Psalm 91 is famous for the comfort it brings to the children of God. Verse one is a declaration about God’s Presence. “He who dwells in the secret pace of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I don’t know about you, but I sure like the sound of abiding under God’s shadow or presence. But there is even more good news. The Psalmist also declares that in God’s presence there is fulness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Joy, peace and protection, what more can you ask for? And it all comes from His Presence. This week we are going to continue the podcast we began last week on “How to Cultivate God’s Presence in Your Life.”
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Prayer and the Presence of God
- Do you remember that in the Old Testament, they used to burn incense in the Tabernacle? It was one of the jobs of the priests.
- Incense represented prayer.
Psalm 141:2 (KJV)
2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; And the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
- The purpose of the incense was not just so we in the New Testament might have a symbol of prayer which we can reference. It is not so we can say, we know what ‘burning incense means.’
- Why do you spray air freshener in your house? Isn’t it to cover up odors?
- The Altar of Incense had a similar purpose.
- It was to cover the ‘smell of flesh.’
- Not sacrificial flesh, ‘animal burning on the altar flesh’, not that kind of flesh but human sin stained flesh.
- The flesh, the works of the flesh, or the sin nature are an unpleasant odor in God’s nostrils.
- To put it rather plainly, when you are not walking in love, you stink.
- When you are walking in the flesh, your life gives off an unpleasant odor to God.
- The works of the flesh are not welcome in the realm of the Spirit.
Romans 8:8 (KJV)
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
- Overlaying this onto our discussion, stink equals ‘Diminished Presence.’
- A life full of prayer and worship, is attractive to God. God wants to be around that and so His Presence increases.
- When you take time out of your busy “I need to get this thing done” schedule that we all seem to have to pray for others Gods Presence gets all over that.
- Walking in love is walking in the Presence.
- Walking continually in prayer. Keeping a continual conversation with God, cultivates the presence. It’s a sweet smell to God.
- Walking in selfishness stinks and disconnects you from the Presence.
The Presence of God and the Jehovah Names
- Everyone can enjoy his Presence. It’ not just for a select few.
- How do we know this?
- God revealed it to us through one of His Covenant names.
- You remember what the covenant names of God are?
- They are the Jehovah names in the Old Testament. Here are some of them.
- Jehovah El Shaddai – “God our Supplier.” Or the God that’s more than enough.
- Jehovah-Jireh – “God my Provider.” This name was revealed in Genesis 22:14 when Abraham obediently tried to offer up Isaac and God substituted a lamb instead. The name speaks of the Lord God providing His Son for our redemption.
- Jehovah-Rapha – “God my Healer.” Revealed at the bitter waters of Marah in Exodus 15:22–26. The Lord made a covenant of healing with His people at this event.
- Jehovah-Shalom – “God my Peace.” This name was revealed to Gideon, in Judges 6:23–24. God showed Gideon that only through depending on the Lord can we know His peace and enjoy victory over our enemies.
- Jehovah-Tsidkenu – “God my Righteousness.” Jehovah-Rohi – “God my Shepherd.” In Psalms 23, God is revealed as our Rohi – our Shepherd. The name Rohi speaks of both leadership and close intimacy.
- What is it about these Jehovah names? They are covenant names and so they represent covenant rights.
- It’s your right to be healed because God is Jehovah Rapha. It’s right to be a son of God because Jesus paid for that right with His own blood. You have the right to be called ‘The Righteousness of God’ in Christ because He is Jehovah-Tsidkenu.
- But, did you know that there is a Jehovah Name for the Presence of God?
- Jehovah-Shammah – “The Abiding Presence.” It is translated “The LORD is there;” Or the Lord is present. This reveals to us the redemptive privilege of enjoying His presence.
- The name means the Lord is there. All we have to do now is find out where ‘there’ is and we have it made. Where is there?
- Where you are. Where ever I am.
2 Corinthians 6:16 (KJV)
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
- Where is God? He is in you.
- It’s your covenant right to have and experience His Presence in your life.
Monitoring the Presence of God in Your Life
- If you are not sensing Him, you should be asking questions. You should be asking why? Why am I not sensing Him?
- Monitoring your love walk is one way of monitoring His Presence.
- Here is another example of what I mean by monitoring the Presence.
- Have you ever been in a meeting where you had a strong move of God? You sensed His Presence. Maybe the Spirit of God manifested in a strong way and it affected you. Many times in meetings like these, the Presence will linger. Even after the meeting is dismissed, you sense Him. What did we do with that sense? Did you leave the meeting and act like nothing happened? Most people do. They go right back to things as usual. When you did that what happened? The Presence dissipated. It dissipated maybe because you did not treasure it.
- It dissipated because you did not cultivate it.
- The sense of His Presence should have been enough to get you to your next time of prayer or fellowship.
- When we sensed it waning, we did not pray.
- When we sensed it leaving, we did not get into the Word.
- Obviously, sometimes you cannot help it. On a few occasions I have had to leave church and go to work. Do you know how hard it is to concentrate on work when the Spirit of God is upon you?
- Why make this point about cultivating the Presence? What’s the difference anyway?
- If you treasure God’s Presence and carry it with you throughout the week, the next Sunday you come to church you are not trying to get into His Presence because you already have it. You brought it with you. The meeting then has an opportunity to explode because you have the Presence and the person next to you has it. You add it all together and bang you have MORE GOD.
- God is a God of increase. You can have more of God under these circumstances.
- You will notice this effect in special meetings. In revival type services that go on every night for a week. Generally these meetings start out low. But, after a few days things increase. The meeting builds, why? Because people don’t have time to get into the flesh and dissipate what they received the night before because the meetings are so close together. In meetings like this manifestations of the Spirit increase. The anointing gets stronger. The Presence increases. The Glory rises. Here it is in scripture.
1 Corinthians 14:26 (KJV)
26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
- Notice these Corinthian believers were not trying to get something from God. They already had something from God when they came.
- They were focusing on God and God was giving out.
- When you get alone and focus on the Lord and the things of God, the Presence intensifies.
- Persistence, then, is a must.
God manifests His presence to those who are hungry for Him. – Lynne Hammond.
Call to Action:
Pressing into His Presence is about placing a value on it. In life, you only treasure what you value. Search the Word of God and read those verses which detail the Presence of God. It is as you own these verses, that they will become a reality and impart blessing to your life.
You can find more information on this ‘Presence of God’ Series see the following posts by clicking on the links.
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Question: What have you learned and put into practice which helped you enjoy a greater sense of His Presence? Please leave your comments in the comments section below.