Sample Chapter from, What’s So Great About God: A Daily Journey Through the Attributes of God

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Attribute #1 God’s Presence

 1)     Meditation 1: Can You Feel the Presence of God?

  What is wonderful about this attribute:

 God exists everywhere. He observes and knows everything (Jer.23:24), and is upholding and sustaining every molecule in the universe (Col.1:17). When Scripture speaks of God’s presence, however, it refers something more than His existence. The Hebrew word for presence is the common word for face. This is why in passages like Ps.105:4 some translations say “Seek his face,” and others “Seek His presence.” When Scripture speaks of the presence of God it does not merely mean God exists in that place or that God can see you or that God is at work there; it means God has turned His face favorably toward you. It is personal and relational. You are in God’s presence when God has turned His attention toward you in a way that enables you to have a favorable, personal interaction with Him.

The Lord is far from the wicked (Pr.15:29). He exists near the wicked, but His face is turned away from them. He is not showing them His favor, and they cannot be close to Him in a relational way. God is merciful, but you receive His mercy only to the degree that His face is turned toward you. He is a guide, a refuge, and a giver of strength, but you experience guidance, protection, and strengthening only to the degree that you are in His presence.  

How does one sense God’s presence? If God were to turn His face toward you right now, or next Sunday at church, how would you know? Can the presence of God be felt? And if so, what does it feel like?

The answer is yes, the presence of God can indeed be felt. It is not a mere theological abstraction. The feeling that results from experiencing God’s presence is not a physical sensation, but an emotional response. The chief feeling that results from being in the presence of God is joy.

Psalm 16:11 You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are perpetual pleasures.

Psalm 21:6 Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

  Another feeling that can result from being in the presence of God is inner peace and calmness.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you … he will quiet you with his love.

Other feelings that come from the experience of the nearness of God’s favorable presence are feelings of pleasure (Ps.16:11), refreshment (Hos.5:15-6:3), and satisfaction of soul (Ps.63:5). When God withdraws His presence (or turns His face away) the results are anxiety, sorrow, wasting or melting away, dismay, and internal anguish (Ps.32:1-2, 88:14-15, 30:7, Isa.64:7).

What an amazing and wonderful thing it is to serve a God whose mere presence is guaranteed to always have such an effect on your soul!

What effect would it have on your heart if you were to consciously experience God’s presence today?

Experiencing this attribute:

You experience the presence of God when 1) God expresses one of His attributes toward you, 2) you are aware that He is doing so, and 3) you enjoy the experience. Think of the various joys you are experiencing right now—comfort, hope, rest, peace, understanding, safety—and remind your soul that those joys are due to His immediate presence in the room with you right now. If His favorable presence to bless were removed completely, you would quite literally be in hell.

Think: What would it look like if today you were to carry out your normal responsibilities while seeking wholeheartedly after God’s presence? Are you doing it now?

Promise to trust today:

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Hosea 5:15-6:3 They will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me." 1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3 Let us know the LORD; let us press on to know him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

Write your own prayer