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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’”—Acts 9:3–4 (NKJV)
Thinking about the presence of God, one can tend to focus on the supernatural expressions. When Moses was in the presence of God, he walked away with a glowing face, and no one was able to look upon his face. The glory was too much to be approached. But today, if we’ve been in the presence of God, it will actually make us more approachable, not less. When Jesus died on the cross, He tore the veil, allowing us constant access to the throne of grace. He made the glory of God something we can experience!
In Psalm 139:7 (NKJV), David asks, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” This reminds us that His presence is always there, always available.
If you’re weary, the power of His presence feels like rest: "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14 NKJV).
If you’re grieving, the power of His presence feels like joy: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV).
If you’re headed in the wrong direction; however, His presence can feel like being knocked to the ground. In this past year, I’ve felt that blessed corrective presence in the face of my own wrongdoing more than once. Faithfully, His grace came down, changing my heart and mind and restoring relationships that were broken.
While the presence of God may not literally knock you to the ground today, at the very least it really should bring you to your knees. It’s everything when you have nothing. It fills you to overflowing, so much so that you can’t help but pour out His love to the world. His presence changes and molds us so we can love as we’ve been loved.
However, if you haven’t felt the presence of the Lord lately, you’re not alone. David experienced this and cried out to the Lord: “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1 NKJV). Yet, knowing the faithfulness of God, he continued: “But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:5–6 NKJV).
Seek the Lord and His presence today while He may be found.
DIG: Look up Scripture verses that describe the presence of God.
DISCOVER: Think back to a time when you felt overwhelmed by the presence of God.
DISPLAY: Share the details of a time you have felt God’s presence with a trusted friend.