Faithlife Sermons

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*Living Constantly in the Presence of God*
Charles Peek
 
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?
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