If you stop and think about it, the presence of God is really an interesting concept.
We know that God is omnipresent…present every where…all the time. Psalm 139 tells us that we can’t flee from His presence. The book of Acts tells us His presence is very near us and as believers He is actually in us.
Isn’t it true though that often times we think of God’s presence as a feeling or sensation of some sort? That if we’re not having some sort of “experience,” then we don’t “feel” God’s presence. Frankly, that is not what Scripture tells us. In difficult times, we may feel like God is a million miles away. Or, our concept of God could be that He is just a big, looming presence in the sky and not actually anywhere near us, much less in us.
When we talk about the presence of God, we are really talking about us realizing God’s presence. Much like Jacob in the book of Genesis, when he wakes up from a dream and says “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” He finally realized God was and always is, present. God tells us that if we earnestly seek Him, He will reveal Himself to us. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
We become fully present with God by first preparing our hearts. We certainly don’t want the retreat weekend to be the only time you can be certain to be in the presence of God. But in the next 7 days, ask God to prepare you for what He wants you to hear, know and experience at your retreat. Ask Him to create in you a clean heart, renewing a steadfast spirit in you. Ask Him to help you come with open arms to all that He has for you.
In His presence there is fullness of joy… our prayer is that you would know the fullness of joy that comes from being fully present with God. Seeking Him with your whole heart and holding nothing back. Sometimes this requires laying things down. Giving something up. Letting go of what you have an unhealthy grip on. Ask Jesus to help you with this.
We plan to worship a lot at the retreat this year. The retreat is only 2 days… your walk with God is eternal. I’m praying that as you prepare to leave for retreat, leaving food in the fridge, making sure the laundry is done, the plants are watered, the cat has food that you would also take time to prepare your heart and come expecting God to meet you as you seek Him with all your heart.
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29