“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” – Matthew 17:20.
When you fall in love strange things start to happen: you can’t stop staring at the other person, you are on a natural high, you can’t stop thinking about them, you feel no pain, you want to try new things, your heart is synchronized with them, you love their quirks, and all that warm and fuzziness makes you smile all the time. It is no wonder you want to spend all your time with them. If you experience those intense feelings with your soulmate, imagine what it must be like to experience the presence of God.
The problem is that we expect the presence of God to be out-of-this world glorious. And to be in the presence of God would be indescribable. But there is a problem. We could not be in the presence of God and survive. Moses asked God “show me your glorious presence.” in Exodus 33. here is the Lord’s response: “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-23)
We all desire God’s presence in our lives. But how do we recognize His presence? And it is easy to assume that God’s presence will be supernaturally spectacular, saturating all our senses; that weI will feel it enveloping every part of us. But much of the time this is not what we experience.
God’s presence is not yes or no. It is not all or nothing. There are various ways and degrees we might experience His presence, and therefore various ways and degrees we might respond to His presence. We can experience God as a gentle peace that comes over us. or we can experience God’s presence as joy. We can hear God’s voice, and experience His love in those quiet moments when it is just God and us. It is understandable that we want the “fullness” of God’s presence, but that does not mean it will take a sensational form.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” This is what 2 Corinthians 3:17–18 has to say on the subject: “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
- Is anything making it difficult for you to see God’s presence in your life? Is there something you need to stop or start?
- What are some of the subtle ways God reveals Himself to you? What are some of the most effective ways you’ve found of seeking God?