I realize that many people don’t experience the “presence” of God in their lives. They wonder if it’s even biblical to speak so mystically. What does it feel like? Is God really there?
This morning I read Psalm 21:6 and David’s claim about God. He writes, “Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.” Or consider Psalm 89:15 and what it means when the priest writes, “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.” In the New Testament, we learn that God’s spirit dwells in us; we experience His presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22). Indeed, this Holy Spirit, “lives in you and will be with you” (John 14:17). This is God who is actually living in us (Romans 8; 2 Timothy 1:14).
A.W. Tozer explained it like this:
“. . . At the bottom of religious experience [is] this sense of something there. But better far is the sense of Someone there. It was this that filled with abiding wonder the first members of the church of Christ. . . How wonderful is this sense of Someone there. . . Nothing can take the place of the touch of God in the soul and the sense of Someone there. Where true faith is, the knowledge of God will be given as a fact of consciousness altogether apart from the conclusions of logic. The spiritual giants of old experienced God.”
As I talk to people about Jesus and talk about the gospel, I remember that the reason why forgiveness of our sins matters so deeply isn’t only because of being saved from future punishment. It’s an invitation into a life that knows the presence of God, through Christ, with the indwelling Holy Spirit. It’s a relationship with an actual Living Presence. Asking the Lord to forgive our sins and inviting Jesus into our lives means we now enter into a holy, sacred experience of knowing God. Day by day, we experience Him more and more as we trust Him, worship Him, pray to Him, and learn about Him through the Bible.
Knowing this presence in our lives—made possible by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ—brings an unspeakable joy, an enduring peace, boundless love, power, and worship to our hearts. We walk all our days with a Generous Friend, a Wise Counselor, a Delighted Observer, and a Faithful shepherd. It’s more beautiful than any words can say. It’s the answer to that question in your soul about the purpose of everything, about what you’re here for and what it all means.
It’s about Jesus, about knowing Him and being with Him.