Monday, 11 November 2013

The Presence of God (2)

Since we know that God is everywhere, we should always consider how to react to him at all times. Here are some suggestions.

His presence should lead us to always be in a worshipful frame of heart. We are always in his presence, whether we are in bed, at our daily work, involved in recreation, taking part in a public event or engaged in a personal interest. God is not present to spy on us but to bless us. He enables us to do all these things, and we should do them with a conscious awareness that we are to please him in all that we do. There is a story of a man who sat down to his meal after a day of happy activities. As he prepared to give thanks and as he thought of the day’s events, he said, ‘What all this, and my God present with me.’

His presence should be a source of comfort to us. At times, we face opposition from the world and endure the temptations of Satan. Where is God at those times? He is with us, indeed he never leaves us. We do not cry to a distant God, although at times we may think he is far away from us, as happened to Job; in such times we are to commit ourselves to God. There is the promise of Psalm 23:4: ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’

His presence is a refuge for us in times of distress. Said David in Psalm 31:20: ‘In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.’

His presence should cause us to be confident in our choices. A biblical example is Moses, who made his choice between a comfortable life in Pharaoh’s place and a difficult life with God’s people because he continually saw ‘him who is invisible’ (Heb. 11:27).

His presence should be a challenge to us in our priorities. Sometimes, we face a choice between what is right and wrong, and the reality of God’s presence should make the choice easy. At other times, we have to choose between two rights, and the knowledge that God is there should govern our motives and desires when we make that choice.

Connected to wrong choices is the possibility of losing a sense of the comfortable presence of God. Our sins grieve the Spirit and cause him to withdraw himself in the sense of providing peace and joy. But he remains in the sense that he will begin to convince us of our sins, for his commitment to his people includes the promise to restore them when they fall.

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