Andrew Fountain - Delighting in God 2: Experiencing the Presence Of God

1. The Facts

  • Where is God’s presence?

God’s Presence in the Old Testament

  • Gen 3:8
    1. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
  • Gen 4:16
    1. “Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden”
  • Smoking torch appeared to Abraham (Gen 15:17)
  • Jacob’s dream of a ladder to heaven in Gen 28:17
    1. “He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’”
    • Nathaniel -> Jesus is the ladder
  • Burning bush “take off your shoes”
  • Israel
    • Pillar of fire / cloud (Ex 13:21) “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.”
    • Ex 33:14 And He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
      Exodus 40:34-35 —Tabernacle: shining glory
    1. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
    2. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
    • Temple: 2 Chron. 5:13-14
    1. ...and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord ... the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud,
    2. so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.”
  • Psalms (example later)

New Testament

  • Much more intimate
  • John 14:15-23
    1. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
    2. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
    3. even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
    4. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
    5. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
    6. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
    7. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
    8. Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”
    9. Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
  • Levels of God’s presence:
    1. His omnipresence
    2. In the New Covenant God makes his home in us through the Spirit
    3. Believer’s gathered in Jesus’ name
  • e.g. Matt 18:19-20
    1. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
  • This is experienced as we minister to one another through the gifts of the Spirit
    • prayer of faith
    • joining together singing and worshiping in his presence
    • giving prophetic words to each other
    • preaching & teaching
    • encouragement
    • wisdom and counsel as we share with each other
    • love, mercy & blessing as we serve each other

2. The Experience

  • Why do we so often not feel it?

Psalm 16:1-11 A miktam of David.

  • Here is a practical suggestion for how we can take steps to experiencing God’s presence:
  1. Remember your sins are washed away—don’t allow your guitly feelings (or Satan, the accuser: does he ever bother you?) to rob you of your joy.
    1. Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
    2. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
    3. As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
  2. Confess and repent of any Sin, and choose God instead.
    1. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
      their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
    2. The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
    • Make an active choice to be satisfied in God.
  3. Praise God with words of thankfulness
    1. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
  4. Quiet your mind
    • “wait” on the Lord. (Not “emptying” as in mysticism, but filling your mind with Christ.)
    1. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
    • we come bustling into his presence, rattle off our list of requests & thanksgiving and then go.
  5. Set your mind on him
    1. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
  6. Delight yourself in him (desires of your heart)
    1. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
    2. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
  7. Believe he is here and listening. He is present just as he has promised to be.
    1. You make known to me the path of life;
      in your presence there is fullness of joy;
      at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
  8. Share the effect of God’s presence (your gifts) with others and allow them to share with you
  • God is here now!

Updated on 2009-06-19 by Andrew Fountain