Experiencing the Presence of Jesus

Are you struggling to feel the presence of the Lord?

Do you sense nothing when you try to spend time with Him?

Are the scriptures having no deep impact on your life?

Experiencing the presence of God.

How can we experience the presence of God?

Wow, if I were able to fully answer that question here, I could write a book and make a million dollars! This is the question believers have asked throughout the ages. And the reality is, experiencing the presence of God is, I believe, as varied as the person who asks it. But I do believe there are some things we need to examine in our own lives to see if we are doing anything to quench the Spirit in ourselves.

#1 – Do we have any unconfessed sin?

Now, let me say that it is so very easy for us to give a short cursory, “No, of course not!” I’m going to burst that bubble right now and say, there is always SOME unconfessed sin in our lives. As God works to transform us into the image of His Son, there will always (this side of Glory) be things that are wrong in our lives…attitudes, assumptions, or actions. However, not all of this is revealed to us by God. Sometimes He will hold off and not work on certain things in our lives for years and years. Let me rephrase the question above. Is there any unconfessed sin that God is revealing to us?

Psalm 32:3-5

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Has His Spirit been nudging us about something we said to someone else, whether to a spouse or child, friend or stranger? Perhaps it was something we neglected to do when we were convicted to do it? I am not saying we are supposed to berate ourselves over an act of kindness we didn’t think about doing or something that came to our mind after the fact. God doesn’t bring condemnation to our lives. But I am talking about something that God specifically laid on our hearts but we deliberately chose to ignore His prompting and, in rebellion, did our own thing instead. Or maybe it is an ugly attitude toward someone, something we don’t act on but that colors the way we view them.

With these unconfessed sins, we need to really sit down and ask the Spirit to search our hearts. We must be willing to stop the noises and distractions in our lives and open our hearts for the Lord to really search us and speak to us. Nothing says the presence of God like His hand of conviction on us! Conviction, repentance, confession and receiving His forgiveness. Start there now.

#2 Are we neglecting His Word?

Spending time in the Word is more than reading through a one-verse daily devotional. And it is more than preparing for the bible studies we go to. It’s not how much time or how many verses we read, it is all about letting the Word reach into our lives to speak to us and letting the Holy Spirit use that Word to change us. Sometimes we forget that the Word is life-giving. Sometimes we forget that the Word pierces deep to the core of who we are. Sometimes we forget that the Word is the very heart and mind of God given to us.

Psalm 119:14-16

In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

Are we meditating on His Word daily? Are we praying through the scriptures or are we just skimming over the writing to get our daily check list done. Read Scripture. Check. Coming to the scriptures with a heart to be taught, to be changed, to be exposed before the Living God really opens us up to His presence! Open His Word now.

#3 Are we neglecting Him?

This one might seem odd to you. You might think I’ve covered this one in the previous 2 points. But it is actually quite different. Many years ago, as a baby Christian, I read a booklet called “My Heart, Christ’s Home” and it had a powerful impact on me. It talked about the love relationship we have with Jesus and how easy it is for us to begin to neglect our time with Him.  We race through a devotional time without ever really stopping to remember who it is we are meeting. We get focused on all the activities in our lives, even “good” Christian activities. These can begin to supersede a real intimate relationship. We can be deceived into thinking that involvement in Christian things is the same thing as being with Christ.

Luke 10:38-42

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Do we think about Him when we first open our eyes? Do we go to sleep talking to Jesus at night? Do we call out to Him for help in our nightmares? Does our mind automatically focus on Him at every lull in our mental processes? Are we totally and unashamedly in love with Him? Maybe it is time to cultivate that deep and sweet love with our precious Savior. This kind of intimacy and hunger opens the door to His presence. Let’s walk through that door right now!

[Tweet “Experiencing His presence is about Jesus, not about us.”]

Praise Him.

Focus on Him.

Glorify Him.

Don’t meditate on what you are or are not feeling. Look to Him and let His Spirit open your spirit, to see Him in a deep way to live a life of transformation. In the middle of all of this, you will find Jesus – calling you. Answer the call now.

Galatians 4:9

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God…

If you’d like more encouragement on this topic of experiencing the presence of God, consider using the Overflow Bible Study Method or digging into this series.

7 thoughts on “Experiencing the Presence of Jesus”

  1. Pingback: Experiencing the presence of God {More To Be} - Teaching What Is Good

  2. Kate, this is what I so love about being in a ‘confessional’ church(Lutheran in my case, although I’d be just as happy in an orthodox Presby or Anglican congregation). The focus is very much on what Jesus has done FOR us. It’s not so much about our happy feelings or our ability to gin ourselves up into some sort of holy ecstasy.

    Sometimes(actually, usually) the road is tough, the slough difficult. We are pilgrims and strangers here. If we base our faith on how we feel, we’d be in rather bad shape, more often than not. We are held up by His powerful Word, not our own wavering faith or lack thereof. We needn’t gin up anything, but only trust that God does not lie to us, and will, at the end of all things, keep us in his mighty hand.

    In our evening prayers, hubby and I confess our sin thusly: “Holy and gracious God, I confess that I have sinned against you this day. Some of my sin I know: the thoughts and words and deeds of which I am ashamed. But some is known only to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask forgiveness. Deliver and restore me that I may rest in peace.” That’s a fine way to end the day. IN the morning, we ask God to keep us from sin, this day. Every day is hemmed in thusly with asking for God’s good protection and faithful absolution.

    Jesus is indeed calling: through his Word and sacrament. We needn’t seek some sort of ‘experience’. It’s all been done for us. A happy thing, that, as if it were up to us and our feelings, we’d rather make a hash of it! 😀

    Here’s an excellent hymn, Thy Strong Word, from our confessional church:

    “Thy strong word did cleave the darkness;
    At thy speaking it was done.
    For created light we thank thee
    While thine ordered seasons run.
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

    Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness,
    Dark as night and deep as death,
    Broke the light of thy salvation,
    Breathed thine own life-giving breath.
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

    Thy strong Word bespeaks us righteous;
    Bright with thine own holiness,
    Glorious now, we press toward glory,
    And our lives our hope confess.
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

    From the cross thy wisdom shining
    Breaketh forth in conqu’ring might;
    From the cross forever beameth
    All thy bright redeeming light.
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
    Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

    Give us lips to sing thy glory,
    Tongues thy mercy to proclaim,
    Throats to shout the hope that fills us,
    Mouths to speak thy holy name.
    Alleluia! Alleluia! May the light which thou dost send
    Fill our songs with alleluias, Alleluias without end!

    God the Father, light-creator,
    To thee laud and honor be.
    To thee, Light from Light begotten,
    Praise be sung eternally.
    Holy Spirit, light-revealer, Glory, glory be to thee.
    Mortals, angels, now and ever Praise the holy Trinity!”

    1. Elizabeth, I love that God is such a complex God and that He calls us to worship and adore Him with ALL of who we are! Our minds, our hearts, our spirits, our emotions. He draws us and He woos us. He allows that empty feeling inside to trigger our longing for more of Him and as a goal to examine our hearts for sin and neglect of our intimate time with Him.

      I love that it is always the faith that He gives to us that drives our walk with Him but that He gives us such deep ways to experience that faith, that love, that call to our spirits and hearts!

      I love that He gives us marriage (and the full spectrum of love we experience there) as a shadow image of the depth of love and faith we can have with Him.

      And I love that He continues to transform our lives by His love and the power of His Spirit in us!

      Thanks for sharing.

  3. This was fantastic! – although these are things I know it was a perfect reminder as I literally asked myself that questions this morning “why don’t I feel your presence?” I will be spending my afternoon in confession and fellowship. Thanks for such a timely post 😀

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