Last week I went through some practical steps and getting closer to God. This week I’m going to expand this by talking about how to STAY close to Him and abide ALWAYS in His presence.
Below are some facts that are unchangeable, and we can count on them every day. When we purposely put faith in what God has said about Himself and treat Him as though we believe Him, it pleases Him and honors Him and brings Him on the scene in a greater manifestation.
The things we know and learn of Him must be united with our faith to bring results.
Hebrews 4:2 – For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
The Word we hear will only profit us to the degree that we add our faith to it, only when we treat God as though we believe Him and act like we do.
His presence is the same always
Matthew 28:20 – …Behold, I am with you always, all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age.
Always – At all times; invariably, for all time; forever.
Perpetually – continuing forever or for a very long time without stopping, happening all the time or very often, occurring continually, indefinitely, long-continued.
Uniformly – not varying or changing, staying the same at all times.
Your feelings may change, your perception of God might vary, but His presence with you is always the same.
This scripture has brought the reality of God’s manifest and tangible presence and help to my life time and time again. I began by believing it on purpose when everything in me said I wasn’t worthy or that He wasn’t hearing my prayers or whatever other lie that came to me. Now these truths are so much a part of me that I wouldn’t for a second believe He isn’t there and wouldn’t hear when I pray or wouldn’t help me whatever I need. I always expect Him to hear me and give me the answers, the peace, the help, the strength I need – AND HE ALWAYS DOES!
You can treat God like He means what He says. You can accept the fact that He is always with you the same regardless of your feelings or circumstances.
Hebrews 13:5-6 – …for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not! So we take comfort (you take comfort when you believe these words and apply them to yourself.) and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, the Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?
You have to TAKE COMFORT. He has given it. He is the God of all comfort. Comfort is always there for you but you have to take it. How? By faith! By believing what He has said higher than what you think and feel or what seems to be.
Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 – Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you…It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].
This isn’t just a scripture to read. It is a truth to take hold of. You have to purposefully take the thoughts presented in these scriptures and replace what is in your own mind with them. This process is called renewing the mind, and it is how your life is transformed.
He is ALWAYS near and ready to help
Hebrews 4:15-16 – For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
Notice we are to come and receive and find not ask and seek.
Hebrews 2:18 – For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering].
Psalm 46:1-2 – God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…
He ALWAYS sees, knows and is willing to deliver:
Psalm 34:15, 17-19 – The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. Many evils confront the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 31:6-8 – But I trust in, rely on, and confidently lean on the Lord… I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy and steadfast love, because You have seen my affliction, You have taken note of my life’s distresses, and You have not given me into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a broad place.
He is ALWAYS willing to give wisdom and lead you to victory
James 1:5 – If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting)…
2 Corinthians 2:14 – But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere…
John 10:4-5 – He walks on before them, and the sheep follow Him because they know his voice… The sheep that are my own hear and are listening to my voice and I know them and they follow me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish. No one is able to snatch them out of my hand.
He leads and I follow Him into triumph, into eternal, abundant life. If I don’t follow His leading, I may miss it.
Psalm 32:7-8 – You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
He will lead always into deliverance, into triumph. But I must listen to His counsel and take heed to His voice whether it is in the written Word or His still small voice in my heart.
1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
He is always there, always ready to help, always aware of what you are going through. He is always willing to give wisdom and show you the way out of where you are and on to your deliverance. There is always a way of escape which He is willing to reveal to you. You never have to fall or fail if you will listen to Him and follow what He tells you to do.
Many times the deliverance isn’t instant; you have to listen and take heed to the Spirit of God and the Word of God and walk day by day into the victory.
Since He is there, why does it many times seem He isn’t?
Our feelings are inconsistent. Circumstances may blind us to His truth. The things of life may have dulled our spiritual senses. We may have had disappointment after disappointment in life that makes it hard to trust God. But HE IS THERE and HE WILL HELP – YOU!!!
Because our feelings and circumstances are contrary to truth is why it is wonderful to know that we have His unchanging Word and that His presence with us is consistent at all times. We have to put the eternal truths of God’s kingdom before our own feelings and experiences. This is called walking by faith and is necessary to please God. (Hebrews 10:38; 11:6; Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4)
You must put faith in truth for it to work for you. You must believe, trust in and expect His continued presence and that He will always deliver you – because He said it.
It has nothing to do with your feelings or how things seem to be or your experience or the experience of anyone else; it is eternal truth and is the same every day for all time and eternity.
His truth is more sure and eternal than the very earth we live on. His present help is more powerful than the earth around us falling apart. (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25; Psalm 46:1-3)
You can’t wait for these things to seem true or to experience them to believe. You must believe before you see, based only upon His Word. It many times seems like He isn’t there because you believe what seems to be as higher than His Word. HE IS THERE! He said so!
If you can learn to live by faith in Him you can get to the place where you live without any fear because you are always assured of His love and present help.
Psalm 9:9-10 – The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation). And they who know Your name [who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy] will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 32:9-10 – Be not like the horse or the mule, which lack understanding, which must have their mouths held firm with bit and bridle, or else they will not come with you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord shall be compassed about with mercy and with loving-kindness.
Hebrews 13:5-6 – Be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.
Take these scriptures and believe them on purpose. Say, “Lord, I am not afraid because you are my God. I thank you that you strengthen me now. I thank you that you help me now. I thank you that you are supporting me and upholding me. You never leave or forsake me or leave me without help or support. I take comfort and boldly say, Lord, you are my helper. I will not fear.”
You will find that when you put faith in God and His Word when you don’t feel Him and He doesn’t feel real and present, He will manifest Himself to you and in your life and circumstances!
Faith is as simple as treating God like He is like He says He is an means what He says. You act like the Word is true.
Practicing His Presence
It takes practice to stay in His presence just like it takes practice to do anything well. How do you practice His presence? Take these scriptures concerning Him and His presence, write them out, go over them regularly, speak them over yourself, and begin to act as though you actually believe them. Doing this day after day is practicing. And as time goes on what you practice becomes second nature. Start today. Apply what the scripture has to say. Practice His presence.
Matthew 28:20 – …lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Hebrews 13:5 – …He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Luke 1:74-75 – He has delivered me from the enemy to serve Him without fear in His presence all of my days…
Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 – …it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you… It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will be with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you…
Joshua 1:5 – No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.
Ephesians 3:17 – May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts!
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Have FAITH in the reality of His continual indwelling presence – just as He has promised. Praise Him for this reality. The reality is ever true but it is only real to you when you mix it with faith (Hebrews 4:2).
It can feel like He has forsaken you; you can feel alone, but if you put faith in these truths, His presence will become more real to you than your feelings.
Act like He is there. Always acknowledge to yourself His present help and mercy. Learn to expect it at all times, and you will experience it at all times.
Psalm 46:1, 10 – God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble… Let be and be still and know (recognize and understand) that I am God… Cease striving and know that I am God…
Hebrews 4:15-16 – For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in good time for every need.
Make yourself aware of God at all times. He is always there wanting to make Himself real to you. Walk with God in faith. Live in a constant sense of confidence and security in His presence.
Learn to talk things over with Him. He is there and interested in you; talk with Him; share your life with Him! Remember He loves you and cares about all that concerns you.
The answer to your most urgent need is close – much closer than you ever imagined. The Father is so near that you can talk to Him at any moment – and know that He listens, and His Spirit is so close that He can give you comfort, peace and direction at any time, wherever you are, regardless of your feelings – all you have to do is ask and trust that He will.
God is always the same and always with you the same, but your perception and feelings continually change. Realize that truth is not based on your moods or passing emotions or on present circumstances but on the eternal realities and on the unchanging nature of God and the promises of God.
If I feel His presence and begin to rely on feelings and they change, I will have to learn again to walk by faith alone. But if I continue to rely on God according to His Word regardless of how much or how little I feel Him or what seems to be happening around me, my faith is based on things that are eternal and unchangeable and will remain constant regardless of feelings or circumstances; therefore His presence in my life remains the stable and consistent. God has promised to always be with us and never leave us, but He has not promised we will always feel Him. God requires faith.
I need to rely on the fact of His unchangeable presence not the feeling or assurance of it. Relying on feeling His presence throws things out of balance, and when I no longer feel Him, He seems to be gone. But when I rely on a fact that is always the same, His presence never changes to me – because the fact never changes.
He is just as real and hears just as clearly when I don’t feel Him as when I do. He hears me when I feel dry and unspiritual as much as when I feel close to Him.
He is unchanging, always there for me, willing to answer, yes, longing to respond. But it is faith He responds to, faith that knows and expects – that He is just as He says He is. He can’t respond when I let feelings that He won’t or can’t help or isn’t hearing rule me – even though He wants to.
He is there every day; always the same. So I can count on this every day of my life regardless of feelings or circumstances. He is unchangeable. His love is unchangeable. His mercy is unchangeable and everlasting.
Things may change, my moods may change; my circumstances and situations may change, but He is always the same, always near, and He always meets me when I trust in Him. His presence is constant; but my faith activates it towards me and makes His presence real in my experience.
Mark 13:31 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. I am more stable trusting in these truths of the Word than in trusting the ground to hold me up. It is perfectly safe to trust my life and every one of my concerns to God.