From the time of creation, God has been taking man through a learning process of His presence and the importance of fellowship and communion. There are key lessons that will strengthen us on God’s presence:
Lesson 1: Obedience
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. (KJV)
God told Adam and Eve they could eat the fruit of any and every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which was in the middle of the garden. After they disobeyed, they hid from the presence of God. Please, realise that the Bible didn’t express that God hid from them. As a matter of fact, He sought them after they disobeyed but they were covered with guilt and shame and this made them feel unworthy of God’s presence. Many ask the reason God placed the tree of knowledge in the garden. They feel the fall would have been avoided if the tree was non-existent. This is a valid question, however, that’s the lesson. We need to understand that there is always a choice for us to make. The enemy will want to trick us with things that are temporal but as covenant minded children of God, the value we place on our relationship with Him will be evident in our obedience to His will. It is necessary to realise that obedience comes at a price. Willingness to commit to God even when you have other options is important in maintaining our relationship with the Father. The Scriptures declare that those who are willing and obedient will eat the best of the land. When our focus is the presence of God through obedience, the best of everything will be our portion. When you follow the leading of God’s Spirit, you will apply for the right job opportunity; make profitable investments, marry the right partner and much more. Obedience is a key lesson of the value we place on His presence.
Lesson 2: Trust
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, preparedan ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.(KJV)
Trust is reliance on the integrity, strength, ability and surety of a person or thing. Confidence in the presence of God is crucial to our experiencing His manifest presence. God gave Noah an instruction to build an ark (boat) in a desert! This instruction sounds out of place when you are to build an abnormal thing in a very normal environment. Friends, the boat signifies the power of God’s presence for preservation of anything and anyone. This means that when you have the presence of God, you are preserved from all forms of danger. Do you need preservation? What you need is none other than the presence of God. The lesson here is, sometimes, when you don’t feel God, you can you trust Him to be with you. Trusting the presence of God expresses that even when things around don’t seem like God is with me, I have confidence that it will end in my deliverance. The psalmist said, “… for you Lord are a sun and shield.” This is a double edged sword. It means the presence of God has enough capacity to be what you need at any point in time. The presence of God can heal your body and marriage. This same presence will fight your battles and give you peace. Trusting His presence shows that we have faith in His ability. When Noah was building the ark, many would have mocked him and counted him foolish and jobless. He was, however, not moved by their utterances because his focus was in God. Trust in His presence to turn around your situation.
Lesson 3: The intention of His presence
Exodus 25:21-22 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. (KJV)
God gave Moses specific instructions to build an ark with the mercy seat on top because He wanted to meet and commune with them. We need to realise an encounter with God precedes communication with Him. You cannot effectively communicate with whom you do not know. Paul said that he might know Him and the power of His resurrection.
Many want to experience the power without the knowledge of who He is. When you make a commitment to wake and commune with God, He is waiting because He wants to meet with you as a friend. The Scriptures say God spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend; this is therelationship God wants with us in His presence. Studying and meditating on the Word will oil our relationship as the power of the Holy Spirit keeps the fire of God burning in us. The Word of God maintains the presence of God in us. The instruction God gave Moses to build the ark also signifies we need to be intentional in hosting the presence of God. Be deliberate in your communication with Him. He further told him to place the testimony (Word of God) in the ark. Friend, you need the Word of God to be alive and active in you to maintain a steady relationship with your Father. He wants to tell you more about who He is. When you draw close to Him, He will draw near to you.
Lesson 4: The presence of God with you
Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. ( KJV)
We all go through different phases and challenging periods in life. The promise of God to us is that there will never be a time when we will be alone. There are different kinds of storms in life; financial storms, marital storms, and secret storms No matter what your storm is, God says He will grant you peace in the midst of it. This means that the presence of God will make a way right in the middle of your challenge. The psalmist said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me.” Friend, this shows that we will go through challenges but you don’t have to fret nor take it all alone. He says, “I will help you in whatever phase or situation you are in.”
There is no doubt that the presence of God is with you. This was further experienced in the life of Daniel and His friends when a fourth man appeared in the fire. When you are in your weak state, the presence of God is your strength so that you will not be moved. The presence of God is the bush that burns but not consumed. So be at peace, you will come out of it and surely testify. Daniel and His friends maintained their integrity and were not moved by the threats of the king. They were unwilling to compromise their faith and God showed up. God says that He will never leave you nor forsake you. When you trust God that He is with you, you will never be moved.
Lesson 5: The presence of God in you
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Birds dwell in nests, foxes in holes, men in houses but God dwells in man. God has always desired to dwell in man in fellowship. The redemptive plan of God has always been about you. The plan to restore man to his place in God’s presence, had been in motion before the foundation of the world. The presence of God in you is the height of the Love of God. The Bible says that we are the righteousness of God in Christ. Our God is a holy God and His presence in you consecrates and sets you apart for His glory. You don’t ever need to feel unworthy because it is you in Him and Him in you. The Scriptures declare that we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not us. God’s excellent work is alive and at work in you. It is the presence of God in you that makes you a brand new person.
You are a carrier of the presence of God. When the enemy comes upon you like a flood, the Spirit of God will raise a standard against him. Nothing will be able to defeat you because the greater One is alive within you. When you face a financial situation, look within to His presence and the presence will grant you wisdom. The presence of God in Joseph granted him administrative prowess to save an entire nation. Whether you are a school teacher, in government, ministry or stay home mum, the presence of God in you makes all the difference. It is your season and time!
For Further Study:
1 Corinthian 6:15-20, Act 7:48-50
Questions for Reflection:
- Is there anyone that God does not dwell in?
- Does that automatically mean that He’s active in every human being?
- How do I get the best of God?
I am a carrier of the presence of God. God resides within me with power. I have everything that I need.