Are you aware of God’s presence in your life, or do you feel disconnected from Him? Even though His Spirit indwells those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as our Savior, we can’t always sense His presence. There may be times when we feel especially close to Him, but on other occasions, He seems distant and uninvolved in our lives.
We tend to judge whether God is with us by our circumstances. If everything’s going our way, or He’s answering our prayers and meeting our needs, we feel close to Him. But if the Lord isn’t intervening in the way we expect, or our suffering and troubles have increased, it may seem that He’s distant and unconcerned.
Instead of letting circumstances cloud our perception, we must learn to rely on what Scripture says. David experienced many difficulties in his life, but he clung to an enduring truth, which he penned in Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” As believers in Christ, we have this same promise. The Lord is our constant companion in good times and bad. But do we really believe and count on this truth? If we don’t, we’re like a sick person who walks right past the medicine cabinet when the remedy for his ailment is inside. If we’re oblivious to Christ’s companionship, we’ll miss the benefits and blessings that result from knowing He is with us.
If we want an increased awareness of God’s presence, we must take the time to deepen our relationship with Him.
If we want an increased awareness of God’s presence, we must take the time to deepen our relationship with Him. The place to begin is in His Word. By reading the Scriptures every morning, our minds are ignited to think about the Lord throughout the day. I often discover that the passage I read in the morning is exactly what I need in order to deal wisely with a situation that day. Instead of being anxious or fearful, my mind is focused on the comforting and empowering knowledge that God is there to guide me.
Being conscious of God’s presence is vital to seeing His work in our lives. For example, Moses wasn’t able to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt because of his great confidence or leadership ability. In fact, he felt totally inadequate and asked the Lord to use someone else. The power came from the Lord, who promised to go with Moses (Ex. 3:10-12). Similarly, when we rely on God’s powerful presence in us, our lives are transformed.
First of all, our perspective is changed (Ps. 16:8-9). There’s a marvelous sense of peace and safety that comes when we see the Lord as our constant companion. When everything looks bleak, we continue to have hope because our confidence is in Him, not in good circumstances. Knowing that God is with us puts trouble and hardship in their proper place—under His authority—and gives us the all-surpassing joy of His companionship. Instead of attributing our blessings to good luck or giving credit to others, we become more conscious of the fact that the Lord is the source of all good things (James 1:17).
Second, an awareness of God’s continual presence motivates obedience (Ps. 19:12-14). We don’t tolerate sin in our lives because it doesn’t fit our identity in Christ. Instead of making decisions without giving Him a second thought, every choice is sifted through His will because we want to do what He desires. That’s why I always quietly ask Jesus to help me give a wise and godly answer whenever someone asks me a question. I know that He is always with me as my helper, guide, and sustainer. All I have to do is call on Him.
Third, as we live with the mindset that He is always with us, our love for God and sensitivity to Him increase (Ps. 63:1-8). Prayer becomes an opportunity to commune with the Lord, not just a time to make requests. All day long we can carry on a conversation with Him in our hearts. Instead of a duty, reading the Word becomes a delight. And worship is more than a religious routine. It’s a chance to honor and adore our Lord with fellow believers.
The desire of God’s heart is that you would become more aware of Him. No matter what is going on in your life, He is with you. Nothing is hidden from His sight or beyond His reach (Ps. 139:1-12). He sees the storms before they come and is already working to sustain you. His peace will guard your heart as you rest in His strong, comforting presence, knowing that He is your loving heavenly Father.
Charles F. Stanley
P.S. God not only promises to be with us, but He has also given us the companionship of other believers. One of our biggest encouragements here at In Touch Ministries is knowing that so many of you have united with us as we seek to bring the gospel to the lost and encourage believers in their faith. Thank you for walking with us in this endeavor.