Step 1: We seek God’s Presence By Seeking God Himself
God is a Person! He can be known, heard, felt, and experienced. He has a will, emotions, thoughts, and intentions like us. Now, of course, all of His attributes are perfectly holy and filled with love, but they are attributes that a person has nonetheless.
So, if this is true then the first step to seeking the presence of God is to realize that God’s presence is nothing more than God being present. I know that may sound very basic but it’s a truth that people forget. [Related article: Is the Presence of God the Holy Spirit? (Biblical Answer)].
People speak of the presence of God sometimes in a way that gives the impression that it is absent from His Person, that God’s presence and God are not the same. Nothing can be further from the truth!
Think of it this way, if you and I went to the same gathering of believers and for some reason, I didn’t make it to one meeting. And when you realize that I was not present, would you ask someone, “where’s the presence of Jeran?” Or would you just say, “Where’s Jeran?”
Of course, you would say, “where’s Jeran?” Because we know that my presence and me are one and the same.
The only reason why we make a distinction between God’s presence and God is that God is omnipresent. So when the Bible mentions God’s presence it usually is referring to a greater manifestation of God being present in a situation.
If we desire to seek God’s presence and to be filled to overflowing with His presence then we need to first acknowledge that His presence is Himself, and therefore should only be viewed as a way to describe Him being with us.
The reason I make this point is that if we inadvertently separate God’s presence and God then we will struggle to seek God’s presence effectively. We will find ourselves seeking a feeling, rather than a Person.
So, in short, God’s presence is God Himself and if we desire to be filled with more of God’s presence then we only need to do one thing; seek God.
Step 2: Spend Time in God’s Presence
The second step to effectively seeking God’s Presence is to spend time in God’s presence. [Related article: Spend Time with God (Common Questions Answered)].
The Bible gave us a wonderful promise in James 4:8. It says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Now, remember in the section above we established that God’s presence and God are the same. Well, this verse reveals that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. There are no if’s or exceptions in this passage. It is a promise from God!
And the Bible makes it clear that “all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). So if we truly believe this then that means that as we draw near to God in faith His presence is going to come. And the more we do this, the more we will get to know Him.
Now you may be thinking, “okay, but how do I draw near to God?”
Again, the Bible makes it very simple – we draw near to God through praise and worship.
Psalm 100:2 & 4 says, “Serve the Lord with gladness; 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”
This is exactly what the apostle Paul did on multiple occasions and both instances brought a manifestation of God’s presence.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” (Acts 16:25)
“As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2) Ministering to the Lord is nothing more than ministering to God’s heart through praise and worship.
Notice as Paul and his companions worshiped the Lord God sent and earthquake and the Holy Spirit spoke. They first drew near to God and then God drew near to them. [Related article: How to enter God’s Presence (Step-by-Step Guide)]
It is so critical to take time every day and get alone with God to draw near to Him. Find time when you are alone and draw near to Him through praise and worship. As you do this and spend time in this place you will be “built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22).
Step 3: Dwell in God’s Presence
The third step to seeking God’s presence is to dwell in God’s presence. We already covered that God is a Person who can be known and that we should spend with this Person through praise and worship. But now we are going to cover how to live with this Person. In other words, how to be in God’s presence throughout our day.
The Bible makes constant exhortations to “dwell in the secret place”, to “abide in God”, and to “walk in the Spirit.”
So if the Bible tells us to do these things that must mean that it is possible and the good news is that it is not too difficult.
The scripture means two things when it tells us to dwell in the secret place, and that is; (1) to consistently spend alone time with God, (2) and to talk with God and meditate on the things of God throughout our day.
If we do these two things we will be dwelling in the presence of God and walking in the Spirit. [Related articles: How to Stay/Abide/Dwell in the Presence of God (4 Steps) and Dwelling in the Secret Place: What it is and How to do it]
This is why the scripture tells us that walking in the Spirit is nothing more than setting our minds on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5) and that is also why the scripture constantly exhorts us to get our minds on heavenly things, rather than the things of the earth (Ephesians 4:20-24, Colossians 3:1-3, Phillipians 4:8-9) because when we do we become more and more like Jesus.
Step 4: Believe God’s Word above your feelings
Finally, the last step is to believe God’s word above your feelings. This is a critical step to seeking God and His presence.
The Bible reminds us over and over again that God is always with us and that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that our bodies are the literal temple of the Holy Spirit, who is the presence of God.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
So whenever we are in the process of seeking God and begin to have doubts that He is not with us or we begin to wonder why we haven’t been feeling His presence lately, we need to stop and get our eyes on Jesus and meditate on these scriptures. [Related articles: Why Can’t I Feel God’s Presence? (Helpful Insight)].
You see the truth is the Bible never promises that we will ever receive any sort of feelings. Nowhere in scripture can we find that we should expect to feel God when we pray. In fact, we find the opposite.
We see that we are not supposed to walk carnally (flesh) and instead walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17) and that we are supposed to receive with meekness the Word of God so that our soul (the way we think and feel) can begin to be transformed (James 1:21).
The Bible also tells us that faith is in direct opposition to feelings that’s why it exhorts us to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Sight is just another one of our senses just like our feelings.
So I just encourage you, do not get caught up in what you feel but continue believing the word of God and continue to seek God, and the reality of God being with you will begin to overtake your life.
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