I experienced God’s Presence before I even knew to call it “God’s Presence.”
Sometimes it comes to me in hunches and impressions. Other times, an uncanny sense of joy or rapture seers a memory into my mind. Then there those ordinary Sundays that I show up at church and simply feel more at peace about my life.
What is God’s Presence?
Perhaps the best way to explain something as intangible as “presence” is to consider what it feels like when we are in the presence of another human. When you’re in a room alone and someone who loves you walks in, what changes?
You suddenly feel this sense that you are important, valuable and cherished. You are willing to turn off the TV, or whatever else you were doing to give this person your undivided attention. You’re not forced to change your behaviour, you want to. To that’s how I know I’m in the presence of God.
God manifested his presence to the Israelites in the form of a visible pillar of fire and pillar of clouds in the book of Exodus. This was his way of showing them that they were important, valuable and cherished. He revealed himself to Paul with bright light from heaven and the sound of His voice. There are countless ways in the Bible that God reveals himself to humanity, but one thing is for sure, God loves to make himself known.
For me, being in God’s Presence feels like I can breathe deeper and drop my shoulders. I feel accepted and taken care of. I lose my need to strive and accomplish. It’s as if the treadmill of my human existence is paused and I can zoom out and meeting God in the heavens.
Making It A Daily Habit
With our lives increasingly packed with a wide range of priorities, activities and to-do’s, I’ve found that I crave God’s Presence even more. Being in God’s Presence fills me with so much serenity and hope that receiving it on Sundays only is not enough.
I want this “one thing” all the time, just like David prayed in Psalm 27:4, “the one thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
So, if that is what you seek as well, here are some daily habits to incorporate in your life that will help you experience God’s Presence:
1. Breathe In The Buffering
Waiting for a file to attach to an email? Breathe. Downloading a video off the Internet? Breathe. I’ve made a habit of looking out the window beside my desk whenever I am waiting for something in buffering limbo. This gives me a handful of opportunities every time I sit down to work to connect with God. The bonus is that it helps me to stay centered on one task at a time and not get lost in multitasking.
2. Wonder In the Sunsets and Sunrises
This year I started going to work early and this meant that I can now catch the sunrises on my morning drive! As a result, I’ve been able to watch more sunsets this spring than ever before. I now no longer need to wait until a vacation to pause and remember the grace of a new day.
In Psalm 19, it says “The The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Enjoying the spectacular free light show that happens every day in the sky, helps me to feel connected to God’s presence.
3. Checking Out God’s Goodness
Whenever I am waiting in a line at a checkout, I take a moment to consider how God has provided for me. Sometimes I cycle through big, pivotal memories, and sometimes I’ll simply consider the small blessings from the day. Instead of reading headlines from magazines or pulling out my phone, I take advantage of this tiny moment to create space for my soul to breathe. An added benefit is that I am filled with gratitude and develop a prayerful spirit.
4. Listen To Worship Music
I go through seasons where I’m only listening to worship music, and seasons where I’m bored of it! Still, I find myself returning again and again. Music fills the spaces of our souls and I’d much rather have music that reminds me of how loved I am, than music that tells me to be angry at an ex-lover.
5. Bless Your Bills
Every time I get to pay for something, I say a silent prayer and thank you to God that I have the funds to live my life. I also pray that this money blessed whoever it goes onto and I thank God for all the hands that have gone into producing whatever product or service I’m purchasing. This connects me to a deep sense of provision. It reminds me that God is taking care of my every need, just as he promises in Matthew 6, “ So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Please don’t feel like this is another five things to add to your list of “things to do.” Dwelling in God’s Presence is not something we have to “accomplish” but simply a chance to remember how loved we already are.