4 Secrets to Practicing the Presence of God
God’s presence gives us the motivation to keep on going, the power to keep on keeping on. It renews our strength. It lifts up our heavy hearts. It gives us a new vision. That's what God's presence can do to our life. But we have to tune in. The key to keep on keeping on, to overcoming discouragement, is the phrase "I walk in the presence of the Lord."
But, how do you do that? God is present all around us but most people are totally unaware of it. How do we walk in the presence of the Lord?
Four Secrets to Practicing the Presence of God:
1. I Must Invite Jesus Into My Life.
God is around us, God is by us, He wants to be in you. He wants to put His Spirit inside of us so we can handle the stress. Whenever we get under stress and we feel all of this pressure coming in on us, we must have an equal pressure from the inside enabling us to cope.
Whenever people get under pressure, they always begin to fill themselves with something to equalize the stress: food, alcohol, drugs... they put something on the inside to equalize the pressure on the outside. As we are filled with God's presence in our life, it equalizes the pressure on the outside and we can cope. We can handle stuff. It doesn't cave us in. The starting point is to invite Jesus Christ into your life. The Bible says that what Jesus has done for us on the cross has made possible for us to come in the presence of God with freedom and confidence.
Ephesians 3:12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
2. I Must Be Still And Quiet.
Just be quiet. I believe why so many people never feel God's presence is because they're too busy. They're too distracted They've always got their radio on. Too much noise. The Bible says in Psalms "Be still and know that I am God."
Tune in to His presence. Take little breaks during the day to be quiet and recognize that no matter where you are God is with you. The Bible says...
James 4:8 "Come close to God and God will come close to you."
As you tune in to Him, you'll begin to be aware.
3. I Must Talk to God About Everything.
God knows everything anyway. We can pray about anything and ask Him for help. The Bible says in I Thessalonians, "Pray without ceasing." Pray continually. How do you do that? How can I get on with life and be continually in prayer? It's talking about maintaining a continual conversation with God. Talk to Him about anything. Walk outside in the morning, "Lord, it's a beautiful day!" You get in your car, "Oh, Lord, I'm low on gas." As you're driving, "God, these are some things I'm thankful for." Talk to Him about everything. A continual conversation with the companion who is always with you. That's what it means to pray without ceasing.
Psalms 62:8 "Trust in Him at all times, pour out your heart to Him."
We maintain an ongoing conversation with Him at all points. Some of us say, "When I pray I feel like my prayers never get above the ceiling." Surprise! God is below the ceiling. He's right next to you. He reads your mind the moment you think it. He knows what you're going to think before you even think it. We don't have to have these super duper pious prayers that blast off from earth and get a million light years away up to God in heaven on His throne. He is right there. We don't have to feel like we're getting them up to heaven. We just think it; He knows it. Nothing fancy. So we talk to Him about everything.
4. I Must Develop the Habit of Praise.
Praise means to thank God for who He is and what He's done for us.
Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.
Nothing will help us become aware of God and His presence in our life faster than developing the habit of praise. Nothing helps us tune in to Him than beginning to praise God.
He's equally present no matter where we are -- office or wherever, when we're tired or happy -- He's always present. But sometimes we sense His presence more. We talk about entering His presence through praise. That simply means "tune in!” Since God is everywhere, we can praise Him everywhere.
A whole new life is about to open up to us if we will grasp the simple truth I have just shared. If we will become aware that God is always with us it is going to change our life. It will cheer you up, it will calm you down, it will help you out, it will see you through when you become aware of that. No matter where you find yourself this week, God will be there, in advance, with you when you get there -- school, vacation, traffic jam, flying 35,000 feet high -- God is everywhere.
To those of you who are tired or discouraged or frustrated, hurting, afraid, worried, sick, depressed I want to say to you: God is with you.