with God and He delights to respond to our hunger for Him.  I want to see the glory of God revealed in greater measure.  We all go through many little tests in our lives.  How we respond to these little tests is an indicator of how we will do when the big tests come.  Will we be paralyzed with fear or will we confidently lift our heads, knowing that our redemption is near?  I want to be among those who are confident in God because I know Him intimately and have learned to feed on every word of His mouth and to drink of the living water of His Spirit.  I want that for you too.


2 thoughts on “Hungry for God’s presence”

  1. Last Sunday during worship, I believe the Lord told me not to strive. On Monday I checked the dictionary for strive versus persevere. On the persevere synonym list was the word’endure’. To me the difference between these words is that to endure is to stand firm, to continue on the path you are on, be alert but, mainly, to trudge onwards. To persevere, is to work at something continually, to break through barriers, ie strive. It was a freeing moment in my understanding. It related to home hunting for me in this instance but it stands true throughout my life. I need to stand firm, continually come closer to God, to endure whatever comes my way and never lose sight of my Saviour and what He has for me and what He wants from me. I can only do that by remaining in worship, prayer and in the Word. I want intimacy with God. when the time of real trial comes, I want to stand firm and remain standing when it is over. Only learning to have intimacy with God now will help when that time comes. I have been given EZ 2 & 3. I tend to be literal in my translations and understanding of things I am told and read so I wonder if Ezekiel 3:25 & 26 is literally going to happen to me some day. If it is I want to build up my strength, my endurance, my trust & intimacy with God now so that when that time comes, I can stand firm for Him. I am grateful that God patiently continues to teach us the things we need to learn. I can see all sorts of weaknesses in myself but I know He is training me for more – whatever more is. That gives me confidence in spite of the weaknesses; overall I know I am growing stronger. “I want to be among those who are confident in God because I know Him intimately and have learned to feed on every word of His mouth and to drink of the living water of His Spirit.” What an awesome sentence! All I can say is, “Me,too!!” Praise God!!! Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful comments. May God bless you for writing them.

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