Do you know how to recognize the presence of God in your life?
Is having health and wealth the sign that God is with you? Some people believe that. But where does that leave those whose health is deteriorating or whose wealth has been wiped out?
The truth is that life has many ups and downs. And while life changes, God does not.
So how are we to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we have the presence of God in our lives, even when life is hard?
Looking for God in all the wrong places
Today and back when the Bible was written, people assumed that certain things indicated God was present and other things that He was not.
Here are some misconceptions, yet often believed scenarios that God is present.
- Getting the job we want
- Winning the lottery
- Making more than enough money to live on
- Being physically healthy
- Having a picture-perfect family
- Making successful business deals
The man Job (pronounced Jobe) was one of those people in the Bible that was prosperous in all possible ways. Then calamity hit him. Losing all his wealth, family, and his healt. His friends assumed he was being punished by God.
Nowadays, some people say, ” if you just had enough faith things would go better for you?” Maybe someone said that to you. It hurts, doesn’t it?
The presence of God Scriptures
We first need to realize that how things are going in our lives is not necessarily a barometer of our relationship with God. He does not have favorites who He rewards with material blessings and others just the opposite.
“For He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45 ESV
Even those who are evil to the core still get rain for their gardens and yards, and sun to help everything grow.
The Bible says that God is not a respecter of persons. He does not play “favorites.” (Romans 12:11, Acts 10:34)
God also says that He is near to all who are really trying to find Him.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 4:16 b
Feeling the presence of God
This is a really tricky one. Our feelings are influenced by so many factors that we can’t rely on them to tell us that God is present.
Think of someone you love. A nephew or niece, child or grandchild, your mom or dad or sibling. Do you gush with feelings every time they walk into the room? No. Yet you still love them and they still love you.
Yet, there are other times when you are overcome with feelings for these same people because of something they said or did.
So while we can’t expect to “feel” the presence of God every minute, there will be sometimes when it happens. Just don’t use that as an indicator that He is there.
How do you know God’s presence?
So How do you know God is present in your life?
Do you talk to God? Does He talk to you?
Do you talk to God?
If you love to talk to God throughout the day, you can be sure that God is listening. This is what we call prayer.
But just because it is called prayer does not mean that we have to be down on our knees with our eyes closed. God doesn’t care where we are. He just wants to hear from us.
Yes, sometimes we engage in formal prayer, but sometimes it is just a “thank you for the beautiful sunset you made.” We can pray about everything.
Does God talk to you?
Have you ever heard God’s voice? It usually is not audible. Yet, God can speak to us in many ways.
- Reading the Bible, which are God’s word. This is the number one way God speaks.
- Remembering Bible verses that we have memorized
- Seeing a correlation between something in nature that points to a Biblical principal
- Other followers of Jesus who share the words of God with us
- Christian music that addresses something we are going through
- Christian books that direct our attention to God.
Living in the presence of God
So how can we live in such a way that we recognize the presence of God on a day-to-day basis?
- Have a personal relationship with Jesus
- Read the Bible as often as we can, but at least daily
- Pray off and on all day long
- Think about how Scripture applies to our daily life
- Thank God every day for His many gifts
- Spend time with others who love Jesus
- Trust God’s promises
(1) Have a personal relationship with Jesus
Jesus said, “If you have seen me then you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). He also said that He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
Because we all have sinned (Romans 3:23), we are separated from God the Father and can not have His presence in our lives. (Romans 6:23).
The good news is that through Jesus we have a way to have the presence of God restored. Our sins can be forgiven, and we will no longer be condemned. (1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1)
If you don’t know Jesus, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can text, call, or chat with them online any time of the day or night.
Be sure and read “Christian Faith For Beginners“. It will also help answer some of your questions.
(2) Read the Bible as often as you can, but at least daily
The Bible is the very words of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Each time we read it, God speaks to us. Hopefully, we are listening.”
If you are new to the Bible, there is a lot of history we can learn from, and how people back then trusted God or didn’t trust Him. We can learn from their sin and the consequences of it.
The Gospels though, are probably the easiest to understand with actual quotes from Jesus. His words will set us free (John 8:32).
Be sure and read “Bible reading for beginners.” It will take some of the mystery out of where to start reading.
(3) Pray off and on all day long
Since prayer is often just a few words to God, it is possible to be conversing with Him all day long.
You might be asking, “What can God and I talk about all day long?”
Prayer is way more than asking for what we want. Do we spend all our time asking friends or family for something? On the contrary.
Most of our conversations with family and friends are telling them about things we love, or did, or asking them questions. It can be the same way with God.
Be sure and read Prayer for beginners. It will get you started in the right direction.
(4) Think about how Scripture applies to daily life
Thinking about the Word of God throughout our day keeps the conversation going. In the old Testament, God told His people,
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night … ” Joshua 1:8
” … talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 11:19
Be sure and also read, “Bible Verses About Meditation – A Guide For Beginners”.
(5) Thank God daily for His many gifts
There is hardly anything that will bring us closer to God than recognizing all the good things He has given to us and thanking Him for them.
Our gratitude begins with God’s love and forgiveness. And each new day is a gift from our Creator who breathes into us the breath of life.
To jumpstart the practice of gratitude, be sure and read “Why Be Thankful When You Don’t Feel Like It.”
(6) Spend time with others who love the presence of God
It really does matter who your close friends are.
Being around others who love Jesus and want to be in the presence of God is truly contagious. It will encourage you to continue on in your pursuit of God.
Having solid Christian friends will also help keep the gloom and doom of media and current events from pulling you into a pit of despair.
Be sure and read, “Who Your Friends Are And Why It Matters.”
(7) Believe the promises about the presence of God
- God will never leave us regardless of how it feels. (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:8
- We can’t ever lose God’s love when we are His children and He is our father (Psalm 139, Romans 8:38-39).
Never let go of these promises. God is faithful to keep His promises.
The presence of God is certain for anyone who loves Him and has a relationship with Jesus.
God’s presence is certain when we are feeling joyous or when we are experiencing deep sorrow.
Hang on tightly to the word of God when life seems hopeless and you are tempted to think God has abandoned you. He hasn’t. He is just a prayer away.
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