How to Practice the Presence of God
In our last “Digging Deeper,” we closed with this thought, and it’s a good one to open with:
You become like what you spend time with.
To recap, when you have your quiet time each day,
Make preparation—notebook, pen, Bible, etc.
Expect that God is going to speak to you.
If you follow these steps, you’ll experience the Presence of God in a more tangible way.
As you sit there with your Bible open, what is the best way to absorb and retain the message of Scripture?
How to Approach a Passage of Scripture
Having your Bible, pen and paper at hand, there are six simple yet effective steps that will make the passage meaningful to you.
1. Read it through. Open your Bible and read the passage.
2. Think it out. Bring your mind to it. Turn to Romans 12:1-2. Paul pleads with the Roman believers:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your ___________, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Now see Matthew 22:37-38:
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your __________. This is the first and great commandment.”
Who is the Lord Jesus talking to? _______________________________________
What question had He been asked? ______________________________________
Would the Lord renew your mind (Romans 12:1-2) if He didn’t expect you to use it? ________
3. Pray it in. One of the finest ways to learn the Scripture is to pray the Scriptures. Talk to God about it. When God shows you something in the Bible, tell Him about it, ask Him about it, and thank Him for it.
Turn to John chapter 16, verses 12-15:
a. Who is speaking? ________________________
b. Who are the listeners? __________________________________
c. Who is going to impart to the believer the truths of the Gospel? ____________________________
d. What can you learn about God and His Word apart from (c.)? _____________
4. Write it down. Don’t think you’ll remember later what God speaks to you. Record it on paper!
5. Live it out. This is the way it truly becomes real to you. When you find something in the Word of God, these truths are not museum pieces to hang on the wall; they’re checks to carry to the bank. Take the promises of God, the precepts, the warnings, and activate them in your life. Say, “I will live by that today.”
Is there something the Holy Spirit has shown you recently in Scripture and you felt the nudge that you needed to act upon it? What was it? _________________
6. Pass it on. When we meet people throughout our day, we ought to have something, a nugget from the Word, to share with them—a verse, a truth God has given us. And when we give it away, it comes back to us. I have found that’s the secret to remembering anything. When you share it with others, it becomes real in your heart.
As we practice the presence of God, ADORATION AND INTERCESSION will become a part of our experience.
We were “Digging Deeper” in Exodus 34 last month. Let’s pick up where we left off.
This is Moses’ memorable encounter on Mt. Sinai with the great I AM. The one and only God. The Creator. Jehovah. Yaweh.
- in isolation.
- He had determination.
- He’d made preparation,
- and he certainly had expectation…
…that the Lord God, who had called him up there, was going to communicate with him.
Adoration (Exodus 34:6-8)
While Moses was in isolation with God, in full expectation, God spoke, giving him one of the most incredible, concise revelations of His own nature and character. In verses 6-8, we see the Lord coming down in a cloud, proclaiming His appearing to Moses. Take careful note of the qualities the Lord God reveals about Himself. Write those in: (this is one of the most revelatory passages in all of the Bible about the person, attributes and character of our God.)
And the Lord passed by before him [Moses], and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, _____________ and ____________, _________________, and _____________ in _____________ and ___________, keeping ___________ for thousands, _____________ iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; ___________ the ____________ of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
When Moses received this revelation, what was his response? (v. 8)
“And Moses made haste, and _____________ his head toward the ___________, and _________________.”
When God reveals Himself, Moses responds in adoration.
How should we worship God?
John 4:24—“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in ____________ and in ____________.
Real worship is based on the revealed Word of God.
Are you ready to receive a living word from the living God through His Word? If you answered “yes,” the apostle James has a bit of advice for you.
See James 1:21 (NKJV):
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with__________________ the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.”
We are to humble ourselves and welcome the Word of God.
A CLOSER LOOK AT HUMILITY
Lack of humility is the reason many of us don’t receive more from the Bible than we do. Jesus said that God “...hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes...” (Luke 10:21). That’s a humbling thought, isn’t it? The Lord would rather reveal His truth to a humble new believer than to a know-it-all. If you come as a know-it-all to receive a word from the Word, you’re not going to get much. You must receive truth with a humble heart as you adore and worship the Lord.
Intercession (v. 9)
After Moses receives this revelation of the nature and character of God and bows in adoration, he’s ready to pray for others. Notice as you read his prayer that Moses is not just interceding for the people, he is also identifying with them.
How many times in this one verse does Moses use the collective pronouns “our” and “us”? ______________
And he said, If now I have found grace in Thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray Thee, go among us; [Lord, I want Your presence] for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Thine inheritance.
A CLOSER LOOK AT INTERCESSION
Once Moses heard the Lord God proclaim the truth about who He is, Moses says, “Okay, I’ve got it now. I know what kind of God You are. And now, Lord, these folks are in a mess and they need You.” Then he begins to intercede for them.
Who should you intercede for? You cannot truly intercede for everybody. If you try, you’ll end up interceding for nobody. It will become such a huge task, you’ll say, “I don’t know who to pray for or what to pray.”
Moses said, “Lord, forgive this people...” He didn’t pray for all the people on earth. Those people around him were his responsibility. Your children, your extended family, your co-workers, your church family, your neighbors are your responsibility.
God will give you an assignment in prayer if you’re walking in the Spirit. God will speak to you and lay upon your heart those to pray for.
We’re still in Exodus 34. Skip down to verses 29-32:
29 Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face ___________ while he talked with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were ____________ to _________ ________him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.
What happens to Moses as he beholds the glory of the Lord and the glory of the Lord infuses itself into Moses? ____________________________________________________________________
An illustration of this is a fireplace and a poker. You can poke around in a fire with a poker, then take it out and it’ll hardly be hot. But if there’s a roaring fire and you put that poker in long enough, it will begin to glow, because not only will the poker be in the fire; the fire will be in the poker. Not only are you in the presence of God, but the presence of God gets into you.
So how does this apply to us as New Testament believers? Look at 2 Corinthians 3:7-9. Paul gives us an incredible analogy here.
7 But if the ministry of _____________, written and engraved on stones [the Ten Commandments], was ________________, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away [it was only temporary], 8 how will the ministry of the ______________ not be more _______________? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.
Express in your own words what Paul is saying here. ____________________
Paul says, “Look, if Moses’ going up to Mount Sinai to get the Ten Commandments was glorious when those Ten Commandments could only minister death if we disobeyed them, what about us who now have the ministry of the Spirit? Shall that not be even more glorious?”
But the best is yet to come. When we “practice the presence of God,” and do so sincerely, consistently and earnestly, here is what happens (skip down to v. 18)
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being _______________________ into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
When we get alone with God and we open His Word, we behold His glory and by His Sprit we are transformed.
Jesus said we are to worship God “...in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship Him” (John 4:23).
IS GOD INSECURE?
Why does God want us to worship Him? Why does He want us to praise Him? Does He have to be constantly pumped up? Is God a celestial egotist that you have to keep telling Him how great He is?
No. All our praise put together doesn’t make Him one ounce more glorious. His glory doesn’t depend upon us. He had that glory before the world ever began. We don’t add to His glory.
So then why does He want us to worship Him? Because…
- when we behold Him, we’re changed into the same image, from glory to glory.
- And the way to be like Him is to see Him, to worship Him, and to praise Him.
- Then you are transformed. You are made like Him.
We conclude with where we began…
You become like what you spend time with.
When you spend time with Him, looking into the mirror of God’s Word, in that mirror you see yourself. And you see Jesus in there at the same time. Then you and Jesus begin to be alike. You’re changed from glory to glory.
If Moses was changed in the Old Testament as he spent time on Mount Sinai (the mountain of the law—which can only condemn), how much more will we be changed as we come to Mount Calvary and look into the face of our Lord through His Word? That’s the presence of the Lord.
Be determined, prepared and expectant as you get alone with God. Then obey Him and praise Him. And in His presence…
…you will be transformed.
If you would like to have this message in booklet form, please call 1-877-LOVE GOD (568-3463) or contact us online at www.lwf.org and request booklet #K151—“Practicing the Presence of God.”
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