Living Constantly in the Presence of God
Living Constantly in the Presence of God
Our beginning is God. It is at His hand and by His plan that we began. Since without Him we cannot be; surely without Him we will not be complete. And so, our quest in life becomes to be complete with God. We start by God breathing into us life. He gives us His spirit; a soul, and with this act we are given our reason to live. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (AMP)
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
If only God can satisfy this longing, then our goal in life should be to get in contact with God. I believe the only truly important thing in life is to develop a close relationship with God. Jesus said the most important command is to love God with all our heart. Jesus also said if you love Me, you will keep my commandments. In order to love God and do His will you must be in constant contact with Him. The Bible says we are to be in constant prayer. If prayer is communication with God then we should be living constantly in the presence of God. Always telling Him how we feel and listening to His way for our lives.
Have you ever talked with God? That is, you said something and not only waited for God to talk back, but you heard what He said. If this is true for you then you know what it is to be in the presence of God. To be in the presence of God is an awe inspiring, life changing experience. Moses was never the same after the burning bush and Paul was a changed man after his road to Damascus conversion. For most people the experience of hearing God talk is in short one liners that we remember and cherish. What if you heard God talk every day or maybe several times a day or better yet, constantly?
For the most part we talk to God not with Him. We really never expect God to say anything. We desire Him to give us our wants or heal us, but not talk to us. God loves us and desires to be our friend. As a loving friend He wants our fellowship. Our goal should be to constantly live in the presence of God on the highest level of love possible. As 2 Corinthians 3:18 says: …beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 1 John 1:6 tells us, …we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him …
But is this possible? Maybe for some who remove themselves from everyday life, or older people, but for most people that work hard five days a week and are trying to raise a family, is this really possible?
Let’s stop here and think about our relationship with God. God created me and everything around me. He has always been and always will b e. God is everywhere all the time. He knows everything that has been, everything that is and everything that will be. God is a spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth. ( ) As I reflect on this person God I wonder first, why does He want a relationship with me, and second, how can I possibly get to know and communicate with Him. We have already noted that God desires to be our friend (John 15:14-15). With that as a fact, maybe I don’t need to know why. Ok, so God wants to be my friend. How can I become a friend of someone so vastly superior and different to me. Most of my friends have several different things in common with me. Life experiences, school, church or just a few of the common denominators that cause us to come together as friends. You also have to enjoy being around these people. I believe the common denominator drawing us to God is our spirit. It is God’s spirit in us, reborn when we accept Him as Lord and Savior. What about enjoying be in Gods’ presence? Your joy of God is directly proportional to the amount of time you spent in His presence.
The truth is -- God is present in our lives at all times, in all places and under all circumstances.
Psalm 139:7-12 (The Message)
7 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? 8 If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! 9 If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, 10 You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting! 11 Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” 12 It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
What we need to do is learn to communicate with Him at all times. Understand, this is a learned action. This means you must first desire to accomplish it; second, you must learn what is required and third, you must practice over and over again until you have mastered it. The rewards are greater than can be imagined and will last for eternity
Living constantly in the presence of God begins with the heartfelt renunciation of everything that we understand does not lead to God. Doing this allows us to open a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and in simplicity. We need only to recognize God intimately present with us in order to give ourselves to Him every moment. We need to beg His assistance for knowing His will in actions that are doubtful, and for rightly performing those we plainly see He requires of us. We need to offer our actions to Him before we do them, and give Him thanks when we have finished. As we live in constant conversation with God we will be
constantly praising, adoring and loving Him with all our hearts for who He is and what He has done.
In order to experience a constant conversation with God (prayer) we must know God. The better we know God the closer we will be to Him. The closer we are to Him the more our prayers become a way of life and not just an event that occurs at a particular time or place. It is a delusion to think that times of prayer aught to be different from any other time. Prayer is a sense of the presence of God; therefore, we should always be in prayer, not just at special times. This allows us to live continually in the joy of the Lord.
Our sanctification does not depend on just changing our actions, but on making these changes because they are God’s will. That is, our thoughts, desires, passions and actions are the end result of finding out what God’s will is for us. Everything we do must be done purely for the love of God. God is love; therefore, to know God you must experience His love. To experience His love is to have a relationship with Him where, over time, God’s will becomes our will and our actions show it. The practice of the presence of God is a progressive understanding and acceptance of God’s way with the parallel understanding and rejection of self’s way. Indeed it is the love of God within us that is true wisdom and wisdom is only another name for the enjoyment of God. God’s love can be experienced on different levels depending on our closeness to God.
Levels of Love
1. Love of self for self’s sake.
This is what we do in the natural state. We don’t have to be taught to love this way. Our needs are always met. Even when we do something for someone else it is to get something we want.
2. Love of God for self’s sake.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord. The first way we understand this is when we begin to see how much God loves us as He takes care of us. We begin to learn that we can do all things through Him, and without Him we can do nothing.
3. Love of God for God’s sake.
After God has been tested we begin to experience the love of God just because of who He is and not just for what He does for us. This type of love is pure because it is disinterested.
4. Love of self for God’s sake.
Our wills are one with God. This perfect love, where we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, will not happen until we are no longer compelled to think about ourselves and attend to even the needs of the body. Only then can the soul attend to God completely.
Desire God More than Self.
Do you want fellowship with God occasionally, continually, or constantly? Occasional fellowship means just when you go to church or when you have an emergency. Continual fellowship includes times of prayer. Constant fellowship means at all times, night and day, 24/7. The more often you experience fellowship with God the more you will desire to be with Him. To know God is to love Him.
On the first level of love we only desire those things that satisfy ourselves. We think of no one but ourselves. Even our first encounters with God are to find out what God can do for us. We come to the second level of love when we accept Jesus as Lord and discover what God through Jesus has done for us.
1 John 4:9-10 (The Message)
9 This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. 10 This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
Because of the love of God we can now enter into the presence of God.
Hebrews 10:20 (The Message)
19 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.
Remember our goal is to love ourselves for God’s sake. Kenneth Boa in Praying the Scripture for Intimate Worship says this means we will love God completely, love ourselves correctly and love others compassionately.
Loving God completely is a growth process that involves the personal elements of communication and response. By listening to the Holy Spirit in the words of Scripture and speaking to the Lord in our thoughts and prayers, we move in the direction of knowing Him better. The better we know Him, the more we will love Him, and the more we love Him, the greater our willingness to respond to Him in trust and obedience.
To love ourselves correctly is to see ourselves as God sees us and to allow the Word, not the world, to define us by telling us who and whose we really are. The clearer we capture the vision of our new identity in Christ, the more we will realize that our deepest needs for security, significance, and satisfaction are met in Him and not in people, possessions, or positions.
A biblical view of our identity and resources in Christ moves us in the direction of loving others compassionately. Grasping our true and unlimited resources in Christ frees us from bondage to the opinions of others and gives us the liberty to love and serve others regardless of their response.
Since we cannot serve two masters, the focus of our heart will either be the temporal or the eternal. If it is the temporal, we cannot love God completely because of a divided heart. When Christ is a component instead of the center of life, things become complicated; the worries of the world, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things choke the word of truth in our lives and we do not bear lasting fruit (Mark 4:19). If the focus of our heart is the eternal, we will love Christ above His created goods and pleasures and begin to fulfill the enduring purpose for which we were created.
On the second level of love we learn that we can do all things through Him, and without Him we can do nothing. The move from the first level of love to the second level is the hardest. We start out only letting God operate in the “spiritual” things of our life (Church things). It is only when we find out that God operates in all areas of our life that we are able to move from loving God for what He does for us to loving Him for who He is. Many Christians never make this move and miss real fellowship with God. This transition period from just loving ourselves, to loving God because of what He does, to loving God for who He is, is not a quick or clean jump from one level to the next. Remember, this is a learned process and must be actively pursued by Bible study, prayer and worship.
This is what the Bible says about those who passionately desire the presence of God.
Matthew 5:6 (GNT)
6 Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!
Psalm 51:5-8 (GNT)
5 I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful. 6 Sincerity and truth are what you require; fill my mind with your wisdom. 7 Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness; and though you have crushed me and broken me, I will be happy once again.
Psalm 119:1-8 (GNT)
1 Happy are those whose lives are faultless, who live according to the law of the Lord. 2 Happy are those who follow his commands, who obey him with all their heart. 3 They never do wrong; they walk in the Lord’s ways. 4 Lord, you have given us your laws and told us to obey them faithfully. 5 How I hope that I shall be faithful in keeping your instructions! 6 If I pay attention to all your commands, then I will not be put to shame. 7 As I learn your righteous judgements, I will praise you with a pure heart. 8 I will obey your laws; never abandon me!
18 Open my eyes, so that I may see the wonderful truths in your law.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
Luke 11:9 (GNT)
9 “And so I say to you: ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.
Psalm 42:1-2 (GNT)
1 As a deer longs for a stream of cool water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for you, the living God; when can I go and worship in your presence?
Proverbs 2:1-6 (GNT)
1 Learn what I teach you, my son, and never forget what I tell you to do. 2 Listen to what is wise and try to understand it. 3 Yes, beg for knowledge; plead for insight. 4 Look for it as hard as you would for silver or some hidden treasure. 5 If you do, you will know what it means to fear the Lord and you will succeed in learning about God. 6 It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding.
Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT)
7 I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
When you get to the point where you consider everything worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ, then you are ready to experience the constant presence of God. God is present all the time and desires our fellowship all the time. God accepts us as we are right now. If you get your heart right, God, through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit in our life, will take our hand and lead us into His presence from one glory to another. Now let’s see how God teaches, guides and disciplines us to know Him more, be in constant fellowship with Him, be obedient to His will and worship Him with all our heart.
Learn to know God
God gives us three resources so that we may know Him. He gives His Word, the Holy Spirit and prayer. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God opens our eyes to the truth in His Word. The Holy Spirit will then lead us to an understanding of the Word so that we may apply His truth to our daily living. What we are really doing is getting to know God. Our mind is being reprogrammed using God’s software. As we learn more and more about God, we begin to desire fellowship with Him. At first our immature spirit has a very hard time understanding God. The Holy Spirit leads as we read, study and meditate on His Word and our understanding of God grows as we begin to know Him. Communication with God develops into a reality. The better our prayer time becomes the more we want to extend it. We are headed toward living in the continuous presence of God.
Psalm 139:1-6 (NKJV)
1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
This scripture tells us of God’s omniscience. God has all knowledge. God knows all things, actual and possible, past, present and future, in one eternal act. God’s knowledge is intuitive and immediate, not coming through the senses; it is simultaneous, not acquired through observation or reason; it is actual, complete and according to reality. God knows you penetratingly. He knows every detail of your life -- past, present and future. He knows us intimately and He still loves us. He is, therefore, the perfect person to be a true Friend. Friend is capitalized because He is also God. You don’t just talk to a friend; you confide, share and listen to a real friend. For someone to become a true friend, you must know them. God knows us and wants to be our friend, but can we ever know God enough to call Him friend? Although we will never completely know or understand God, He has designed us to have fellowship with Him based on the amount of knowledge He has given us. As we spend time with Him He gives us more understanding and the more understanding we have the better our time with Him.
John 15:15 (NLT)
15 I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
In Eat this Book, Eugene H. Peterson says that the primary organ for receiving God’s revelation is not the eye but the ear that hears, which means that all reading of Scripture must develop into a hearing of the Word of God.
Psalm 40:6 (The Message)
6 Doing something for you, bringing something to you— that’s not what you’re after. Being religious, acting pious— that’s not what you’re asking for. You’ve opened my ears so I can listen.
Because you are a Christian, God has opened your ears. Because you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit is in you and ready to lead you into the truth. God is the truth. To know the truth is to know God.
Devout Christians, since 250AD, have used the following steps to make Scripture come alive and know God better.
One: Open the Scriptures and begin to read out loud. Slowly, slowly let the words ring in your ears. Soon one word or sentence will seem to stick and ring out very loud. You soul will praise the Lord for giving you this.
Two: STOP READING! Repeat your word or sentence over and over until it has become part of you.
Three: Now become very quite. It is now time for you to wait until God talks to you. He may begin at once and He may not say anything today. God will choose the time and the place and when He does, you will be blessed. You will know God better and you will thank Him for talking to you. Write down what He says.
Four: What God has given you will become real to you and part of your life as you use it in every-day activities.
What you have just done is lectio divina (reading God). You have:
One: Brought the Scriptures alive by reading them out loud.
Two: Meditated on your word from God.
Three: Praised God for the revelation.
Four: Put your new-found truth into action.
We now have discussed the necessary desire and resources needed to enter into the presence of God. Once there, how do we communicate with Him?
Communication with God
If you have a deep passionate desire within you to make your fellowship with God real and more than a once-in-a-while event; if you have started bringing Scripture alive, then you will begin to hear from God. Mark Virkler in His book Dialogue with God has this to say about his early attempts to communicate with God.
So I began searching for God’s voice within my heart. I waited expectantly for the inner audible voice of God to speak to me and say, “Hello, Mark. This is God.” He would have a deep bass voice, of course. Maybe there would be lightning in the sky, the wind would blow, and the windows would shatter. I would then jump in instant obedience and do whatever He wanted me to do.
But nothing happened. I listened and listened, but I could not discern any “voice of God.” All I heard were thoughts rummaging through my mind until I eventually wandered off in aimless daydreams or, even worse, fell asleep.
It was extremely frustrating! Prayer simply didn’t work for me and I couldn’t understand why not. I thought that maybe if I read more of the Word it would help. Then I’d be able to hear God’s voice, I reasoned. So I devoured the Bible, reading whole books in a single sitting. But I still couldn’t discern that quiet inner voice.
God gave Mark a Scripture and revealed four keys that helped him develop a dialogue with God. The Scripture was:
Habakkuk 2:1-2 (AMP)
1 [OH, I know, I have been rash to talk out plainly this way to God!] I will [in my thinking] stand upon my post of observation and station myself on the tower or fortress, and will watch to see what He will say within me and what answer I will make [as His mouthpiece] to the perplexities of my complaint against Him. 2 And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.
The four keys are:
One: Learn what His voice spoken within sounds like.
Two: Go to a quiet place to quiet your own thoughts and emotions.
Three: Listen to hear what God says.
Four: Record what God says.
Do you notice how much these keys are like lectio divina? The big difference is key one, learning what His voice spoken within sounds like. God wants to communicate with us. He has given us His written Word and the teaching and counsel of godly people. He opens and closes doors in our life so that we may know the direction of His will. We also hear God in Spirit-to-spirit communication. The Holy Spirit speaking directly to our spirit. It is sensed as a spontaneous thought, idea, word, feeling, or vision. I would like to combine all these and call them thoughts because I believe they all start as thoughts. We receive thoughts from three sources, our own mind, the Holy Spirit and satan. Our task is to discern where our thoughts are coming from, discard the bad ones and begin to make the good ones, first a desire, then a passion and then act upon them. If we are to properly handle our thoughts, a certain process is necessary.
In the book, Thoughts Matter, Mary Margaret Funk gives us this insight into the thought process.
Thoughts that are thought about become desires. Desires that are thought about become passions. Good thoughts become virtues. Bad thoughts become bad desires; bad passions or habits of action become sins. The passions are acted upon us when we consent, then the passions move from passive to active engagement.
We can redirect our thoughts. We can notice our thoughts at the first instance and get control of our mind. A mind in control of itself is at peace.
First thoughts beget second thoughts, which become intentions. Intentions constitute motivations and indicate where the heart resides. Motivation moves the will to decide and act on the thought. Decisions give voice to the choices we intend to act upon.
Like bad e-mail, you have to delete bad thoughts. But like deleted e-mail we also must empty the recycle bin in order to truly rid ourselves of bad thoughts. Thoughts come in eight varieties: food, sex, things, anger, dejection, spiritual apathy, vainglory and pride. Our mind is constantly thinking in one of these areas. If a certain thought is bad we may reject it and it hides in the back of our mind only to come up again under an assumed name. Only the Holy Spirit can go into the minds recycle bin and totally delete bad thoughts. The Christian antivirus software, the Bible, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit are used to scan our thoughts when we desire a clean heart.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Our mind does not turn off when we go to bed. Our sleep thoughts also need the filtering of the Holy Spirit. God can and does communicate with us through dreams and visions.
Acts 2:17 (NLT)
17 ‘In the last days, God said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.
In Dialogue with God, Mark Virkler gives five different types of visions. The first is a dream or vision while we are asleep. A second kind of vision is received while in a trance. A third type is seeing outside ourselves with spiritual eyes.
Remember, Stephen gazed intently into heaven and saw Jesus when they stoned him to death in Acts 7. A fourth type is a spontaneous, unsought inner picture. This might occur as you see a persons face and God calls you to pray for that person. The last happens when you are in prayer and you ask Him if there is anything He wants to show you. If you are living in the constant presence of God, you can expect this type of vision at any moment.
As stated at the beginning of this paper, living constantly in the presence of God requires the heartfelt renunciation of everything that we understand does not lead to God. This renunciation comes in three parts. First, we must renounce our former way of life. Second, we must renounce our attachment to bad thoughts. Third, we must renounce our present idea of God.
To renounce your former way of life means that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit you will have nothing to do with those things in your life that do not glorify God. In order to do this you must get control of your thought process. As long as you are thinking about the old ways, then that is where your heart will be. What you need to do is think God’s thoughts. But can we even do that? We can if God is in control of our thinking. Let your thinking be concentrated on God. Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all the other things that you need will be added to you. Most of us are taught to give God time in prayer, time for worship, time to read and study the Bible and ten percent of our money. God doesn’t want just part of you, He wants it all. It is His anyway. Our joy is measured by how much of ourselves we commit to God. Our prayers are not perfect until we do not realize we are in prayer. Pure prayer is beyond thoughts. When all our thoughts are removed, peace prevails and floods the soul. The mind is profoundly stilled. We have given up self and God has wrapped His loving arms around us in a love we cannot understand, but can surely live with for eternity.
Earlier I explained lectio divina as a path to communicate with God. I would now like to add “praying the Scriptures” and “simple prayer” to this process.
One: Read ------ Bring the Scriptures alive as you slowly, fully, gently and carefully read the Scripture out loud. Read until the Lord gives you a word or portion as yours.
Two: Meditate -- Take your portion and make it yours. Taste it and digest it.
Three: Prayer ----- Take this portion of Scripture and turn it into a prayer. You will find you can’t help but praise God for what He has given you.
Praying Scripture and lecto divina are the same except that you make your God-given word or verse a prayer. Now go one step further and add a period of silence where you are “waiting on the Lord’. While waiting, turn your mind inwardly on Christ. Soon you will have an impression of His presence. In this peaceful and simple state, simply take what the Lord gives you as nourishment for the spirit. As your soul becomes accustomed to turning inward to God, this process will become easer until you can do it at any time or place. You now are basking in the presence of God.
We have covered renouncing our former way of life and renouncing our attachment to bad thoughts. Also a simple process was added that if practiced over a period of time has proven to lead to God’s presence. Now comes the renouncing of our present idea of God. God is so much more than all our images, thoughts and concepts that as we get closer to Him, some ideas that have become cherished beliefs will just not measure up to the God we are getting to know. If you hold on to these beliefs you will not grow in your knowledge of the truth and love of God. Remember, God is truth and God is love. So, don’t put God in a box. God is eternal and limitless. We must seek God and not our own thoughts about Him. Let Him open your spirit and mind beyond your thinking to the wonderful world of God. The last refrain of the wonderful old hymn The Love of God explains it well:
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
At this point I’m tempted to develop a long, detailed process as a sure-fire way to hear God and become a spiritual giant. For some this would become a wonderful idol. Others would simply look at this as an insurmountable mountain to be left for the highly disciplined only. So I will not do that. Instead, let’s see how simple we can make this and then, as you hear from God, expand the process according to His leading. This simple approach is best exhibited by a fifteenth century layman, Brother Lawrence, in the book, The Practice of the Presence of God.
One: He considered the love of God as the ultimate end of all his thoughts and desires.
Two: We aught to give ourselves up to God and seek our satisfaction only in fulfilling His will.
Three: Establish ourselves in God’s presence by constantly conversing with Him.
Simply said -- because you love God, seek to discover His thoughts, desires and will. I contend that the best way to start this process is the altered lectio divino shown earlier. As you begin to practice this way of life, it will evolve into the simple process shown above. Now worship Him as you stay in His presence, constantly having fellowship with Him.
Worship God with all your Heart, Mind and Soul.
Psalm 89:15-16 (NLT)
15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord. 16 They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation. They exult in your righteousness.
Psalm 100 (NLT)
1 A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout with joy to the Lord, O earth! 2 Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. 3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. 5 For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
As friends of God we always desire to know Him more, be in complete obedience to Him and have constant fellowship with Him. We experience the love of God. The response we give to the love of God then becomes worship. William Temple wrote:
To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God,
To feed the mind with the truth of God,
To purge the imagination by the beauty of God,
To open the heart to the love of God,
To devote the will to the purpose of God.
John 4:23-24 (NLT)
23 But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
· Worship is a human response to divine prompting.
· Worship is freedom from prescribed form and submission to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
· Worship does not occur at a certain time or place, but can occur anytime and anyplace when we are in touch with God. If we are constantly in the presence of God then we are constantly worshiping God.
At the beginning of this paper I asked the question, “Have you ever talked with God?” It is my prayer that after digesting these thoughts that your desire to have a more intimate relationship with God has been increased to the point that the Holy Spirit is prompting you to the next step of your walk with God. God desires that we live constantly in His presence. As Brother Lawrence says, Lord of all the pots and pans and things, make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates. Whatever place God has given you here on earth, live it in the presence of God. God loves you enough to make it possible for you to live in His presence constantly.
Attached are a few helpful things that will add to your pursuit of constantly living in His presence.
1. A prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas called For Living a Life Wisely. He recited this prayer each day when he first got up.
2. Psalm 119 from The Message that teaches us how great Scripture really is.
3. Some old hymns that tell the story of God with us.
a. The Love of God
b. Search Me, O God
c. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
d. Open My Eyes, that I May See
e. A Perfect Day
4. Part of Psalm 119 put in the form of a hymn by Isaac Watts
Some Good Study Books
Boa, Kenneth. Face to Face volume one. Zondervan Publishing House, 1997.
Brother Lawrence. The Practice of the Presence of God. Spire Books, 2005.
Forster, Richard. Devotional Classics. Harper Collins Publishers, 1993. (Bernard of Cairvaux, excerpts on the love of God pp40-45)
Forster, Richard. Prayer Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.
Guyon, Jeanne. Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ. SeedSowers Christian Books Publishing House, 1995.
Funk, Mary Margaret. Thoughts Matter. The Cotinuum International Publishing Group Inc., 1998.
Pennington, M. Basil. Lectio Divina. The Crossroad Publishing Co. 1998.
Peterson, Eugene H. Eat This Book. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1932.
Virkler, Mark and Patti Dialogue with God. Bridge-Logos, 2005.