What is God’s presence according to the Bible?
God’s presence according to the Bible is literally God being present.
When God is present, that is referred to as “the presence of God.” The presence of God happens through agency of the Holy Spirit. [Related article: Is the Presence of God the Holy Spirit? (Biblical Answer)].
You see right now, the Father is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9), and the Son – Jesus Christ is in Heaven as well (Mark 16:19). But the Holy Spirit was sent to the Church once Jesus rose from the grave and paid the penalty of all sin. (John 20:19-22)
So when the Bible says that God is present everywhere this is true but it happens through God’s Spirit. This means that when we’re talking about the presence of God it is impossible to not also talk about the Holy Spirit, for Holy Spirit is the presence of God upon the earth.
Its important to mention that God is always present with us everywhere that we go as long as we are followers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:20). However, there are certain occasions that we may experience God’s presence on greater degrees than other times.
This does not mean that God is more present than He was all the other times, it simply means that we were able to perceive Him with our bodies more so than we were before.
How to enter God’s presence
There are three key steps that everyone must take to enter God’s presence. They are (1) to be born-again, (2) to understand that God sees you as righteous, and (3) to draw near to God through communion, preferably through praising and worshipping Him.
You must be born again
The Bible makes it clear that no one can experience the presence of God on a regular basis without first receiving the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:17) I say, “regular basis” because of course God at times uses His presence to convict unbeliever’s and to show His power. But for those who want a relationship with God they must first repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus.
(Note: this is not referring to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit but the work the Holy Spirit does in the life of a believer the moment they get saved. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation. I have a whole article on this topic, you can check it out by clicking here).
Understand you are righteous
If you desire to come before God and to enter His presence consistently then you must understand that God sees you as righteous which simply means that you are right with Him.
If you have any doubts in this area you will struggle in your relationship with God because you will feel that you have no right to come before Him, but if you understand this then you will see that there is no more separation between you and God for Christ has cleared the way.
Draw near to God
The final step is to simply draw near to God. The Bible makes a promise that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). So if we ever feel that we are not near to God, it is because we have not drawn near to Him.
But how do we draw near to Him? What guidance does the Bible give believers in this area?
Throughout the Bible we see a common thread that reveals how to enter God’s presence and that is praise and worship. This can happen in many forms; thanksgiving, singing, pouring out your heart through adoration, etc. But no matter what, it is always praise and worship.
Here are some scriptures that reveal this truth…
“But You are holy, Enthroned (or inhabits) in the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3)
“Come before His presence with singing…Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” (Psalm 100:2 & 4)
This is exactly why Jesus starts out the Lord’s prayer with, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). He was trying to reveal to His disciples that we are to enter God’s presence through worship.
Jesus’ model prayer wasn’t a prayer that we were meant to recite word for word. Instead, it was meant to be a guide or a “manner” of prayer as Jesus calls it (Matthew 6:9).
So when Jesus gives the first line of His model prayer and it is all about worship, that shows us the first thing we ought to do to enter God’s presence is to worship.
We also see this in the apostle Paul’s life. Singing and worshipping was a huge part of his prayer life.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25).
And again in 1 Corinthians 14:15 when he explains how he incorporates speaking in tongues in his private prayer life.
“What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”
So, in short, singing and worshipping the Lord is the main way we that we engage with God and enter in His presence.
If you want a more complete break down of these three steps you can by reading the article I wrote on them by clicking here.
How to carry God’s presence
We carry God’s presence by being aware of Him and communing with Him throughout our day. The individual who carries God’s presence is an individual who has devoted themselves to being one with God through intimacy with Him.
Someone who is a carrier of the presence of God is someone who has learned to walk in the Spirit and abide in Christ, for they are all the same thing with different terminologies.
For this to happen, it does not require a lot of steps or even a lot of work. All God needs is someone who is willing to host His Spirit upon their person. Which is what we are all growing into anyways – carriers of God’s presence (Ephesians 2:21-22).
This is what Jesus said about being a carrier of God’s presence. I think He summs it about way better than I ever could.
“21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
“22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
“23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:21-23)
Jesus revealed here that anyone who keeps His word will have God making His home in them. This reveals that keeping Christ’s word is the key to being a carrier of God’s presence.
Keeping His word in regards to love, prayer, fasting, discipleship, giving, long suffering, etc. Seeking to understand what He has to say about a subject and then keeping it is the key to carrying His presence.
Now you may be wondering, “what does this have anything to do with communion and relationship with God?”
Everything! Obeying the words of Jesus are never non-relational to Jesus.
You see, so often we read the word of God and then just close our Bibles and never engage with Him, and then we leave with head knowledge about what we read and all that produces is a list of do’s and dont’s.
Instead, we ought to recognize tha God and His Word are One, and whenever we look at the Word of God we are looking at God Himself, for it reveals God!
Similarly, if you and I were talking and you heard my words, you would leave knowing that you had a conversation with me, and that I had a conversation with you. It is relational! And It is the same thing with God!
If it ever becomes do this and not that, then you just set yourself under the Law and you will fail to fulfill it everytime, and discouragament and depression will surely set in because the God who gives the commands also gives His Spirit to enable us to obey His commands.
This is the difference between the Old Testament. This is what it means to walk in the Spirit and to be a carrier of God’s presence; know the Word of God and know the God of the Word.
[Related article: Carrying the Presence of God: What it is and How to do it].
Benefits of dwelling in God’s presence
Psalm 91 is a complete list of promises that will take place in our lives when we learn to dwell in the secret place of God’s presence. I have an article that lists each one of these promises at the bottom of the page. You can check it out by clicking here.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God!
Below are some more articles on God’s presence in case you are interested in learning more.
God bless you all and enjoy!