For the last three weeks, all I’ve wanted to do is to sit quietly with God. There is nothing in the natural world as satisfying as God’s presence. Even now, as I write this article, I feel a part of me being pulled away, because I would much rather be with God than merely talk about him.
However, it is so important for believers to understand that they can have an intimacy with God and live from a place of passion rather than performance. So, in this article, I’d like to discuss what’s so wonderful about tapping into God’s presence.
Passion for Presence
I have a hunger for God’s presence. He is my first love. When I was little, I used to sing songs to Him before I fell asleep… they were probably songs about cats and other things I liked, but I really believed He was listening.
When I learned to write, I put some coins into an envelope and wrote in shaky letters, “For God.” It was such a small gesture, but it was full of the expectation that He would see my longing to connect with Him and love Him and that He would respond. I don’t think there’s anything more attractive to God than a heart that is hungry for His presence.
It’s easy, though, to fall into a lifestyle of performance without passion, to do “spiritual” things without actually cultivating a relationship with the Lord. But without passion, there is nothing “spiritual” about our gifting’s and works.
In Revelation, Jesus addresses the church of Ephesus, praising them for their discernment and perseverance… but ultimately saying to them, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” (Revelation Chapter 2, Verse 4, NIV)
In a similar vein of thought, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, “If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians Chapter 13, Verse 2, NIV)
While there is nothing wrong with praying mountain-moving prayers, and seeing miracles and doing good works, performance is only made powerful by passion.
So where does passion come from?
There is a reason Jesus asks us to love God with all our mind, heart and soul (Matthew Chapter 22, Verse 37). It’s our first assignment as Christians because it ignites a passion for Him and His presence.
As a child, I didn’t fully understand Jesus and Holy Spirit and I couldn’t read the Bible, but I could understand that God loved me and I could respond. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John Chapter 4, Verse 19, NIV).
It’s important that we don’t step outside of that passionate and joyful response… because without that first love, our works are worthless. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah Chapter 8, Verse 10). I respond to His love with a hunger for His presence, because a quiet, burning heart is an unshakeable fortress.
God’s presence is always available.
The best part about God’s presence and the joy it brings is that it’s always available, no matter where we are. He wants to be in relationship with us more than we’ve ever wanted anything.
The biggest lie that used to keep me from pursuing God’s presence was the fear that He would reject me, be disappointed by me, condemn me or simply ignore me. But God doesn’t work that way.
As Bethel’s Dann Farrelly says, “God loves you right where you’re at, and He loves you too much to leave you there.” Being vulnerable with God may feel like a risk if you’ve ever been vulnerable with someone and been hurt.
But the first thing God did for Adam and Eve after the fall was to clothe their nakedness (Genesis Chapter 3, Verse 21). He’s safe for us in our vulnerability.
Furthermore, we claim Jesus’ righteousness for our own, we can boldly approach the throne of God (Hebrews Chapter 4, Verse 16). With hunger and expectation, we press in. He made the way for us to have relationship with Him, and all that’s left is to respond to it.
It’s amazing how many people will talk about God but haven’t taken the time to simply be with God. I can see seasons in my life that were embarrassingly difficult because I wasn’t resting in God. When I take the time to connect with the Lord, though, there’s simply no room left for things like offense or fear to take root.
There is only God and His promises. The fruit of the spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control…” (Galatians Chapter 5, Verses 22-23, NIV). When you tap into His spirit, you suddenly see its fruit in your life.
What do we find when we seek His presence?
“He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah Chapter 3, Verse 17, NKJV) That is what happens when we seek God with hunger and expectation.
He delights in us. He wants relationship with us, exactly as we are but never leaving us the same.
Grace lives in Redding, California. She is constantly inspired by the beauty around her. She loves to hike, fish, ski, and take long walks. She is passionate about worship and seeing God's love lived out through her community.
Grace Wood's articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-wood.html
Grace lives in California, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. She is constantly inspired by the beauty around her. She loves to hike, fish, ski, and take long walks. She is passionate about worship and seeing God's love lived out through her community.
Grace Wood's articles may be viewed at