Are you in the presence of the Lord or is the presence of the Lord in you? It’s important to be where God is and where he will be inside of us, so we’re displaying all the fruits of the Spirit and godly character.
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew…path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
God has been in our presence since the beginning when Adam and Eve were in the garden. God talked to Adam every day and they had sweet fellowship in the garden. God brought all the animals he created for Adam to name, and created a woman for Adam’s wife. After Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying what God said, they hid when God came. God doesn’t want us to hide from his presence. God wants us to have a clear experience by knowing we’ve done everything God wants, our attitude is right, our actions are right. That way we’re pleasing to him and will have sweet fellowship.
Genesis 3:8-10 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord…God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself..
The only thing we know about Enoch is that he walked with God, so you know it’s really important to God. Do people know you walk with God? Is our attitude and our demeanor such that people know we’ve been in the presence of God or God’s presence is in us? Do people know we walk with him? That was the only testimony we have for Enoch.
Genesis 5:21-24 And Enoch lived sixty and five years…Enoch walked with God…and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
There aren’t a lot of people in the Bible that God translated, but was because Enoch pleased God. It says that without faith it’s impossible to please him. Faith is vitally important. We walk by faith and not sight. If we don’t feel God’s presence, it doesn’t show if God is there or not. There will be times when we won’t feel God’s presence. In the five months of the Covid virus, people are getting agitated, angry, upset and impatient. God wants us to keep walking with him, to know he has it all under control, and to not lose faith. If we feel like God’s presence isn’t with us, the enemy will comes like a flood to get us to have attitudes. God wants us to check our mind to be sure our attitudes and thinking are pleasing.
Hebrews 11:5-6 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Job knew it wasn’t by feelings that God’s presence was there. He looked forward, backwards, to both sides, and couldn’t perceive God anywhere. He knew God was there, knew the way he took, and he’d come forth as gold when he was tried. We hold on to the promises by faith, knowing God knows where we are. Hold on when feelings are negative or we don’t feel the presence of God is with us. Job said his foot held God’s steps – his way, and he didn’t decline from it. Everyone is being tried at this time and our trial is to draw us closer to God. Are we seeking God’s presence and communing with him? Are we making sure we’re where God wants us? Are we letting others see God’s presence in us? That’s what’s important.
Job 23:8-10 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand…on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s palace for 40 years, was well educated, and was commander of the army. He defended an Israelite and killed the Egyptian, so he ran for his life. He was a shepherd for 40 years. He was 80 years old and God was talking with him and telling him who he is. It doesn’t say if Moses had spoken with God in the 40 years as a shepherd. God gave instructions and told Moses what his name is. His name is still the same. He’s still the great the great I Am!
Exodus 3:1-6 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law…he led the flock…And the angel of the Lord appeared…in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush…Moses said, I will now turn…see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt… God called unto him out of the midst of the bush…Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground…I am the God of thy father…of Abraham…Isaac, and…Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
Exodus 3:12-15 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token…that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. And Moses said…when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say…The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said…I Am That I Am…Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you…Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers…of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever…this is my memorial unto all generations.
The Israelites fled Egypt for three months and ended up at Mount Sinai, where God was speaking to Moses again.
Exodus 19:3-6 And Moses went…and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to…the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people…a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak…
When God came down the mount, how would you react about the thunder, lightning, loud trumpet, and loud noise? Moses knew exactly what it was but the people trembled when they saw the smoke and the fire. Moses was not afraid to go up the mount, so he went and God gave the ten commandments and said to have no other gods.
Exodus 19:16-20…there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud…and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so…the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God… And mount Sinai…the Lord descended upon it in fire…the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded…Moses spake, and God…called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
The qualification to be in God’s presence was that they sin not. The people were afraid to speak to God. They said Moses could speak to them but they didn’t want God to speak to them. We need an experience where we want God to speak to us. When we read the word, it needs to speak to us. When we pray, we need to listen for God to speak to us and not be afraid. They were afraid because of their sin. People with sin in their heart are not able to listen to what God says.
Exodus 20:18-21 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and…they removed, and stood afar off…said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said…Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near…where God was.
God specifically said his presence would go with Moses. When we’re saved and forsake sin, God’s presence is with us. It’s important to keep God’s presence with us, whether we feel his presence or not. By faith we know his presence is with us.
Exodus 33:12-15 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest…Bring up this people: and..not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet…said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now…if I have found grace …shew me now thy way, that I may know thee…And he said, My presence shall go with thee…
Sin is the only thing that keeps God’s presence from us and hides God’s face from us so he doesn’t hear us.
Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
God’s presence leaves us if he asks us to do something and we’re not willing to do it. We must be willing to give all we have to God. Everything has to be on the altar. We can’t hold anything back for ourselves. Iniquity separates us from God.
John 14:17-18 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
The cloud of God’s presence was with the Israelites every day. When we get saved the Spirit of God’s presence is with us, but God’s presence needs to be in us by being sanctified. In Acts they continued in one accord, waiting for the promise of the Father. They received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. We receive the Holy Ghost and power to be witnesses.
Acts 1:4-5 And, being assembled together…commanded them that they should not depart…but wait for the promise of the Father…For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Stephen preached a message and was stoned. He wasn’t lashing out or finding fault with them. His attitude was father forgive them. Saul was consenting to Stephen’s death as they stoned him. He caused havoc and lots of persecution for the church at Jerusalem. The people that scattered weren’t complaining about Saul, or the government, or that their rights were taken away. It doesn’t say they were murmuring, complaining, and finding fault. They went everywhere preaching the word. God allowed this virus situation and wants to see what our attitude is. He wants us preaching the word – not our personal opinions, not political issues, not against one another, but preaching the word of God for souls to be saved. It’s vitally important for our whole attitude to be in the presence of God. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and had a mission to preach the gospel. Are we filled with the presence of God so our mission is to preach the gospel that helps people be saved?
Acts 8:1-4 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And…there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem…And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him…Saul, he made havock …men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching…
When Philip went to Samaria, he just preached Christ. He didn’t say what a hard a time they were having in Jerusalem or that they were being persecuted and had to scatter. His main concern was to get the gospel out. What is our main concern? Our main concern needs to be getting the gospel out, that we would be instruments that God can use to help our neighbors, those we meet in the grocery store, that God’s presence would be seen by our attitude and what we say.
Acts 8:5-7 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits…came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and…lame, were healed.
People at Jerusalem heard Samaria had gotten saved and repented of their sins. They had the presence of God with them, but they weren’t filled with the Holy Spirit in them. They felt it was vitally important and sent apostles to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. When we get sanctified, we’re to be witnesses for Christ to who we meet wherever we go.
Acts 8:14-17 Now when the apostles…heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John…that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
If we say we have fellowship but walk in darkness, we lie. People that say they have fellowship with Christ but have sin in their life don’t have God’s presence with them or in them because sin separates from God. Whoever says I know him but isn’t obedient to the word, is a liar and the truth isn’t in them. It’s important to us to know our life is clear, to pray for God to search us and show if there’s evil in us. If it doesn’t feel like God is with us, we know he is by faith if we haven’t sinned.
I John1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus…cleanseth us from all sin.
I John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word…is the love of God perfected…He that saith he abideth in him ought…to walk, even as he walked.
God says we’re a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar people that show the praises of him that called us out of darkness. It doesn’t say to show the political views we’re interested in. It says show the praises of God, to promote him.
I Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
An article about depression said music reduces loneliness, influences your mood, calms, and decreases pain. Turn on music if you have situations, problems, or thoughts you’re dealing with. Listen to church songs that uplift and encourage you. Psalm 22 says God inhabits the praises of men. Get thankful. God inhabits thanksgiving so he wants us to show his praise and thanksgiving as the people of God and to show that his presence is in us, so that we can help somebody else.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)