Have you felt God’s Presence before?
When last did you feel the presence of God? As in, feel His tangible Presence in such a way that you are moved and stirred spiritually, emotionally, and physically? Where were you? What were you doing?
Were you praying? Listening to music? Seeking an answer to a question or just out enjoying the day? Were you desperate? Happy? Lonely? Surrounded by people? With someone you love deeply, who loves you in return? Were you at home? At church? At the mall? In town? Or far away in a place you’ve never been to before? Were you sitting at the table, washing dishes, or out in the yard, mowing the lawn?
Perhaps you’ve never felt God’s Presence. You’ve never felt the deep rush of peace and joy and rest and freedom that pours into the depths of your heart and soul when God places His finger on you. Are you still searching and longing? Or have you moved on and decided that God can’t be reached? That God does not reach out? That God does not exist?
The Requirement to feel God’s Presence
I often feel the presence of God. However, sometimes I have to go looking for God. Sometimes God comes looking for me. But there is one constant requirement to feel the Presence of God, I have to to be constantly aware. To be looking, sensing, feeling, searching, acknowledging, and knowing that God, by His Spirit, is always around and ever-present.
Many people have a deep sense of emptiness because they have not yet learned how to be loved and then share the love they have been given. Repetitive cycles of disappointment and failure to feel have taught many to be distracted by the sound of everything but the Father’s voice. Many have run from the perceived commanding voice of God presented to them and sought shelter in the world. Instead of drawing near to the Heart of God, too many people feel stressed, alienated, alone, failed, afraid, hurt, and forgotten as they try and navigate their way. Avoiding the love of God, they are all around us, putting on a brave face, but hurting deeply inside. Counsel and advice won’t do it for them anymore; they are out of brain space.
What they and you and I sincerely and constantly need, is an authentic experience of the Love of God. His voice is gentle, kind, and loving, yet powerful, truthful, and safe. Forgiving and gracious, yet correcting and guiding, constantly towards God’s Heart. Whether you know it profoundly or just don’t believe it, you were created by God. Yes, you were lovingly fashioned and formed, designed and crafted, to deeply know and love God. And You are made to be loved by God, who is your Father. God’s truth is not a theology, it’s an experience of the Life, Love, and Power of God at work in our lives.
So when last did I feel the Presence of God so tangibly?
At sunrise, I was up on a mountain high above and looking down on a layer of white puffy clouds. We hiked to a place I’d never been to before, the top of the Tugela Falls in the Drakensberg, the second-highest waterfall in the world. Sitting here, on the edge of a nearly 1000m cliff with my wife, our feet dangling over the clouds. Surrounded by friends, Kobus, one of our friends just spontaneously started reading Psalm 104 out loud.
“O Lord my God, You are very great:”
“You are clothed with honor and majesty,
Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment,”
He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters,
Who makes the clouds His chariot,
Who walks on the wings of the wind,
Who makes His angels spirits,
His ministers a flame of fire…
You who laid the foundations of the earth,
So that it should not be moved forever,
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters stood above the mountains.”
Oh wow – now I’m feeling it. The words of the Psalm burst forth as we sat in the reality of what was being read. We literally were surrounded by the mountains once covered with water that now resembled upper chambers. The clouds above resembled chariots; the clouds below resembled a garment. As the sun rose and the air warmed, the clouds started to heave and move like water, and birds that were once far down below, found themselves lifted up to our altitude on the warm fresh currents of air. They repeated this the following day – day after day, they wait for the morning air to rise so they can fly up to the mountain tops. The wind carries them up on its wings, and they come to soar far above the foundations of the earth.
At this moment, I was so aware of the eternity and mystery of God and His creation. Deeply aware of His Forever nature, I was both in awe and deeply comforted. Tears formed in my eyes, and as I looked over at Bernadien, she too was deeply emotional. There was just a sense that God was with us. For us.
As pastors, we are constantly searching and pressing into the Presence of God. For example, Moses’ who said that he would not go without the presence of God. We too, wouldn’t dare lead a church without the tangible Presence of God present in our personal lives and at church. Therefore, every person should press in at all times to invite the Presence of God into their lives, businesses, families, and friends. We are constantly asking, listening, waiting, speaking, writing, singing – but this Saturday morning, God came to us. We took a break, and He came and filled the gap.
Our prayer for you
Our prayer is that you will take the time to experience and feel the Presence of God in your life. That you would become sensitive to the slightest evidence of His Spirit. And finally, that you would feel and know His Presence like eagles instinctively turning into the warm air currents that carry them up and over the mountain ranges.
The mystery of God creates and develops in us just the right kind of desire to seek and explore. It’s in the seeking that we spread our wings and fly. It’s in being aware and not knowing that you fully come alive. May you develop a deep and meaningful relationship with God based not on what you think and understand but on the desire to know what you can’t comprehend. God is greater than the sum total of everything you know. Therefore, it is when you yield to that kind of power, that you find the Freedom and Love you have been looking for.
Footnote and Youtube Video:
We explore the Freedom that comes from knowing God intimately. Our prayer this month is that you will take the time to experience and feel the Presence of God in your life and become sensitive to even the slightest evidence of His Presence around you. Experience the peace and joy that can only be found when God places His finger on you and be in awe of the Greatness, Care, and Mystery of God.