As we continue our series on experiencing God through the five senses He gave us, today we’re talking about some practical ways we can practice God’s presence in our our lives; things we can do to feel His presence.
There have been times in my life when God felt pretty far away. And I’m not just talking about the distant past. You may find this shocking, but even though I write Christian articles weekly and talk about God every chance I get—both here, on Facebook in some often unpredictable and very real live videos, and in real life, I don’t always feel God the way I want to.
Looking back it is easy to see when it was hard to feel Him. When stress rises and my schedule gets out of whack. When I get lazy with Bible study. (Being in God’s Word to write about it is different than studying it for my own spiritual growth.) When I don’t live my priorities well. Sometimes, even when I take the easy way out or try to fly under the radar and avoid serving my neighbor as I ought.
Sadly, many of these situations band together into the perfect storm during the summer. My boys stay up later because they can sleep in, so I do, too. We travel and vacation mode settles into my Spirit. Most Bible study groups break during the summer months and having my kids home full time is an easy excuse for things I’m not thrilled about doing. And summer is coming again, but I don’t want to lose touch with God just because the calendar flips to June. I’m guessing you don’t either.
So, this week’s post contains 3 things we can do to reach out in faith and feel God’s touch.
4 Practical Ways to Practice God’s Presence
1. Invite God into your day.
Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you’re inviting God into your day.
God is always present in our lives, but when we struggle to feel His presence there’s a good chance our prayer life is lacking. I have friends who live all over the world. We don’t talk all the time and some of them have drifted out of my life because of the distance. Or more accurately, because one or both of us has stopped making our relationship a priority. But one conversation can truly rekindle our connection.
When we choose to spend time with the Lord through prayer and make an intentional effort to invite Him into our day-to-day routines and decisions, our relationship with Him is rekindled, too.
The Apostle Paul says to pray without ceasing. Prayer is not confined to before meals or at bed time or when crisis hits. It is meant to be a continuous conversation with our Creator. Prayer doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out, elaborate affair filled with fancy words. In fact, the more I focus on what I’m saying the less I feel His presence. By keeping a simple, open dialog with God throughout the day His presence feels much more real.By keeping a simple, open dialog with God throughout the day His presence feels much more real. #feelGod #experienceGod #5senses Click To Tweet
2. Get together with believers.
I’ll be the first to admit that others are more likely to see a mess than the Messiah when they look at me, but somehow, God has given mere mortals the ability to experience His presence through each other. Not because we are good, but because He is. Not because we are lovable, but because He loves us. But, all too often, we avoid them, for a variety of reasons too vast to get into here. Sometimes our lives just feel too chaotic to connect. Regardless of what it is keeping keeping us apart, it has been in times when I have forsaken the gift of gathering with fellow believers that God has felt far from me.
As our small groups begin to scatter for summer, let’s commit to connecting with other Christians in one way or another over the next few months. It could be in weekly worship (even when we’re traveling far from our home churches), share groups, Bible studies, small groups, coffee chats, leisurely lunches, back yard BBQ’s, or stolen moments at the playground. It could just be gathering your own family around the dining room table. Face to face interaction with people who share our faith helps us feel God’s presence.
The where is less important than the why. We connect with other Christians to cultivate a strong connection with our Creator. He has given us to each other for that purpose. Let’s commit to being connected to other Christians.God puts people in our presence on purpose. #feelGod #5sense #experienceGod #community Click To Tweet
3. Read your Bible.
The Word of God came to life in the person of Jesus. And it is that Word that has the ability to cut through flesh and bone and reveal the truth in our hearts and minds. For those to whom faith has been given, we feel God’s real presence through His Word. With every word, it shows us our need for healing and points to Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection for our ultimate and eternal salvation.
You know I love the entire Bible and it’s supernatural ability to breathe life into dry bones. For more on how the Word makes Jesus feel more real to me, check out this post I wrote for a friend –> Why Jesus is Called the Word. While I adore my Bible apps and concordances on-line for digging deeply into the Word (#wordnerd), nothing makes Jesus more real to me than a printed Bible I can hold in my hands. I can literally feel His presence as I touch the tangible pages while I read and study His Word.
I think we can all agree some books have more feeling than others. These are the poetic books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. They were written specifically to evoke emotion in the reader. (For more on poetry in the Bible, I found this article fascinating. So, if feeling God is what you’re after I suggest you look to one of the poetic books in His Word.
The more I read the Word, them more closely I’m connected with its Author. Believe me when I say, you’re not likely to feel God’s presence while you’re avoiding His Word.You’re not likely to feel God’s presence while you’re avoiding His Word. #feelgod #experienceGod #5senses #BibleStudy #wordmadeflesh Click To Tweet
4. Step out in faith.
Time spent growing in the God’s Word inevitably leads me to a desire to go and do His will. When I have felt compelled to step out in faith and serve God’s presence seems to surround me. Make no mistake. He is never far. He promised to be with us always and through faith He has given us His Spirit to seal that promise.
If we’re comfortable and confident in our own ability to do everything, we’re not likely to feel God’s presence as we go about our daily duties. But when we step out of our comfort zones to go and do His will in new ways, we discover His presence is more palpable. Doing things that are beyond our own ability makes our need for Him greater. When we recognize what we’re doing is only by His inspiration, in His strength, and through His equipping, we feel His presence in our every action.
And when we do things beyond our own strength and abilities, God gets the glory.
If I go and do only to receive glory for myself, what part does God have in that? Why would He make His presence tangible? I will have received all my reward from my fellow humans. But when I stand and draw attention to what God has done, when I give Him credit for the good He causes me to do, when I give Him all honor and glory, He is there with me.
You don’t have to change your profession to live out God’s purpose for your life. God’s purpose for each of us to glorify Him so that all might come to know Him. He uses people in every walk of life to accomplish this. There are people professional ministry will never reach. That’s why God has placed YOU exactly where you live, work, play, shop, and exercise. These are not accidental or coincidental. God placed you there specifically to reach the people you interact with there. For more on this idea watch the Facebook video here.
Partner with God to fulfill His purpose and to feel His presence.Partner with God to fulfill His purpose and to feel His presence. #stepoutinfaith #feelGod #experienceGod #5senses Click To Tweet
Your Turn to Practice God’s Presence
Which of these four methods are you most likely to put into practice? How might these strategies impact the way you feel God’s presence in you own life?
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope