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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.

Is Your Relationship with God Only One-sided?

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How would you describe your relationship with God?

  • Wonderful
  • Mediocre
  • Disappointed
  • Disillusioned
  • Displeased
  • Dissatisfied
  • Confused
  • Stymied
  • Non-existent*

Here’s one HUGE fact that can change your relationship drastically:

Relationships are two-sided.

Duh!

But when was the last time you thought about God’s side? Could it be that your interaction with God is not what you desire because you are only looking at yourself? Poor relationships result when one or both parties are focused only on themselves.

Whether a relationship is good or bad depends upon both parties.

Perhaps you’re involved with someone right now who’s completely self-absorbed and oblivious to you. Then you know a little bit about how God feels when His children do the same thing to Him!

In an ideal relationship, both sides give their all: a 100-100%, not 50-50%. God’s contribution to us is always perfect and complete; 100%. (If you doubt that look at the cross.) Ours? Not so much.

Of course, God understands that we are faulty and will always fall short ( Ps 78:39; Ps 103:14). That’s why He sent Jesus. He is understanding, compassionate, and patient. Nevertheless, although we cannot relate to God perfectly, He wants us to move in that direction; having a heart after His own heart; desiring to make Him happy as well as desiring for Him to make us happy.

Doesn’t God deserve that? We don’t deserve His mercy and grace, yet He gives that to all who are willing to receive. He is holy, pure, righteous (=always doing right), and good—we are not. We have it backwards.

We think we deserve the best in life when in reality it is God Himself who does. He is the One deserving honor and glory.

This truth has revolutionized my relationship with God! And it will do the same for you—if you apply it.

How do you start looking at God’s side of the relationship? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Read, believe, and act on what God says in His Word.
  • Ask Him to change your perspective as you interact with Him; to live with a He-focus instead of a me-focus.
  • When you read His love letter to you (the Bible), think how you can respond back in love.
  • Find out what pleases Him, what would make Him smile (Eph 5:10).
  • When you don’t understand something, ask for His point of view—the big picture. After all, He is omniscient and you’re not!
  • Humble yourself. Realize that He is the One that should receive first consideration.
  • Concede to His desires, not yours. God’s way is best!

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.(Ps 37:4)

Your needs will be met—your Father God promises!

This mindset will enable you to live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way (Col 1:10). Mutually loving and pleasing one another leads to a blissful relationship. Such sweet fellowship with your Creator is available to you.

Taste and see that the LORD is good. (Ps 34:8)

God gives and gives and gives. He gave the most precious gift of all—His Son as a demonstration of His incalculable love for us. How could we not respond back in love?!

Until next time my friends, You can trust God to fulfill His side with perfection. Will you strive to reciprocate?

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mat 6:33)

If you’d like to delve further into this topic please check out my first book, Our Knowable God: Learning How to Relate to Our Invisible Lord.

You can learn more about it by clicking on this link.

 

*If you do not have a relationship with God or not sure if you do, click here.

 

THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.

 

The Abundant Life: Meaning, REAPING, and Keeping – Part 2

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Jesus’ promise of living life in all its fullness is available to everyone, but it is not automatic. The Lord has shown me that the most important key in attaining this quality of life is that it cannot be the goal.

Rather it is a by-product of our primary goal.

 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mat 6:33)

Abundant living is the fruit of being and remaining in a right relationship with God.

That’s why I used the term reaping instead of getting in the title of this blog. This relationship begins the moment we accept Jesus’ free gift of eternal life.

And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent. (Jn 17:3 AMP)

God created you to be in a love relationship with Him forever and that way is found only through His Son.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6)

Why do we have to come through Jesus? Because God is pure, righteous, and holy and we are not; we are sinners.

But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. (Hab 1:13 NLT)

The good news is Jesus makes us clean by taking the punishment we deserve for wrongdoing upon Himself. By accepting His work on the cross, He gives us His purity (righteousness) so that we can draw close to this most holy God. (Click here for a more detailed explanation.)

So the abundant life starts with being in a right relationship with God through His Son.

Next, we need to remain in a right relationship.

We do that by living an obedient life. Now please don’t let that be a turn off! His commands are not burdensome (1 Jn 5:3)! They are good and beneficial. Would you, as a loving parent, tell your child something that would hurt him? Of course not!

In the same way, our heavenly Father only wants what is best for us—even though it may include restrictions and some things we may not like at first.

…Fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you…so that you may enjoy long life…be careful to obey so that it may go well with you…. (Deut 6:2-3)

Being a gardener, I just love the word picture Jesus gives in John 15 of abiding in the Vine.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself…. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you…. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Jn 15:1, 4, 7, 9-11)

I believe the phrase, “If you remain in me and my Words remain in you” means to live in Christ and by His Word. It means we need to

  • Know it*
  • Ponder it, so we can
  • Apply it (=obey)

By obeying God’s Word, we will not restrict the life flow of the Vine into us, the branch. His nourishing truths and Living Water will result in the much desired fruit of love, joy, and peace (Gal 5:22). In other words, the abundant life!

Next time, my friends, I will discuss how to keep it. Until then, abide in Christ—it is a sweet sweet existence!

*Click here to learn more abundant life Scriptures

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.

Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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.

Photo by Brienne Hong on Unsplash

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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