In one of our guest bathrooms is an old wooden plaque that was in one of our kids room growing up that reads in part, God is watching you.  I wonder why we think we come and go from the presence of the Lord?  At church we often hear someone who is leading the service say, “let us enter into the presence of the Lord.” If we have to enter into His presence, then when do we leave His presence?  When we leave church or maybe after the song service? For the truth to be known we are always, 24 hours a day in the presence of God.  We live in and out of God under an open heaven. But, sometimes we really do not want to believe God is watching us because we often like the times we ramble around in darkness, God help us all.  The Bibles says in God there is no darkness, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” (1 John 1:5-6) and if we are in God there is to be no darkness in us.  How can we at times be in the light (in His presence) and have to come into His presence (as many say) from out of the darkness and be His child? It just does not make sense in God. No matter where we go and what we say we are in the presence of God 24 hours a day. To believe anything else is just plain non-sense and it reveals a lack of spiritual understanding and “we lie and do not know the truth.” Again it is our emotions and feelings that deceive us into thinking we are coming and going from the presence of God.  During a song service when the music is just right and they are playing our favorite praise or worship song we feel like we are entering into God’s presence, but how about when the doctor tells us we have terminal cancer?  Since we cannot feel God’s presence at this time we think God is a million miles away and we think we have to do something, pray, or say something to enter into the presence of the Lord, but did Jesus not say I will never leave you nor forsake you?  Did God the Father leave Jesus on the cross when Jesus said, “my God why have thou forsaken me?  No of course not. Did God the Father turn His back on Jesus while on the cross?  No of course not.  And no it was not an issue of Jesus “taken upon His body the sins of the world.”  (John 1:29 Greek) and God not being able to look at sin; God looks at sin every day and does not turn His head or heart from it, but turns toward us in a great way with His grace and mercy because of the sin in our lives.  But are we smart enough to turn to Him in our time of sin? When Jesus died for our sins He fulfilled His mission on earth and at that time Jesus became totally one with God the Father to just a degree He was at a loss. Jesus always had a great dependence (for everything) on His Father and now His earthly mission was over (how strange Jesus must have felt, no wonder He felt His father turned His back on Him)  and now He once again can take His heavenly seat and complete the God-head in heaven once again.  If God did not leave His Son, why do we think He will leave us or we have to come and go in and out of God’s presence?  How foolish.

The presence of God is far more valuable than that to play around with.  Oh how precious the presence of God.  In Exodus we read Moses imploring God not for God’s presence (he knew we are in God’s presence 24 hours a day), but that God’s presence would lead Him and the people,  “And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”  (Exodus 33:12-15)  If we are not going the same direction of God’s presence we should not be going. 

I would like to share some thoughts on the presence of the Lord in a hope to straighten out some misconceptions in our thinking from wrong teaching:  The first and biggest truth is the presence of the Lord comes to us we do not go to it.  Most often the presence of the Lord comes suddenly and unrequested.  We think God is trying to make us feel good, well He is not He is trying to conform us into the image and nature of the Lord if we let Him.  The second thought is the presence of the Lord comes to us before or after a test to show us His victory. We must be able to see what God calls victory in our lives to be able to grow and develop spiritually in Him.  Now what God calls victory may not be what we call victory, but victory is God’s ultimate objective in our lives.  God never intends for us to come to defeat; there is no defeat in God, if you are looking for defeat you have to go outside God to find it. And His presence will lead us (like it did Moses) to victory if we allow it to.  The third thought is God’s presence is always for a knowing (by His Spirit) to show us the way (like with Moses), again not to make us feel good.   The fourth thought is the requirement to have God’s presence to abide with us and that is righteous living.  Jesus told the disciples, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  (Matthew 6:33)  Righteousness is always the requirement from getting something from God. God is after righteousness in our lives and if we cannot give it to Him then He will not go with us. We will stay at the foot of the cross and experience our salvation experience (again and again and no more) where many Christians want to stay.  Notice how things are to be sought; the kingdom of God which is not working for God at a local church in ministry or traveling the world in ministry, but “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  (you cannot see, touch, or hear it) 21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”  (Luke 17:20-21) Like God’s presence which you cannot see, touch, or hear it leads and guides us to an understanding of what God wants for our lives – righteousness.  The fifth thought which is the object of the presence of the Lord is to bring us into a place of rest, abiding with God, and a dwelling place. Verse 13 again from Exodus, “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” Here Moses asks God for some particular things, see the underlined portions.  Here Moses is beseeching (the way and matter a servant asks his master for something; a different word than asking) God for total assurance and guidance.  What else could Moses ask God for? Money, chariots, food, houses?  His health? Long life?  Things we like to ask God for?  Oh no, Moses beseeches God for His presence to go with Him, to abide and tabernacle with him and if God’s presence does not go, then Moses says he will not go.  How often have we said things out of our emotions and feelings, during the heat of a moment and then went the other way? Oh Lord help us all. The sixth thought is the presence of the Lord will cost us something. Nothing in God is free. To know God’s presence will cost us something of our self.  Strange to know God measures our spiritual growth and development by what we lose not by what we gain.  And to know God’s presence will cost us things of our self, we will have to lose our selfishness, our self-seeking, our self-righteousness, and the list goes on.  Lastly and is number seven God’s presence         

is the pathway back to the heart of the Father.  We are on our way back to where we came from; the heart of God.  God started something back in the Book of Genesis, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  (Genesis 1:27)  We were made in His image from God’s own thoughts, “And God said, Let us make man in our image.” (verse 26).  and He sent us out to help save those who were lost.  For us, our entire life is about finding our way back to the Father’s heart where we came from.  And God uses His presence to help show us the way, but this too is our choice like everything else in God.  Let us think rightly about the presence of God. Let us not think like a yoyo we come and go as we wish before the Lord, but we are 24 hours a day before God living a life that He can see and a life that pleases Him.  May God’s presence go with us is our prayer.