Growing up in church, but not in a family that really served the Lord, I never really learned anything about the presence of God. I learned a lot of rules and regulations. I knew exactly how to behave to “make” God happy with me. I learned from my family that love was performance based and if you wanted to spend quality time with Dad, you had to do all the right things. It’s easy to see how all this made it very difficult for me to have a true relationship with God. I seemed to always approach God from a perspective of what I could do for Him. How much did I need to do to make Him happy with me was a question I frequently asked myself. This kind of thinking can make your life a real roller coaster.
In July 1987, I found myself in Loveland, Colorado. I attended church with my brother. At his church I began to hear things like, God spoke to people and that He wanted to spend time with them. Honestly, this was a foreign concept to me. I had never heard anything like that in all my 25 years. But somehow, that resonated with me. It was at that time I heard about a God who was way less worried about what I did and more about just being with me. I heard about a thing called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was then that my life was radically changed. As I began to learn that God was really present, and through the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit I could actually be in constant communication with Him, I began to see who God really was and who I really was in His sight. I discovered one of my favorite scriptures.
“I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” — Psalm 16:8 (NLT)
As you go through life, begin to train yourself to realize that you are constantly in the presence of God because He is always with you. In trying times, God is with you. In times of sorrow, God is with you. In times of great celebration, God is with you. Know that your life is anchored to His presence.
CALL TO ACTION
In the next few days, ask God to show you ways that you can be reminded that you are always in His presence. Maybe take time every hour or every meal just to remind yourself that God is right beside you. It will cause the way you see life to be changed forever.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” — Psalm 139:7 (NASB)
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” — Psalm 16:11 (NLT)
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” — Psalm 46:1 (ESV)