"Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me." Psalm 139:7-12
Where is God when I really need Him? Why is God so far away? God has never been far away from you. You may have been far away from Him, but God is never far away from you.
The Places of His Presence
God is omnipresent. Has it ever dawned on you that God never has to go anywhere? God is everywhere. Sometimes we get the idea that God is at church. One thing you need to know is that God is everywhere! There is no place that God is not. There is not a movement but He sees it, a motive but He knows it, nor a murmur but He hears it. Death, distance, or darkness cannot hide you from God. It's a thrilling or a threatening thought depending on your relationship to God. But, what advantages are there to being in God's presence?
There's Power in His Presence
When you are discouraged, His presence will see you through. When you are in darkness, it is not darkness to God. When things don't make sense and you can't understand anything; just recognize that God is present. While you can't see through that darkness, He can. When you learn how to apply the presence of the Lord, God will become a bright, living reality to you, seeing you through.
When you are lonely, His presence will cheer you up. People are lonely everywhere, but you can be alone and not lonely if you'll practice the presence of the Lord. Oh, praise God for that! You know, I go for a drive with Jesus. I take a walk with Jesus. I read a book with Jesus. You see, He has time for me like there was no one else except me.
When you are worried, His presence will calm you down. He is with me. His enemies are my enemies, and my enemies are His enemies. I don't have to worry if God is with me in trouble. I just thank God that His presence calms me.
When you are tempted, His presence will help you out. David knew temptation just like you do. But he said, "Oh God, You look into me." Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to do wrong when you know somebody's watching? Friend, you can't lock God out. God sees every act. He'll help you when you're tempted.
We Must Practice His Presence
How can you make this real in your life? How can you take this from the realm of theory and let it transform your life?
Consciously think about His presence. You need to stop several times a day and just get quiet. The Bible says, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) Read and meditate on this psalm over and over again. Have a quiet time with God where you look into His face. Tell yourself that God is present.
Carry on a constant conversation with God. The psalmist is talking to God, not about God. He's having a conversation. Talk to God about everything and fellowship with Him just as you would a friend. Share with Him your fears and your joys.
Have you ever heard anybody say, "Well, you know, my prayers never get above the ceiling?" That's part of the problem. God is underneath the ceiling, so you don't have to shoot your prayers to outer space. You talk with God, not pray at God. Learn to just talk with the Lord.
Develop a spirit of praise. You know, the Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3) When you praise Him, God reveals Himself to you. Now, He's always present, but He manifests Himself when you praise. If you're having difficulty praying, begin to praise. You'll have an ocean to swim in. Just praise the Lord!
If you can get this truth riveted into your soul, it will change your life. God is near, and we can bask in the glory of His presence.
One morning Joyce Rogers witnessed a breathtaking sunrise. She was captivated by God's handiwork. Truly the heavens do declare the glory of God, just as the psalmist said. She could almost hear God saying to her, "Behold!"
The more Joyce praised God for such a magnificent work of art, the more God reminded her of the many occasions when she and her late husband, Dr. Adrian Rogers, had experienced God's glory and magnificent creation.
Inspired by this moving experience, Joyce began a study of the word behold in her personal quiet times with the Lord. Over and over again she found that the Scriptures direct us to "behold" the glory and work of the Lord---to gaze upon them and consider them deeply.
During this time, Joyce reflected on the many personal experiences through which God graciously allowed her and Adrian to behold His majesty and glory. Mrs. Rogers' intimate reflections ultimately became this volume, entitled simply, Behold!