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Energized by His Presence

 

Presence of God

 

Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20

 

I. Introduction: When was the last time you felt God’s presence in a special way?

You may have experienced Him at church, while witnessing to a friend, or during a time of prayer. Or perhaps you were going through a difficult situation and had to rely totally on His strength. In moments like these, the Lord reveals His power in a unique way. Having an awareness of His presence energizes us to overcome adversity and advance His kingdom. With the Lord’s guidance and power, we can gain victory in any trial.

 

II. How can we describe the presence of God?

A. The Creator is everywhere, but He is not present in all places in the same way. For instance, He is in creation, but creation is not Him. And God is always with followers of Christ, but sometimes He manifests Himself to believers in special ways.

B. Can we adequately define the presence of the Lord? No. But we can describe the experience as “God revealing Himself by His Spirit to our spirit for the specific purpose of encouraging us, enabling us, energizing us, informing us or warning us.”

 

III. What role does the Holy Spirit play?

A. He indwells the believer from the moment of salvation (Rom. 8:9).

B. His purpose is to empower, teach, and reveal the meaning of Scripture.

C. The Spirit enables us to become more like Christ in our attitudes and actions (Rom. 8:29).

D. Apart from the Holy Spirit, we can’t fellowship with God or experience His power working through us.

 

IV. How did the Lord operate in the past?

A. The Father revealed His presence to Moses through the burning bush (Ex. 3:1-21).

B. Joshua saw the Lord in the form of a warrior. God revealed how to conquer Jericho with supernatural strategy rather than military tactics (Josh. 5:13-6).

C. God appeared to Gideon to encourage him. Otherwise, with only 300 men, the leader would have lacked confidence to organize an attack against the Midianites (Judg. 6:11-13; Judg. 7:1-25).

D. Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on His heavenly throne. Because he was aware of God’s presence, the prophet was willing to take on a very difficult task—warning rebellious Israel of the coming judgment (Isa. 6:1-8).

E. God met with Jeremiah. God’s presence empowered Jeremiah to proclaim Judah’s disobedience and call them to repentance (Jer.1:9, 19).

F. Peter was strengthened by Christ’s presence. When he was with Jesus, the disciple walked on water and defended the Lord against Roman soldiers (Matt. 14:26-29, 26:50-51). But away from the Savior, Peter denied knowing Him (Matt. 26:69-75).

G. Paul saw Jesus on his way to Damascus. If the apostle hadn’t known the presence of God, he would not have continued to preach the gospel in the face of beatings, imprisonment, and persecution (Acts 9:3-5).

 

V. How does the presence of God energize us?

A. We are motivated to live godly lives. Being in the presence of the universe’s awesome Creator inspires us to make righteous choices.

B. His presence empowers us to overcome challenges. David knew Jehovah would defend His name and give him the victory against Goliath (1 Sam. 17:45-47).

C. Experiencing His presence reminds us of how He worked in the past. As we recall biblical examples of His faithfulness, we have supernatural peace and confidence in every situation.

D. We gain His perspective. God revealed to Elisha’s servant that angelic warriors out numbered King Aram’s army (2 Kings 6:11-17). The Lord’s presence helps us see life from His viewpoint.

 

VI. Conclusion: Do you want to intimately experience the Lord’s presence? If so, I challenge you to pray, “Father, I want to submit to Your perfect control of my life. Reveal Yourself to me in any way You choose.” My friend, the Lord wants to satisfy you with His presence and use you in exciting ways. Don’t miss one of life’s greatest blessings—learning to live in the knowledge that He is always with you.

By Dr. Charles Stanley. Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.