A Devotional Thought
by Don Woods
Make an awareness of the presence of God, your daily practice
Although God is not visible to us, He can still become the most reliable, trusted and very loving reality in our life!
King David said, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? ... For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalms 139:7-14). David was inspired by God’s presence being everywhere and that God was an all-knowing and all-wise God.
When we do not feel close to God or have a conscious awareness of His presence, we may blame God for the feeling of separation. However, this feeling of separation may come from our lack of openness to God, or just plain forgetfulness. The good news, though, is that God never forgets us and is open to us. He is always available to us if we “seek Him with all of our heart” (Deuteronomy 4:29).
Intentionally Drawing Near to God to Experience His Presence
“It is good for me to draw near to God and make God my Refuge” (Psalms 73:28, paraphrased).
Drawing near to God requires following Biblical directives rather than personal preferences. Personal preferences may be a cover for our inhibitions or fears. Those fears and inhibitions are acutely revealed when there is an unwillingness to respond to the directives of the Bible.
When we live by faith and love in response to God's word, we are freed from fears and inhibitions. In Psalm 62:8, it states “pour out your heart to him,” and in Psalm 66:17, “I cried out to God with my mouth.” Pouring out our hearts with words from the depths of your heart is an effective way to seek God with all of your heart and be released from inhibitions and fears. When I have expressed my feelings in words and tears in a deep way, I have experienced the near presence of God; sometimes called the manifest presence of God. It was a liberating experience and I felt release from my fears and inhibitions.
Psalms 65:3-4 gives us additional instruction that can help us draw close to God and be aware of His presence. It says, “My lips will glorify you ….and praise you…and I will lift up my hands in your name....” Notice from this verse how our heart, verbal expression and body language all are involved and work in harmony in worshiping God. The Bible in multiple places instructs us to worship God with our soul, heart, mind, spirit and body, all inclusive. Worship is meant to be a wholistic spiritual experience.
You can intentionally respond to these Scriptures
right in your own home
. Try practicing these verses each day, by pouring out your heart to God and praising Him out loud with words, not just in your mind, and allow your whole body to express that praise through raising your hands in surrender to God. Give some room to experience God in new ways through the teachings of the Bible. Practice this teaching daily and notice the difference it will make in your awareness of the presence of God.