Practice The Presence
What a special position we have in Christ as a believer. All too often we lose sight of the riches of His grace that was given to us, and we tend to focus in on the attacks of the enemy within our body and emotions. We often lose sight of the fact that when we became born-again, we entered into a state of being "alive" spiritually, as we became united with Christ, who is the "life." (John 14:6)
Not only have we become untied with Christ, but we have been given such great authority to use right here on the Earth, the right to use the Name of Jesus. We have become more than conquerors through Him. Yes, these precious promises are ours! But, there is an enemy out there who is continually picking away at us, lurking, prowling "as" a roaring lion seeking whom he "may" devour (1 Peter 5:8). The Bible also gives us some insight into our "struggles" as it informs us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this dark age, and against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) Thank God we have been given authority over the enemy! - Luke 10:19
The "fruit" that is brought forth by these demonic forces is told to us in John 10:10, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy." The fruit that Jesus brings forth is told to us in the rest of that same verse, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
One commentator reflects that the word "life" (zoe - Greek) in this verse speaks of the highest and best of which Christ is. Think of that. The desire of the Lord Jesus Christ is to give to us an abundance of the highest and best of which He is. Yes, that's His desire for you right now! We need to come to the place in our Christian walk that we insist upon the fruit of "life" that is ours through the Lord Jesus Christ, and refuse to settle for anything less! Make up your mind right now that you will not be denied!
Do not allow turmoil, confusion, anxiety, hurts and wounds of the past, or fear of the future to have dominion or Lordship over you. These have no place in the life of the believer. I am not saying that we deny that these exist, and that they won't try to come upon us from time to time, however we can sure deny them the right to stay!
I want to give you a simple and much overlooked "tool" to overcoming these attacks, which is that you begin to enter in to a deeper realm of the presence of God. The word tells us to be "filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18) and the tense in the Greek speaks of a continuous, day by day filling, and not a one time event.
Look at Galatians 5:22, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law!" Look at that! According to this Scripture, there is no law that can stand against the fruit of the Spirit - all of the things that we need in our everyday lives, all of the things we desire are there in the Spirit's presence. The fruit of the Spirit is the "personage" of the Holy Spirit - it's who He is! He longs to fellowship with you and saturate your entire being with the wonderful benefits of this grace of who He is.
When we begin to enter into this presence, spending time with Him, this fruit begins to manifest in us and through us! You cannot enter into His presence and come away empty. Fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hurts, wounds, emptiness, loneliness, bad-habits, cannot stand in the presence of God! They simply cannot continue there - they must all fall away! If you are struggling with impure thoughts, or habits that you're having a rough time shaking loose, then I urge you to daily set some time aside to spend in His presence and watch how your life takes on a bright new brilliance of His grace and mercy. It won't be very long at all before your thoughts are under control and those habits that seemed so tough to break no longer have the hold they used to.
There is healing in His presence, peace in His presence, answers in His presence, joy - unspeakable joy in His presence, such wonderful fulfillment. Striving comes to an end in the presence of God. It's there for you, all of this is waiting for you.
I learned very early on in my walk with the Lord to enter into His presence and draw strength from Him, experiencing His love and peace allowing Him to minister to me in the midst of the circumstances of life, which gave me the encouragement to move forward. When we enter in to His presence we do so with a heart of appreciation of who He is. We come before Him in the spirit of true thanksgiving, honoring Him, loving Him for who He is and what He has already done for us. We place our focus onto Him, regardless of our needs and what we are currently experiencing in life, exalting Him as Lord. Let's take a quick look at a few Scriptures that speak about His presence:
Psalm 95:2-3 "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods."
Psalm 100 "Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations."
Psalm 16:11 "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Entering into His presence is not difficult at all for the believer. I would encourage you to begin with heart-felt personal praise and worship. Begin to sing to the Lord, proclaiming who He is to you, and thanking Him for what He has done for you - salvation, eternal life, we've become the righteousness of God in Christ, we've been given authority, the Spirit of God is IN us, we're son's and daughter's of the Most High God, we're recipients of all the covenant promises, empowered by His grace, we are new creatures in Him, we're forgiven. Oh, there's so much to worship Him about. At first when you begin to do this, it may seem a little awkward, you may even find yourself stumbling over your words. You may want to begin with some worship choruses that you are familiar with and then in between choruses, speak out and declare your adoration for Him and who He is to you. If you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, this is a great time to sing and worship in the Spirit.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with your worship. In John 14 and15, Jesus called the Holy Spirit "The Helper." So, allow Him to help you, He will. After a while of worshipping, you will sense in your spirit that it is time to get quiet. You may want to sit at this time. I like to call this quiet time in His presence "transformational prayer." This is where you allow the Fruit of the Spirit, who He is, to saturate your being, body, soul and spirit. This time in the Spirit can go by so quickly, and you will experience such peace, such serenity. It is in this place that you are in a prime position to begin to learn to recognize the voice of the Lord, what the Bible calls "the still, small voice of God," who desires to speak to your spirit. This experience has become such a strength in my life. When the storms of life come and the stresses of the world try to dominate my thoughts, I simply get away into His presence and gain His prospective. I may not always "hear" Him speak, but I always sense His presence. And one cannot experience His presence without coming away from that experience enriched by Him.
We must not experience His wonderful presence only once in awhile, we must learn to enter in and fellowship with Him each and everyday - it's where the victory is! It's the secret to the progression of His life released within with realized maturity and growth. Once you begin to experience His presence, you'll wonder why you didn't enter in sooner. The enemy is totally and completely defeated in the Christian's life that has learned the wonderful truth of taking the time to Practice The Presence!
A great place to start hearing the voice of God is by learning to Journal Through The Word