God’s Presence. Why do we need it? How do we get in it?
We all need the Presence of God, because if we do not have it we cannot succeed (Psalm 78:60-62). If you don’t think you need the Presence of God, let me ask you this: is there anything you are trying to achieve in your life – any relationship, job or situation you are trying to improve – that just isn’t working? Are you sure God is in it? Have you prayed about it and really sought out His Will for the situation? Have you spent time in His Presence seeking to know the outcome He desires, instead of crafting your own solutions to life’s problems?
Moses always sought God’s Will for any situation in which he found himself. In Exodus 33:18, Moses asked God: “please, show me Your glory.” He would not even go into the promised land without making sure that God’s Presence was with His people. Moses was a man who prayed with power, and we must follow his example if we seek to impact our surroundings through prayer. When Moses spoke, rivers turned to blood and Pharaoh fell to his knees.
What do we gain by being in the Presence of God?
1) Freedom. A relationship with Jesus is the only way to conquer sin and death and achieve true freedom.
2) Healing. When the Lord taught the disciples how to pray in Matthew 6, He told us to ask for God’s Will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. There is no sickness in heaven. If we spend time in His presence, sickness has no choice but to leave our bodies.
3) Communion. Daily communication with God is essential. Who plans your days – God, or you? Let Him plan your days, and watch the difference it makes in your life.
4) Natural order is re-established. In Genesis 2, God created the Garden of Eden with us in mind. We are naturally designed to walk and talk with God.
So what keeps us from spending time in His Presence? Maybe some of us don’t have time to devote to prayer and worship. Maybe some of us don’t even know what we’re missing when we don’t take time to pray and worship. But we all have one thing in common. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23). Every single one of us, Christian or otherwise, is a sinner. There is no getting around it, and God does not allow sin in His Presence. So how can we confront it?
Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life; and He lived it for you. When we accept Him into our lives, His righteousness is attributed to us, and our sin is imputed to Him. This is all made clear through one piece of cloth: the veil.
When Jesus died on the Cross, Matthew 27:51 says that the veil was torn. The veil in the temple at Jerusalem separated the Presence of God from His people. In the Old Testament, the only man allowed access to the Presence of God was the high priest, and that access was only granted on the Day of Atonement after meticulous preparation and sacrifice. But the Cross changed all that.
When Jesus died, the veil was torn. From top to bottom. From heaven to earth. The barrier between God’s Presence and His people was annihilated. We can now seek Him at all times. When can now experience His Presence at all times. When Jesus died on the Cross, the whole nature of our relationship with God changed. The Cross makes us priests (Rev 1:6), and the benefactors of a covenant relationship with the King. We are made witnesses to things which even angels long to gaze into (1 Peter 1:12). We enjoy a relationship with God that Old Testament prophets sought after (1 Peter 1:10) but could not attain because the events on Calvary had not yet taken place. We are the unworthy recipients of everything God’s people have reached for since the beginning of mankind.
We should thank God for our tremendous position of privilege every day. We live in an incredible period of history where every man and woman who calls Jesus Lord can enjoy time in His Presence daily.
We can, and should, build our relationship with our Creator daily through worship and prayer. Paul told the church at Thessalonica to rejoice always and pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:16-17). Jesus, through Paul, is telling His church to worship and to pray. There is a time for corporate worship and a time for personal worship. We should practice them both. There is a time for corporate prayer and a time for personal prayer. We should practice them both.
Make time for God. Spend time in worship and prayer. Spend time in His Presence and watch Him transform your life.