God's Presence in Your Life
By David J. Stewart
John 15:7-8, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
I once heard a man ask a Bible teacher why he didn't feel the presence of God in his life. He said that he had been saved for 10-years and didn't feel God's presence in His life.
Do you know why the man didn't feel the presence of God in His life? It's because he wasn't abiding in the Scriptures. If that man is a true believer, then Christ already dwells in him. Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” If you don't have the Holy Spirit in you, then you are not saved, plain and simple.
I remember when Mother Theresa died, who is infamous in the Catholic religion. They quoted her during the last years of her life saying that she had never felt the presence of God in her life. Of course she didn't, she was a Christ-rejecter. She fully rejected the Commandments of God so that she could keep her own traditions (Mark 7:9). Mark 7:7, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Mother Theresa didn't have the Holy Spirit of God. She tried to worship God with idolatrous statues, manmade traditions and worship of the Pope; but those are all finely paved roads to Hell fire and damnation!
An unsaved person cannot feel the presence of God in their life, because they don't know God. Knowing God begins by receiving His Son, Jesus Christ, believing upon His name as the Son of God to forgive one's sins. John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”
Now if a born-again believer doesn't feel the presence of God in their life, it is only because they are not abiding in the Scriptures as Jesus commanded. John 5:39, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” Most believers don't spend enough time meditating therein “day and night” as David did in Psalm 1:2. The Bible says that king David thought about the Scriptures in the daytime and nighttime. Instead of watching a horror movie before you go to sleep, try reading a passage of Scripture and thinking about what it means. You'll be surprised how God works in your heart and mind with the Scriptures, showing you truths that you had never thought of before. God wants to get it to us, but the problem is on the receiving end. The question is: Do you love the truth? Do you want the truths that God wants to teach you? I do, I do, I do Lord Jesus, please teach my Thy Word!
Romans 10:17,“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It's ironic, but true, that many believers lack faith in God. You cannot worry and have faith at the same time. We're all guilty of worrying at times, but the Biblical thing to do is to “Be careful [anxiety] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). God wants to be present in your life more than you could ever imagine, but it all centers around the presence of the Scriptures in your life. If you'll bath yourself in the Word of God, searching for truths to grow in the Lord, then God will open your understanding to the truth.
A Catholic man recently asked me to sum up the Bible in as few words as possible. I said one word: TRUTH! John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Most people view the Bible as a religious book of fables, stories or ancient history. But as children of God who love the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible is our very spiritual life that sustains us day-by-day, a Lamp unto our feet to light our path in this dark world of sin. The Bible is precious, as Jesus is precious!
The problem with a lot of believers today is that they have been inoculated from the truth of God's Word. They listen to Christian radio, read Christian books, view Christian magazines, go to Christian seminars, and don't have any time left to spend in the Word of God. But Jesus told us in John 5:39 to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!
Of course you're not going to feel God's presence if you're spending all your time reading and listening to everything except the Word of God. If you snack all day on junk food, you're not going to feel nourished either. You need the milk and meat of God's Word to grow thereby. 1st Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”
So if you want to feel the presence of God in your life as a believer, then you've got to abide in the Scriptures, just as Christ abides in you. And if you abide in the Scriptures, then your heart will be convicted about lost sinners on their way to Hell, and God will put a fire in your heart for soul-winning.
The sign of a Spirit-filled believer isn't whacko speaking-in-tongues, that's a sign of demon possession! The garbage that Pentecostals and Assemblies of God today call speaking-in-tongues is heathendom, straight out of the pits of Hell. Biblical tongues was ALWAYS a known, established language; and never some unknown jibber-jabber. God ALWAYS initiated the miracle, and NOT men! The gift of tongues was ALWAYS for the sole purpose of soul-winning, and not a form of entertainment where a bunch of nuts act like they've lost their minds.
The sign of being a Spirit-filled Christian is a desire to win souls to Jesus Christ! That means caring! You'll never feel God's presence in your life any stronger than when you're winning lost souls to Jesus Christ. Amen! Nothing is nearer and dearer to the heart of God than soul-winning. When you feel down, go find someone to witness to. That's a sure cure for the blues, let me tell you. You don't need booze! When someone ruins your day, go ruin the Devil's day by witnessing to all the people you can find. There is no greater joy in the Christian life than winning souls to Jesus!
Pleasing the Lord by Fulfilling the Teachings of the Word of God
John 14:21, “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” Jesus promised to make Himself known to those believers who love Him, i.e., to those who obey His Commandments. Certainly, God the Father will give the gift of eternal life to anyone who receives it by faith in His dear Son, Jesus Christ (John 20:31); but to feel the sweet presence of Jesus in your life, as He promised in John 14:21, you need to love the Lord. Jesus loves us, which is why He shed His blood and redeemed us from sin, Hell and eternal destruction; but if we love Him in return, then we will obey His Word.
Romans 8:9 teaches that every believer has the presence of the Holy Spirit in their body; but to feel that God's face is toward you (i.e., you are pleasing Him, Genesis 33:10), then you need to obey Him as an obedient child does a parent. Ephesians 1:13 teaches that every believer is sealed with the Spirit of promise (i.e., the Holy Spirit) unto the day of redemption; but it is possible for a believer to backslide into his own ways (Proverb 14:14) and no longer feel the sweet presence of God in one's life, just as David lost the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:12).
Salvation is God loving us; obeying the Bible is us loving God. You don't have to love Jesus Christ to be saved, you just need to trust Him (Romans 10:13); but to draw close to the Dear Savior (James 4:8), then we need to keep His Commandments (James 4:1-17). Salvation is not conational upon man's love; but rather, upon God's love and His promises to us. However, the sweet closeness and presence of the Lord in one's life is conditional upon our love for God, which is evidenced by the degree to which we try to please God by fulfilling the teachings in the Word of God.
Conclusion of the Matter
If you want to know God's full presence in your life, then grab onto God and don't let go. God will test your faith, rest assured. Your faith will be tossed, turned and tortured. When God takes a man, He breaks that man, so He can make that man. 2nd Timothy, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Amen! We are soldiers fighting for the Lord against the Devil, the world and the flesh. The Bible tells us that a good soldier ENDURES HARDNESS. That means weathering through the afflictions of life, the emotional storms, the loss of everything near and dear in your life, the testing of your faith. Unshakable faith comes from having your faith shaken!
If you want to know God's presence, then abide in the Word of God, even as He abides in you, and be aggressive about soul-winning, and have faith in God through the trials and tribulations that will come upon you. John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Your faith in God will never be sweeter than when you have every reason in the world to quit, give up and turn back; but you hang in there for God, proving that your faith is genuine.
“When the last helper has fainted, the last cure has failed, faith's last leaf has withered and your last friend has faltered, there is a God in Heaven Who answers prayer Who will care for you and provide for your needs.”
SOURCE: Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the book, EXPLORING PRAYER WITH JACK HYLES, chapter 50
How to Be Saved!