You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 ESV
If God cannot be seen with human eyes, how do we know when we are in His presence? Better yet, what does it mean to be in the presence of God? The presence of God is not a place or location. It is a spiritual experience and an awareness of God through His Holy Spirit. Believers are gifted with the presence of God by virtue of His indwelling Holy Spirit.
Though God cannot be seen with our physical eyes, we can see Him in the spirit. The Jews in the Bible believed the presence of God was manifested in the temple. Thus, they considered the temple as a sacred space where they go to be in the presence of the Almighty. However, through Jesus Christ, God has set a temple in our hearts, and we can remain in His presence through His indwelling Holy Spirit.
A person does not have to be perfect to be in the presence of God. They just need the heart to surrender to the Holy Spirit. In today’s text, the Psalmist extols the benefits of being in the presence of God. In the presence of God, there is fullness of joy. Living in communion with the Triune God secretes a sweet fellowship that sustains us, especially during hardships. God gives unfailing joy to those who trust in Him and abide in His will. Therefore, they consider it pure joy, whenever they face trials of many kinds because they know all things will work together for their good.
We know we are in the presence of God when we are overwhelmed with thanksgiving for His amazing grace. When we are in the presence of God we are automatically prompted to praise and worship His Holy name. We become sensitized to the Holiness and awesomeness of God and are motivated to reverence the Almighty.
When we are in the presence of God we are convicted of our sinfulness. The great prophet Isaiah was convicted of his sinfulness when he was ushered into the presence of God in Isaiah 6:5. Moses’ fears and insecurities were exposed in the presence of God according to Exodus 4:1, 10. Elijah’s failing ministry was revitalized as he was recommissioned by God when he was in the Almighty’s presence (1 Kings 19:15-18).
Yes, in the Lord’s presence is the fullness of joy. Therefore, when we are sad or when our hearts are broken, we can run to the Lord’s presence through prayer so we can experience the fullness of His joy. When we have fallen short of God’s holy word and have sinned against Him, we can go in His presence in the spirit of confession and repentance so we can be restored into a right relationship with our heavenly father through His Holy Spirit who intercedes for us.
Those who covet the presence of God find the peace that sustains them in this troubled world. God’s unfailing and gratuitous love is offered to all who come in His presence. Indeed, the Lord does not withhold any good things from those who come into His presence.
Let us lay aside the sins that so easily affect us so we can come boldly in the presence of God. The Lord has an open invitation to any and everyone to come in His presence so they can be transformed into the image of His Son. He has made Himself available and accessible to everyone who wants to be in His presence. Jesus has made provisions for us and removed the spiritual barrier that was preventing us from being in the presence of God. The Holy Spirit is interceding for us and enabling us to come boldly in the presence of God so we can find grace and mercy in our times of need.
Questions for Personal Reflection
Why is it necessary for believers to be in the presence of God?
How do you know when you are in the presence of God?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for making provisions for me to come in your presence. I desire to remain in your presence forevermore so I can abide in your joy and live in your peace. Please open the eyes of my heart so I can see you high and lifted up.