Remembering God’s Presence
Open Your Bible
Deuteronomy 4:29-31, 1 Chronicles 16:7-36, Psalm 73:28, Colossians 3:14-17
BY Kara Gause
As we focus our hearts and minds on Him, we become more aware of our ever-present God.
Someone once asked me to picture my ideal eternity: with everyone I love present and accounted for, healthy and satisfied and fulfilled, with all my favorite treats and ways to while away the hours (if such a time constraint exists in heaven). If I could have everything I’ve ever wanted or imagined wanting, but God was not there, would I still be happy? Was my idea of heaven still “heaven” if God was not there?
Now, I knew what the “right” answer was—boy, did I—but if I’m really honest, the right answer brought me no comfort or peace and, while I’m ashamed to admit it, no honest-to-goodness joy. The truth is that, when I imagined actually being in the presence of God, in the same room with Him, so to speak, well, I felt a lot more comfortable with one of us being on the other side of the door. You know, we’re aware the other is there, and we’re “good”: I recognized my need for Him, and He went to the cross for me so that we could actually be in the same room together.
Needless to say, that one question took me on a journey of really beginning to look for God, to seek out His person, to really know Him. Because if He laid out His life for me, for the joy of having me with Him for eternity (Hebrews 12:2), and yet I somehow still felt the need for separation and physical distance from Him, then that was a problem. I had a sense that He went to the cross for more than just the effort of making us “good” with one another.
I realized that to “seek His face” I would have to seek Him out intimately (1Chronicles 16:11). And when I searched for Him, when I sought Him out with all my heart and all my soul (Deuteronomy 4:29), He showed Himself to be anything but indifferent toward me. Through His Word and by His Spirit and the testimony of His Church (Colossians 3:14–16), He led me to really see the passion that led Him to the cross to die for me: so we could be in the presence of one another unencumbered by my sin, because “the LORD [our] God is a compassionate God” (Deuteronomy 4:31). The reality is that He is always with me because He wants to be. That truth leaves me utterly awestruck, yet somehow, I’m still prone to forget.
So, are you like me: have you continued to allow your shame to close your heart off from true relationship with Him? Have you believed the lie that the one who died a vicious and humiliating death to save you is somehow indifferent toward you? Take Him at His Word: seek Him, and He’ll remind you of what is true.
If you have been brought back into God’s presence through the blood of Jesus, then His presence and holiness aren’t meant to cause trembling from a place of fear, but of excitement and anticipation that one day, not so long from now, we won’t have to search for Him because we will get to see Him face to face (1Corinthians 13:12). Until that day, we don’t have to settle for just being “okay” with God—we get to have relationship with Him. We can seek Him out because He wants to be found.