Conversation between Moses and God:
God: “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”
Moses: “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
Exodus 33:14-15 (NIV)
“GOD, WHO HAS CALLED US INTO FELLOWSHIP WITH HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, OUR LORD, IS FAITHFUL.”
I Corinthians 1:9 (NIV)
Practicing the “Presence of God” in our lives, is simply a call to fellowship with God. The Apostle Paul’s words in I Corinthians 1:9 refer to a fellowship (partnership) between believers and their Lord. Practicing His presence is found throughout the New Testament. In Romans 12:1-2, Paul urges believers to offer themselves to God as a spiritual act of worship. Worship is then connected to verse 2 as a partner with the transformation and renewing of our minds.
Studying Jesus’ prayer life reveals His priority for fellowship with His Father. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed.” (Mark 2:35) His practice was to go to a solitary (quiet) place and fellowship with His Father. But His fellowship was not just limited to solitary times. His fellowship was constant. Can you imagine the depth of Their fellowship! Think of Their conversations. Imagine their redemptive strategies. Jesus lived to please His Father by fulfilling prophecy. The purpose of our redemption was fulfilled in their solitary times. Through fellowship with His Father, Jesus did miracles, taught with authority and lived to please His Father! His expectation of unbroken fellowship with His Father is His expectation for us.
Perhaps, compartmentalizing our relationship with God by separating ‘renewing the mind’ from ‘worship and prayer’ dilutes the intentionality of our call to fellowship with Jesus. Compart- mentalizing is not the Holy Spirit’s intention.
Carefully digest this step by step summary from James 4:6-10:
#1. Submit yourselves to God. (Submission is a 24/7 practice that includes resisting the devil!)
#2. Come near to God and he will come near to you. (God craves our fellowship (partnership))
#3. In God’s presence there’s a depth of repentance that purges doublemindedness!
#4. Humbling ourselves before the Lord releases grace. By grace, He continually lifts us up.
Practicing God’s presence should include teaching and correction, as well as, praise and worship. The Holy Spirit’s purpose results in a spiritual lifting that keeps us in fellowship. Born Again worshippers are called to practice God’s presence in a way that parallels Jesus’ time with His Father. As today, so then, worshippers find “in the Presence of the Lord, His fullness.” (Psalm 16:11) Only His fullness can fill our emptiness. Practicing His presence is paramount.