“When you live a life of abandoned love, surrendered before the awe of God, here’s what you’ll experience: Abundant life. Continual protection. And complete satisfaction!” (Proverbs 19:23 The Passion Translation).
If you are craving the comfort, direction and assurance of God’s presence in your life, this is the perfect week to reconnect to your first love – Jesus.
Have you ever felt like you’re in a spiritually dry season? Are you missing theexperience of feeling of God’s warmth and embrace? What if you’re not hearing His heart for you? These can be desperate times, because I believe that our most effective, fruitful and enjoyable life is when we are experiencing His love every single day. We were created to receive His daily dose of love, and then love others and ourselves throughout every single day.
The Importance of an Experience
Experiencing God’s love changes everything. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t talk to anyone in the morning, or definitely not leave the house until we have felt His presence, heard His voice and established His Lordship in our life. I believe this is attainable in relationship with Jesus!
Proverbs 16:1 says,
“Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps….before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed.” (The Passion Translation)
God is the ultimate Father, desiring to provide every thing you need for your day: The wisdom to make good decisions, the healing, peace and joy to mark your steps with His goodness and gentleness. He goes before you to promote you, protect you and give you revelation-knowledge as you surrender to Him.
Do you want to trust God more? The equation of a heart-belief (trust) is:
Knowledge + Experience = Belief
We read God’s Word and gather knowledge, so let’s add the next step and experience Him more and more. Experiencing someone comes by spending time and being present with them…in their presence. I think you get the picture! It’s no different in our relationship with God.
What can we do to nurture God’s presence in our life?
Things we CAN’T do:
We just presume what it will look or feel like to be in God’s presence. We can’t insist that it feels a certain way because that’s how it felt the last time. We can’t expect to experience God the same as someone else…this is very personal, and there is nobody in the world exactly like you, and your experience with God will be as unique as you are. Because He knows exactly how to reach you and love you.
We can’t “make” anything happen. God is not a coke machine, where you put in some money, select the right button and get what you ordered. God is a relational, living, breathing and very personal God who is 100% human and 100% God! There is nothing mechanical we can do to reach Him, even though there are MANY things we can do to nurture and create opportunities to experience Him.
Things we CAN do:
- Develop our Five Spiritual Senses:
In relationships we use our five senses to experience one another. For example when I am in “the presence” of Bob, I use my senses to experience his touch, I hear his voice, I see him with my eyes and I can taste smell him and even taste his lips if I want to get super-intimate!
1. Spiritual Eyes to See:
When I close my eyes, I am able to go to develop my spiritual eyesight and see what’s in my heart. My secret place. I use my imagination to create the reality of walking and talking with God. When I read or memorize scripture I create pictures that bring the words to life.
Some may say, “Wow Audrey, you have a great imagination”. It would be more accurate to say that I have been in desperate places where I needed to God to feel more visible, so I used what he has given me (my imagination) and developed it and asked the Holy Spirit to reveal himself and develop His gifts inside me.
Most people use their imagination to worry about the worst possible outcomes of scenarios. I have found extreme comfort and have experienced God’s love when I use my imagination to develop best-case scenarios. I believe that this is seeing with eyes of faith! Seeing the end from the beginning!
I develop my secret place, more of it all the time – He reveals more and more all the time. Sometimes there are places of strategy, places of rest, places to dance, places to feast…the Lord always knows exactly what I need..
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).
2. Spiritual Ears to Hear:
Hearing God’s voice can be a topic that we cover for weeks and weeks! Every person is designed to hear and communicate with God. You are not the exception! One of the most practical exercises that has helped me tremendously is simply
writing it down. Ask God questions with a journal. Then listen for the answers. Something will come to mind: A thought, a memory, a scripture reference, an idea…write it down! How do you know it’s God? Test it, and then write down the answer. That’s taking a step of faith. That’s practicing. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to take action.
3. Spiritual Taste:
Scriptures talk about God preparing a feast for us of spiritual delights. He is living water to a dry soul. His law tastes sweeter than honey (Psalm The way of wisdom is sweet, always drawing me to the place of wholeness.
Reverence for the Lord is pure,
The laws of the Lord are true;
each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.
(Psalm 19:9,10 NLT).
4. Spiritual Touch:
The awareness of His presence is something we can grow in sensitivity to. Often when I pray for someone, they feel heat or warmth. Bob and I recently were helping someone at our marriage intensive, and they said that they felt a warm comforting blanket around their shoulders. Other times, I will have a deep sense of knowing God is close, and feels like chills! God is so real, and we can develop our senses to experience Him.
5. Spiritual Smell:
We carry the fragrance of Jesus – bringing life to those who want it, and death to those who refuse it. Our sacrifice and obedience and trust in Him is a beautiful fragrance to His nose. I believe that our spiritual sense of smell is expressed through discernment. You can smell when something is off!
- Walk in His Ways
There are Pathways to His presence!
INVITE – I ask Him, I tell him of my desire for Him
TRUST – I consciously stop worrying, and I trust Him
HUMILITY – I will not be independent or self-sufficient – I need Him
PEACE - I take deep breaths of peace, I breathe out stress and anxiety
SURRENDER – I give God my strengths, my ideas, my will, my emotions
TONGUES – Romans 8:26 – The spirit helps us in our weakness
THANK – I intentionally thank God for very specific things, and for Who He is
EXALT – I make God HUGE in my life – bigger – stronger!!
REST – I stop trying. I “let go” and let Him hold me and comfort me
When we PRACTICE the presence of God -- We will learn to experience it.
Our prayer is that you are experiencing God’s love today. Please leave us a comment to let us know which part of this helped you the most. Your response is so valuable to us, because it helps us to know what’s “landing” so we can continue to help people receive God’s love!
Lots oflove in Jesus,
Audrey and Bob