One of the greatest benefits of being in a love-relationship with God, is to enjoy His presence. Unfortunately, being aware of His presence is not a real experience for many of us. We don’t “feel” His presence, or we “once” felt it, but no longer do. When we first became a believer, we were very aware of His presence, but for many of us, as the years have gone by, the awareness of His presence, has become less and less.
Very often, it is precisely this lack of “feeling” His presence that makes us question if we are in a love relationship with God, or that God even loves us. When talking about the presence of God, most of us are aware of the promise in Hebrews 13:5b:
“…be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
It is a guarantee that throughout my life, no matter what, Almighty God promises to be with me personally. In the Amplified Version, this verse has an even more adamant, passionate tone:
“…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!]”
God has given many assurances of His abiding presence throughout scripture. God’s presence and His love are tied up together. God is not absent from the one His love is focused on, as we would and can be absent from our loved ones here on earth. God by His divine omnipresent nature is capable of being present with us always. His love for us means that we are never separated from Him.
“Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39 (AMP)
There are many reasons why we may not sense the presence of God in our lives, but scripture is very clear about the fact, or truth of God’s presence. Psalm 139:7-12…
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.”
God’s presence is unchanging, but the evidence of His presence is not. God may purposely alter our experience of His presence in order to achieve His purposes. At times, we may need many visible impressions of His presence, seeing His invisible hands, particularly in difficult seasons. At other times, He may purposefully withhold these impressions, requiring us to trust Him and His love, with fewer evidence of His presence in our lives. In these seasons, we are required to “live by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7)
We cannot be like Thomas in John 20:24-29, always demanding that we see evidence before we believe. Jesus said very clearly that there is a blessing in believing without physical evidence: “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” God wants our response to His love to be without the prompting of anything external, but to well up inside of us by conviction.
The lesson for me today, dear friends, is firstly that God is present with us, even when there is no evidence to prove it. Secondly, God does not love us less when He gives us fewer evidences of His presence. He simply desires us to grow in faith so that we live by faith and not sight.
Thank You, Father, that You are always present with me and never leave me, nor forsake me. Thank you that no matter what happens in my life, I can take courage, because You, Almighty God, are present with me in all circumstances and I can trust Your love for me. Help me not to count on evidence of your presence to confirm Your Love for me, but to count on the trustworthiness of Your Word that tells me that You love me and that nothing can separate me from Your Love.