Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV)
This is the single greatest promise from our Creator. He is with us. He is Emmanuel. Not only did God create us, bless us, and grant us purpose, authority, and dominion on earth, but God also gave us the best gift imaginable: Himself.
Throughout scripture, we read about all kinds of people living through various predicaments who find strength and rest in the knowledge of His Presence. This list of biblical heroes includes men, women, children, kings, servants, fishermen, scholars and simpletons. It includes people in obscurity and popularity; it includes those dreaming for bigger things and those desperate for anything – people found in palaces, sheepfolds, prisons, and deserts. The presence of God knows no bounds for those who desire Him. What binds the heroes of faith in scripture is the honest desire to be with God.
And we too must burn with the desire to be with Him, for in His presence we find fullness of Joy. Eternal Perspective. Hope. In His Presence all things are made new. Lies are exposed. Gifts are released. Ideas are generated. Relationships are restored. Fears are dispelled. In His presence, we find peace… and healing for our souls.
YES! I desire the Presence of GOD. Now, how can I actually find Him?
Finding HIM is more of an acknowledgment than it is an accomplishment. It’s not about doing something to find Him, as much as it is discovering that He’s already here. Spiritual discipline is important. But my disciplines don’t attain God. It’s more accurate to say that I discipline myself to silence all the distractions. CS Lewis says it this way,
“It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”
For the past 10 years I’ve only found God to be more present. I realize more every day what it means that HE is with me. In the loneliest, most desperate seasons, He has comforted me. And in every thrill and pleasurable moment, He has been by my side. I love being with Him. And so for the rest of my life I will fight to position myself in quiet, prayerful, meditative places – places where I can be with Him. This is not because He shows up when it’s quiet, but because when I quiet my life I recognize and remember that He’s there.
This is the place where I can hear Jesus reminding me of the last thing He told his disciples: “And surely, I will be with you always. Even to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
By Lead Pastor Andrew Bach