Tag Archive for God’s presence

Psalm 73

This setting of Psalm 73 brings out
the wonderful truth that
God Himself is
our light,
our rightness,
our constant companion, and
our glorious destiny.
The tune is warm and familiar.

Printed Music

Your goodness floods the world with light
Until my focus drifts to me.
Then fear and envy fill my sight.
My heart has wandered from the right,
For self is all I see.

So Lord, I look to You alone,
My sun, my source, my glorious goal!
I taste in You a peace unknown,
A light that streams from heaven’s throne
And bathes my heart and soul.

As tears and troubles come and go,
You breathe the life that I pursue.
Your nearness brings an inner glow,
A smile that all Your children know.
O Lord, my joy is You!

by Ken Bible, © 2018 LNWhymns.com.

A Taste of Heaven

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:8, NIV)

If you want a taste of heaven in this world, cultivate a close, humble, loving communion with God. God will be the beauty and peace of heaven. Why wait till then to enjoy Him?

Keep bringing your thoughts back to Him in dependence and praise. If we knew our constant need for His help, we wouldn’t lose sight of Him for a second.

Make your heart a sanctuary where He is always worshiped. Guard your heart, your mind, and your mouth that you don’t do, say, or think anything displeasing to Him.

Remember, His help is always available. He never leaves us to our own strength. We just have to ask.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: My Mind Will Be Your Holy Place
Printed Music & Lyrics

by Brother Lawrence and Ken Bible

You Are the Blessing

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Father, how You long to bless Your people with all Your best!
And You Yourself are the gift You most long to give.
You are the prosperity that You pour into our souls.
You are the peace, the harmony, the completeness, the well-being
with which You would fill us and our world.
Your own Spirit is the blessing that You would
breathe and
speak and
throughout all we are
into every corner of the universe.

Father, in You, we are cradled in Your
unfailing love and
absolute dependability.
You are unfailing love.
You are absolute dependability.

In You we possess all things.
In You we possess all the riches of reality
rather than this world’s passing illusions.
You are All-in-all,
the Source,
the Goal, and
the Giver.
Whom do we have in heaven but You?
And on earth, what could we ever need but You?
In life,
in death,
in all the world,
in all eternity,
there is nothing we could want but
the blessing You will soon give in all its fullness:

A Word from Your Creator

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Isaiah 43:1-7; 51:12-16 

Hear your God speaking to you:
“I am Your Creator,
your Maker,
the One who formed You,
the Lord,
the Holy One,
your Savior,
the One stretched out the heavens and founded the earth.
I know your face.
I call you by name.
You belong to Me.
When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you cross raging rivers, they will not flow over you.
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned.
Because of Who I am.
I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel.
You are precious to me, and
I Myself am with you.

“Child, it makes no sense for you to be afraid of all these lesser things.
I created them, and they bow to me.
They do what I tell them.
When trouble threatens, you tend to forget Me,
that I am the Sovereign Lord of all, and
I am with you, and I love you.
When you’re concerned about something, turn to Me.
Talk to me.
Trust me.

“Look! I have covered you with my own hand.
Nothing can trouble you here unless you let it.
You are mine.
Rest in my peace.”

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Be Still, My Child
Printed Music & Lyrics

I Am with You Always

[Jesus said], “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20, NASB).

God, my Father, my Creator,
You are always with me.
You are a real being, and
You are always here with me.

You love me.
Your eyes and Your heart are always on me.

Yet I seldom think of You.
I seldom realize that You are here.
I seldom talk to You or
acknowledge You in any way.

You care about me,
but I don’t ask Your wisdom.
You provide everything I need,
yet I am so anxious.
You honor me with Your presence,
yet I ignore You.

Father, it is good to be with You right now.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: You Are Near, O Lord
Printed Music & Lyrics

Forever Faithful

Jesus, I know You are here with me.
I know I can pray anytime.
I know that life’s purest joy and peace are only a breath away.

But I forget.
I get wrapped up in my own little world.

Still, You keep coming to me.
You prompt me through a need or a crisis,
through some anxiety or
through my own inner neediness.
You prompt me through a blessing,
then You remind me to thank You for it.

Through my busyness,
my worry,
my weakness, and
my foolish pride,
You keep calling me,
drawing me, and
welcoming me to You.

Thank You, Jesus.
You are forever faithful!
You are forever with me.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Almighty God Is Near!
Printed Music & Lyrics

Fill My Thoughts

Search me, O God, and
know my heart;
test me and
know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and
lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)

Lord God, You honor me by being with me always.
I am unworthy of You,
but You love me.
You want to be with me.
You want us to be one in heart.

You are love, and You want me to be loving.
You are pure, and You want me to be pure in heart.
You are gentle and kind, and You want me to be as You are.

Patient, gentle, loving Jesus,
give me Your Spirit.
Give me Your mind.
Give me Your heart.

Lord, fill my thoughts
with what pleases You.

 Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Always in You
Printed Music & Lyrics

Enjoying His Presence

It was a Thursday evening, with most of a long week behind me. My wife was out for the evening, and I felt the urge to take a long drive, just to relax with a change of scenery. I had planned to drive north or west, toward a store of somewhere with people, but instead I felt led to drive south, into more open country.

On a back road I was stopped by a train, and while waiting, I looked up at the sky. It was so clear. The moon, just past half full, was sparkling and bright. It was one of those beautiful scenes that just makes you smile all over.

And in those moments, I realized God had brought me out there just to sense and enjoy His presence. He just wanted me to know He was there.

I am discovering that God makes a wonderful companion. When I was dating, I had to save up topics to talk about—plan them ahead of time—in order to keep a conversation going. But in God’s presence, you don’t have to talk all the time, and you don’t have to strain to listen for His voice. Listening for God to speak doesn’t necessitate sitting in a dark room, emptying your mind of all thoughts, and contemplating your navel. When you know that He will speak when He’s ready, you can relax.

I don’t imagine God wants us to feel ill-at-ease in His presence. I don’t like it when people feel uncomfortable around me. It usually indicates they don’t know me, don’t like me, or don’t trust me. Like any good Friend, God wants us to feel relaxed in His presence, sharing our words or our silence, whichever our need may be.

The writer of Psalm 73 must have had a similar experience with God. Through most of the Psalm, he complains because the wicked prosper and seem to “get away with murder,” while the righteous scrimp to survive. He was beginning to wonder if living a righteous life was worth it, when he entered the sanctuary. There, after experiencing God’s presence, he understood how swift and certain the destruction of the wicked would be, as they would be cut off completely and forever from the goodness of the Creator. (I suspect that some of our concerns are more effectively answered by realizing the presence of the True and Living God, rather than by mere information or logic.)

The Psalmist then ends his Psalm. Note the warm, personal tone of one who knows he is with God at that very moment:

I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
(Psalm 73:23-28, NIV)

Perhaps what God most wants you to know is that He is right there with you, as a real, living being. Knowing that, and treating Him accordingly, can transform your entire life.

O Lord…you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar…
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord…
you have laid your hand on me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.
(Psalm 139:1-6, NIV)

A Living, Present Being

One of the first things we’re taught as children in Sunday School is that God is everywhere, He is always with us. I remember that thought being impressed on me by the song, “O be careful, little eyes, what you see…” But the feeling I got was, “Big Brother is watching you!” It made me afraid of God and uneasy, even when I wasn’t doing something sneaky.

Then as we get a little older, we’re hit with the unwieldy term omnipresent. But that’s what my son would call a “back-of-the-dictionary word.” I don’t remember it ever making God seem near or dear.

And as adults, most of us profess that God is everywhere, but we generally think and live as if He is not. Our attitudes clearly state what our mouths will not admit—that God is either not really here, or if He is, it is in some vague, impersonal sense. Rarely do our hearts perceive Him, and just as rarely do we personally interact with Him, or react to Him. When we react, it is usually to “the rules” rather than to Him.

Sometimes we try to recreate His image in our minds, piecing together memorized words and vague memories. But the result is unreal and fades quickly.

But over the years, God has begun to patiently impress on me that He is a real being, who is immediately and personally and constantly with me. The very breath I breathe is His life-force. His Spirit lives and speaks and works within me. Incredibly, I spend every moment of my existence enfolded in His presence and His care.

This growing awareness has brought with it some intriguing and exciting questions:

How would my thoughts, feelings, and actions change if my heart were always fully aware of His presence?

How would that affect my attitude toward sin? How would I react to Him when I do sin if I realized He is present, still loving me, longing to immediately restore our relationship?

How would I be affected in times of trouble, fatigue, or confusion if I realized I don’t have to find God or even reach out to Him—that He is already with me, and I only have to look to Him?

As a matter of fact, how would it affect my prayer life? Can I imagine the simplicity of opening my heart to One who is as close as my breath, who takes pleasure in hearing from me?

How much more flavor and spice would it add to this life, and how much would it sharpen my anticipation of the next life?

You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11, NIV)

How would our hearts and our lives change if we simply realized what is already true—that our loving God is personally, presently, unfailingly with us?

Called Aside

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters.
(Psalm 23:2, NIV)

Jesus, I feel You calling me aside this morning.

Sometimes I sense You calling me in stressful times,
inviting me to seek and find rest in Your presence.

But sometimes, like this morning,
when I have done my normal devotional practice,
I feel You calling me aside further.
You prompt me to put away other good things and
spend more time with You.
You invite me to experience closer fellowship with You.

Jesus, I come to You now with joy.
Thank You for wanting me,
for enjoying me,
for desiring to bless me and be close to me, and
for wanting me to be close to You.
I come, Lord.