Allow me to recognize the clear biblical teaching of the ever-present indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of a committed Christ follower, and to say this: There is no greater treasure to the follower of Jesus than experiencing the very presence of God. Be it during a powerful worship service, a moving song as you are driving down the road, or a morning devotional, there is nothing as powerful and life changing as spending time in the mighty presence of God. Likewise, there is no greater frustration in the life if a committed follower of Jesus than to not be able to experience God’s presence.
We cannot base our relationship with God on our feelings, nor on how much we may or may not experience God’s presence in our life at any certain point of our faith journey. But there are some things that can creep in from time to time, hindering our ability to sense God’s presence at work in our life. It is my desire to briefly describe a few of those things, with my intention not being to finger point, but to desire and promote redemption for all of us when we struggle with the big question that tends to surface during the seasons of life when we can’t seem to experience His manifest presence. The question? “Where is God right now in my life?”
Pride. Pride promotes self and demotes God’s work in our life. It also blinds us to the needs of others and to our own need for God. A sure, but subtle way to snuff out God’s presence.
Productivity. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing. But if it becomes our life’s focus and measuring rod, we will eventually replace God’s presence with production, and the tragic result is earthly efficiency and measurable success without eternal significance.
Personal sin. This should be self explanatory, but unfortunately we’ve become a Church that has become so okay with sin that we rarely ever use the word in our vocabulary. Remember Sampson? He compromised so much with sin that though his hair was cut, “he did not realize the Lord had left him.”
Physical exhaustion. Elijah found himself in the throws of exhaustion, fear, depression and hopelessness at the end of his exhilarating experience on Mt. Carmel. Needless to say, he was unable to experience God’s presence in his life in the moment as a result.
Priorities. Simply said, if there’s no room for God in our daily life, there’s no room for God’s presence. Also, we can be guilty of seeking after God’s presence (a spiritual experience) and not His face (a biblical plea).
Plan. Last but not least, there are times when this writer believes God chooses to not allow us to experience His presence as strongly as at other times. And it may not be because of something we have done or have not done. It may be because God is testing us to see if we will remain passionate about Him and obedient to Him without the sense of His presence.
I may be writing to someone who, for whatever reason, has not been experiencing God’s presence in your life. I want to offer this simple prayer on your behalf:
Jesus, I pray today for your son or daughter who is reading this. I ask you to cover them right now in your grace, mercy, healing, strength, and forgiveness. I pray for them to receive a fresh touch from you in whatever they may be going through. And use this season of their life to grow them in you like never before. In your name. Amen.
Have you ever gone through times in your walk of faith that seemed as though God’s presence was no where to be found? If so, What have you learned from that experience?