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Are You Too busy to Sense God’s Presence?

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I’m at a place in my life where I relish the times with my Lord in the mornings. I’m a writer, speaker, and teacher and need desperately to stay connected with Him and His Word. But the busyness of life can greatly disrupt those precious times. I especially recall the time I moved out of state. 

With all the details and aspects of moving and then immediately going away on a 10-day trip, it’s no wonder that I had a hard time concentrating on reading God’s Word; quieting my mind and heart before Him. I often found myself apologizing to the Lord for my distracted heart and begged Him to help me settle down so I could commune with Him. Sometimes I was able to; other times not so much! It’s very hard for a triple-A personality type to sit still—especially under these types of circumstances.

I knew that God understood and forgave me; that I’m just human, and that all this craziness was just for a short season. But the thing is—I missed those times with just the Lord and I, without all those things vying for my attention. I missed just relaxing with my Savior and savoring His presence. And you know what? I think He did too.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I never felt like God had left me during those times. I knew He was there because He Himself said:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb 13:5)*

Nor am I saying I always feel His presence when I’m not busy. But through many hours of daily consistent times alone with God, I’ve come to a special place in my walk with God—I know deep down in my heart He is ever-present with me. That sense of His presence is simply a matter of degree and a conscious awareness of Him.

What causes this variability?

Circumstances, people, our enemy, even God Himself at times. But I personally think the primary factor is the condition of our hearts.  

If you’re not sensing God’s presence, then ask yourself: “Am I right before my holy God? Is there any lack of confession or repentance on my end?” (Ps 66:18)

Whatever the cause, it sure is wonderful when we do sense God’s presence. It dispels fear, doubt, and gives us joy, peace, and contentment (see Is 41:10, Ps 16:11).

Do you have a sense of God’s presence? Perhaps you have never experienced this type of closeness with God or only to a small degree. Is this type of intimacy available only to a choice few? NO!

It is available to all who desire it.

In fact, God wants that closeness with you—yes you! He created you for that very purpose. He wants you to know Him and have the awareness of His love and care.

I’ve dedicated my life to helping others know this amazing truth.

How do you get to this place?

First, by understanding that this is a love relationship entered only through believing in Jesus Christ’s redemptive work for you personally.

Secondly, a love relationship takes time, effort, and a commitment on both ends to develop. God does His part. Will you do yours? I’ve written about how in my first book, Our Knowable God.

I’ve been walking with Jesus for 35 years now, and I can wholeheartedly tell you He is worth knowing!

So until next time, my friends, guard your time carefully and devote it to the Lord. He will reward you greatly with a sense of His presence!

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! (Ps 34:8)**

 

By the way, I have a brand new resource to help you experience more of God’s presence. You can get your free copy here.

 

 

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

**New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Increased Capacity: The Wonderful Cycle of Knowing God

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You’re sitting there, overwhelmed with the presence of God. You’re singing praises, utterly grateful for God’s love and the saving of your soul. “How can it ever get better than this?!” You feel so complete, contented, and loved.

Then something else happens. God comes through once again in a miraculous way, answers an impossible prayer, or meets a need in a profound personal way. I call these “God Touches” where you experience a “tangible” moment with your Maker.

And those feelings of “How can it get ever any better than this!?” return.

How is this possible? After all, God said, “I, the LORD do not change” (Mal 3:6).

I have 3 ideas for you to ponder.

1. God doesn’t change, but we do.

God doesn’t get better, but our perception of God does—provided we get our knowledge of Him from His Word. Our view of God becomes clearer as we peer intently into God’s beautiful revelation of Himself. God wants to be known in increasing measure. As we grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s truths and apply them, we will experience more and more of Him—and all that He embodies. Since God is good, and everything about Him is good we will naturally experience greater, sweeter, and “gooder” times with our Savior.

2. Our capacity to enjoy and know God increases.

Unlike our bodies, our new nature is not finite. As our new nature grows, there is more “room” for God in our hearts. There is a greater capability to understand the God of the universe.

And just in case you don’t know—you feed your new nature by eating (taking in) and digesting (processing, applying and obeying) God’s wholesome Word. Nurture that new divine nature within you; starve the old nature, and watch your intimacy with an infinite God flourish.

3. Irony

The other cool thing about all this is that although we are completely satisfied during these times of sweet communion with God, there’s still a hunger for more. This compels us to go back again and again; to seek Him in newer ways, newer understandings, and newer commissions. (Jer 29:13-14).

What should our response be to all of this?

Utter gratitude, humility, and worship.

What a privilege it is to be able to commune with such a holy awesome God!

Then we are to pass it on.

We are not to hoard all of His wonderful love and revelation. We are to share His love more and more with others.

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else…. (1 Thess 3:12)

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…. (Phil 1:9)

Shout this out from the rooftops! “Behold your God! Let me tell you about my beautiful Savior who wants to be your God and Savior as well!”

As you expand your knowledge and understanding of God and His ways and obey Him, your capacity for love and intimacy with Him will grow—guaranteed! What else would we expect from an infinite God who abounds in love? Still, I’m amazed every time it happens, and the wonderful cycle continues.

 

All Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Going Deeper with God May Mean Going into Deep Waters

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Ever since I wrote my crazy scuba diving metaphor of

How to go deeper with God

this thought is constantly surfacing in my mind:

If you want to go deeper with God in your relationship, then you must be willing to go down into deep waters.

None of us like times of heartache, discouragement, or loneliness. However, we cannot escape the fact that we will have them in this fallen world. Even Jesus said so (Jn 16:33). However, I believe God wants to use these times to bring us closer to Him.

Deep waters can be a special experience with God

Some of you know what I mean and would say that it was during those very difficult times that you experienced the Lord like never before, and grew the most spiritually.

I’ve been a widow now for over 9 years and although I would never want to relive that first year without my soulmate, the sweetness and intimacy with my Comforter has been unmatched. 

Oh, I’ve had many other down times (that comes with the territory of being an emotional yo-yo), and have experienced sweet intimacy with my God, but that time as a new widow was EXTRA special. His grace filled me in a way that I needed at that time. 

Each difficult situation is different and our Lord is able to meet that specific need in a special way.

Deep waters can be faith-building

Looking back in how God rescued me from drowning in my circumstances has buoyed my faith. Going down memory lane with my Savior has greatly enabled me to experience God on a deeper level.

His faithfulness gives us reassurance that we’ll be able to endure the next inevitable encounter with the depths of pain. We can know He will be with us—close and at hand. A very present help in trouble (Ps 46:1).

Deep waters can help us understand our Savior better

Jesus experienced all the heartache any person has and way more.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (Heb 4:15)

Most of us realize that Jesus can sympathize with us—but have you ever placed yourself in His shoes?

Back in 2008 I had a friend who betrayed me. The pain was excruciating! I remember asking, “Is this how you felt, Jesus, when Judas betrayed you; when the other disciples ran? Is this how you feel now when people turn their backs on You?”

By trying to identify with Christ’s suffering, I tasted a small amount of the anguish He endured for me. It drew me even closer to Him and empowered me to forgive. I think that’s what Paul meant when he said:

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings…. (Phil 3:10, emphasis added)

When two friends share the same pain and comfort each other, a special bond is formed between them. A similar type of bond can occur as we imagine the pain Christ went through.

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Heb 12:4).

~~~~~

Don’t fight against God. Accept the weight that brought you down into deep waters; don’t try to resurface too quickly. It might not be fatal as air embolism would be in scuba diving, but you will lose out on:

  • A special intimacy with Him
  • Spiritual growth
  • Impact for His Kingdom
  • Present and future rewards
  • The abundant life

Instead you will have a life filled with regret.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:11, emphasis added)

Cooperate with Him—it’s His way of bringing you closer to Him. He’ll be worth it!

~~~~~

In case you missed it here are some other resources on how to go deeper with God:

How to Go Deeper with GodGod’s Way

How to Go Deeper with God in Prayer

Going Deeper with God: Books and Resources to Help You

Bible Verses for Going Deeper with God

 

Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash

Scripture taken from New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

How to Go Deeper with God

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Drawing close to my Savior is a passion of mine. As many of you, I have tasted and seen He is good—and I want more, much more! But how do you go deeper with the God of the universe? Praise the Lord we are not left to our own devices. He not only wants to be known in a deep way, but shows us how!

I have sought and found the Lord—just like He promised in Jeremiah 29:13-14!

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.”

Permit me a crazy metaphor as I explain how to go deeper with God.

My husband and I were scuba divers. We have seen the wonders of the coral reef. So many have not. They are clueless as to what is beneath the surface of the ocean. It’s a totally different world.

Many appreciate the beautiful turquoise water. Some express oohs and aahs as they ride on a glass bottom boat, catching glimpses of what’s underneath. Others venture out in snorkeling so they can experience the beauty of the reef more; some even hold their breath to admire it up close. But they can’t stay down for long. You need special equipment to go down and stay down in this foreign world.

God exists in a different realm. Therefore, just like in scuba diving, we need special enabling to see and experience God up close and personal.

What do you need to go down into the depths where God is?

Air

In order to exist (i.e. live) in the spiritual realm you need to be spiritually alive—born again. That air is provided by Jesus Christ’s work on the cross. Only through Him can you enter into the sacred world of a Holy God.

Regulator

A regulator delivers the pressurized air contained in a tank in a way that our lungs can absorb. The deeper you go underwater the greater the pressure. The regulator adjusts the pressure of the air so your lungs won’t burst.

The Holy Spirit is our Regulator. God’s truths are too overwhelming; we wouldn’t be able to handle them alone. But the Spirit of God is able to deliver truths in a way in which we can understand no matter what level we are in our relationship with God—10 feet or 100, novice or pro.

Goggles

The Holy Spirit is also our face mask. He enables us see the wonders of God’s truths and how to apply them to our lives. 

 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived–what God has prepared for those who love him”–but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (1 Cor 2:9-12; see also Jn 16:12-15)

How do you go deeper with God? How do you get closer to Him?

By:  

  • Humbling yourself and coming His way—through His provision of equipment in Jesus and the Holy Spirit
  • Diving down in faith despite not being able to see what’s below
  • Accepting the weight belt of trials to counteract the buoyancy of an easy life
  • Allowing God to regulate your buoyancy compensator vest—He won’t let you go down deeper than you should, nor let you rise too fast to the surface—lest you get air embolism (a fatal condition)
  • Accepting the fins of love and encouragement from others; propelling you to go even deeper
  • Not taking for granted the mercy and grace of God that allows you to get close
  • Taking the time and effort to learn the basics. Just like we need to learn the basics of diving in a swimming pool before we can descend into the beauty of the deep.

 

Until next time my friends, I hope I didn’t take this analogy too far. I just find it fun to plunge the depths of God with crazy metaphors. Thanks for putting up with my wild and crazy imagination! I hope I at least put a smile on your face as you think about getting up close and personal with your awesome God!

Check out the links below to see how to go even deeper with God:

How to Go Deeper with GodGod’s Way

Bible Verses for Going Deeper with God

Going Deeper with God: Books and Resources to Help You

 

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Increased Capacity: The Wonderful Cycle of Knowing God

Free Download

You’re sitting there, overwhelmed with the presence of God. You’re singing praises, utterly grateful for God’s love and the saving of your soul. “How can it ever get better than this?!” You feel so complete, contented, and loved.

Then something else happens. God comes through once again in a miraculous way, answers an impossible prayer, or meets a need in a profound personal way. I call them “God Touches” where you experience a “tangible” moment with your Maker.

And those feelings of “How can it get any better than this!?” return.

How is this possible? After all, God said, “I, the LORD do not change” (Mal 3:6).

I have 3 ideas for you to ponder.

1. God doesn’t change, but we do.

God doesn’t get better, but our perception of God does—provided we get our knowledge of Him from His Word. Our view of God becomes clearer as we peer intently into God’s beautiful revelation of Himself. God wants to be known in increasing measure. As we grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s truths and apply them, we will experience more and more of Him—and all that He embodies. Since God is good, and everything about Him is good we will naturally experience greater, sweeter, and “gooder” times with our Savior.

2. Our capacity to enjoy and know God increases.

Unlike our bodies, our new nature is not finite. As our new nature grows, there is more “room” for God in our hearts. There is a greater capability to understand the God of the universe.

And just in case you don’t know—you feed your new nature by eating (taking in) and digesting (processing, applying and obeying) God’s wholesome Word. Nurture that new divine nature within you; starve the old nature, and watch your intimacy with an infinite God flourish.

3. Irony

The other cool thing about all this is that although we are completely satisfied during these times of sweet communion with God, there’s still a hunger for more. This compels us to go back again and again; to seek Him in newer ways, newer understandings, and newer commissions. (Jer 29:13-14).

What should our response be to all this?

Utter gratitude, humility, and worship.

What a privilege it is to be able to commune with such a holy awesome God!

Pass it on.

We are not to hoard all His wonderful love and revelation. We are to share His love more and more with others.

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else…. (1 Thess 3:12)

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…. (Phil 1:9)

Shout it out from the rooftops! “Behold your God! Let me tell you about my beautiful Savior who wants to be your God and Savior as well!”

As you expand your knowledge and understanding of God and His ways and obey Him, your capacity for love and intimacy with Him will grow—guaranteed!

What else would we expect from an infinite God who abounds in love? Still, I’m amazed every time it happens, and the wonderful cycle continues.

 

All Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Sensing God’s Presence

Free Download

I’m at a place in my life where I relish the times with my Lord in the mornings. I’m a writer, speaker, and teacher and need desperately to stay connected with Him and His Word. But the busyness of the past 2 months has greatly disrupted those precious times.

With all the details and aspects of moving out of state and immediately going away on a 10-day trip, it’s understandable that it would be hard to concentrate on His Word; to still my mind and heart before Him. I often found myself apologizing to the Lord for my distracted heart and begged Him to help me settle down so I could commune with Him. Sometimes I was able to; other times not so much! It’s very hard for a triple-A personality type to sit still—especially under these types of circumstances.

I knew that God understood and forgave me. I knew it was understandable from a human point of view and that all this craziness was just for a short season. But the thing is—I missed those times with just the Lord and I, without all those things vying for my attention. I missed just relaxing with my Savior and savoring His presence. And you know what? I think He did too.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I never felt like God had left me. I knew He was there because He Himself said:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb 13:5)*

Nor am I saying I always feel His presence. But through many hours of daily consistent times alone with God, I’ve come to a special place in my walk with God—I know deep down in my heart He is ever-present with me. That sense of His presence is simply a matter of degree and a conscious awareness of Him.

What causes this variability? Circumstances, people, our enemy, even God Himself at times. But I personally think the primary factor is the condition of our hearts.  

If you’re not sensing God’s presence, then ask yourself: “Am I right before my holy God? Is there any lack of confession or repentance on my end?” (Ps 66:18)

Whatever the cause, it sure is wonderful when we do sense God’s presence. It dispels fear, doubt, and gives us joy, peace, and contentment (see Is 41:10, Ps 16:11).

Do you have a sense of God’s presence? Perhaps you have never experienced this type of closeness with God or only to a small degree. Is this type of intimacy available only to a choice few? NO!

It is available to all who desire it.

In fact, God wants that closeness with you—yes you! He created you for that very purpose. He wants you to know Him and have the awareness of His love and care.

I’ve dedicated my life to helping others know this amazing truth.

How do you get to this place?

First, by understanding that this is a love relationship entered only through believing in Jesus Christ’s redemptive work for you personally.

Secondly, a love relationship takes time, effort, and a commitment on both ends to develop. God does His part. Will you do yours? I’ve written about how in my first book, Our Knowable God.

I’ve been walking with Jesus for 33 years now, and I can wholeheartedly tell you He is worth knowing!

 

Things are finally starting to get back to normal in my life—well, a new normal. I still have lots of adjusting to do, but at least I’m starting to settle down and settle back into my delicious quiet times with Jesus. I hope you will make the effort to sit down with your Savior and experience His presence too.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! (Ps 34:8)**

 

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

**New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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