The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2).
Do you desire to live in God’s presence 24/7? While God is omnipresent, and His presence is always with us, we should long to experience Him in some way. When we talk about experiencing the presence of the Lord, we are talking about the realization of God’s presence – of perceiving His presence and being conscious of Him. Practicing His presence through worship is one of the ways this can happen. God has promised that as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us and we will experience His presence in ever-increasing measures. My prayer is that as you spend time at The Secret Place, you will have an encounter with the Presence of the living God. Cultivating a greater awareness of God’s presence brings three great benefits:
1. Companionship: At some point we all realize that human companionship is limited; even the best of friends cannot always “be there” for us. They move, fade away, or die. Sometimes they do not understand. Sometimes they are not faithful. If you try to meet all your companionship needs through others, no matter how wonderful they are, you are in for a life of frustration. But, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV). And since He has been “tempted in every way, just as we are”(see Hebrews 4:15 NIV), He understands us completely. John says this friend who can “be heard, seen and touched”, always listens, always communicates, always expresses affection, is patient with us, forgives us whenever we wrong Him, and stays committed even though we ignore Him for long periods of time.
2. Confidence: Your journey will not be free of storms. No one’s is. But an awareness of God’s presence will enable you to face those storms, confident that life cannot throw anything at you that you will not be able to handle in God’s strength.
3. Compassion: The more time you spend with Christ, the more like Him you become. Look what happened to John. As a young disciple he wanted to destroy a town because some of its residents did not want Jesus to stay there (see Luke 9:54). But after a lifetime in God’s presence he wrote: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8 NIV).
Companionship, confidence and compassion are the fringe benefits of knowing him intimately. Are you experiencing them? If not, maybe you’re not spending enough time with Him.