Sixth in the series on Fear Not in an age of fear and anxiety.
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
Genesis 15:1, NKJV
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11, NKJV
Experiencing God's Presence: Is it possible?
The short answer: Yes! God desires for everyone to come to Him and experience Him. How do we know?
- He walked and talked with Adam in the Garden of Eden. That was the original design. God instructed Adam. He made humans in His own image, male and female. He made us to have a relationship with Him. The Fall changed the relationship but not God's intent.
- He appeared to Abram, later named Abraham. See Genesis 12:7, 15:1, 17:1, for examples.
- He "spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." Exodus 33:11, NKJV
- Jesus came to earth to rescue us and restore the relationship with God. One of Jesus' Names is Immanuel: God with us. If God didn't want us to experience Him and His Presence, why would He send Jesus personally, call Him Immanuel, and have Him live among regular people? If it was just to save us, God didn't need to do this in a personal way. He's God. He could have created a different solution if His desire wasn't to be a personal God to be experienced by us.
Though I believe God can reveal Himself to anyone, a true experience with God requires a relationship with Him. (Starting the relationship means accepting and inviting Jesus into your life. One way is following these Steps to Peace with God.) Romans 10: 9, 10 NKJV tells us:
"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Believing is the first step. Experiencing God's Presence requires a journey of spending time with God, listening to Him, praying, reading the Bible, worship, being in a community of believers, learning from others who have experienced God. One resource for the journey might be "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby. There are many other resources. Sometimes it requires getting our heart healed. I've been blessed by the ministry and classes of Aurora Worldwide and Elizabeth RoBless-Johnson. Sometimes working with a good Spiritual Director can help us experience God's Presence (ask me if you're interested and I'll send you some names.)
The key to starting to experiencing His Presence is spending time in His Presence. When we show up faithfully and intentionally God will grow us and show us. God is our shield. He and His Presence is our exceedingly great reward. As God told Abram:
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”