Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday - The Presence of God

I am so thankful for the presence of God. He is with me all the time. I always know it's me who moved during the times that I can't seem to feel Him. He has sustained me and been an ever-present part of my life this past week. I have been recovering from a lingering bout of the crud and He has just really been my portion. I really missed my grandchildren and got to keep them last night for the first time in nearly two weeks. They were just precious. Very, very active. So active, in fact, that the last thing I asked the Lord last night was, "Please let me have a night of uninterrupted sleep." And He granted that prayer! The time change has been messing with my sleep, but I guess He sent the Grands last night to wear me slap out so I could sleep well.

God's presence has been throught the week in tangible ways. In the conversations I have had with others, posts I have written, answered prayer, time spent with my Mom and time spent with my precious husband. He has especially been with me during Bible reading. I have really enjoyed His Word this week and the gentle whispers He has used to drive home points to my heart.

Are you thankful for the presence of God in your life? The Hebrew word for presence is paniym. It means:

1) face
a) face, faces
b) presence, person
c) face (of seraphim or cherubim)
d) face (of animals)
e) face, surface (of ground)
f) as adv of loc/temp
1) before and behind, toward, in front of, forward, formerly, from beforetime, before
g) with prep
1) in front of, before, to the front of, in the presence of, in the face of, at the face or front of, from the presence of, from before, from before the face of

I wanted to re-run a post I did for a Word-Filled Wednesday last year regarding the presence of God.

Moses knew things. He knew if God's presence didn't go with him as he led the Israelites through the wilderness, whether they were driving out the inhabitants of the Promised Land, building the Tabernacle God had given specific instructions for, or just picking up and moving camp from one place to another, they were in trouble!
After the children of Israel left Egypt, God gave them a visual symbol of His presence through a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When the cloud moved, the people moved. When the cloud stayed, the people stayed. Day or night they knew that God was there. They traveled and set up camp under the presence of the Almighty God.
While God doesn't give us a visual symbol quite as obvious as a cloud, He does dwell in our hearts.
Like Moses, there is nowhere I want to go if the Lord isn't going with me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if God is not in a situation I am going into, I'm doomed. I simply cannot imagine facing crisis without Him, and I long to share my joys with Him.

Do I give Him the space He needs in my heart? I pray I never crowd Him out with the things of this world.

Do I feel His presence daily? Admittedly, sometimes closer than at other times.
What should be my response?

Be more focused on godly things - I should never allow things that aren't true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, to crowd my heart to where I don't feel God's presence as closely as I should.
Philippians 4:8 - "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Stay focused on God's Word. The more I read His Word, the more aware I am of His presence in my life.
Psalm 1:2, "But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night."
Stay connected with God throughout the day in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 - "Pray without ceasing."

James 4:8 - "Come near to God and he will come near to you..."
Keep a short-timed account of my sins to God. When I sin, I need to 'fess up and ask forgiveness, and a pure heart.
1 John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Heart to Heart - Has there been a time in your life you felt God's presence so closely it just made you gasp? Has there been a time in your life you missed the nearness of God?

Heart Reflections - Claim Moses' prayer as your own. Be that child clinging to God's leg, going where He goes rather than going off and leaving Him to pursue things that are less than noble.

Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage is hosting Thankful Thursday for the month of March. Be sure and visit her by clicking on the button below for more Thankful Thursday posts and to link up and share your own list of thankfuls.



saleslady371 said...

Hi, Laurie Ann:
Isn't it amazing how wonderful the presence of God is? He gets close to us and then we feel significant because we are in Him! Have a great day. So glad you got to see the kids!

Melanie said...

I am so thankful for the presence of God, too! I have felt it so much this last week and am so thankful... it is what has gotten me thru to the end of the week!

Happy Thankful Thursday!

Lynn said...

Laurie Ann,

I am always so inspired by your writing. I know you spend a great deal of time and thought when you prepare for TT. It is not lost on me. I treasure you.

You mad em fall in love with one of my hero's Moses all over again this morning. Excellent. Have a blessed and beautiful day. Love and hugs, Lynn

BoufMom9 said...

Another wonderful post! I can always count on you to inspire me to really think and praise each Thursday.
I must admit that before my friend's baby died, I didn't always feel His presence, but now, I feel it.. everywhere I am. It is the most amazing experience to feel Him everywhere.
Many blessings to you this beautiful Thursday!

LauraLee Shaw said...

It is always my desire for His presence to be in my present. Beautifully said.

Jerralea said...

Thank you so much for writing this post. It was awesome. I love when you said, "Like Moses, there is nowhere I want to go if the Lord isn't going with me." I totally agree!

Jennifer said...

I can't imagine what life would be like without God's presence. I am also guilty of moving away from God whether it is in times of crisis or when things are going good...but, I am so thankful that He is still there waiting for me to come to my senses and return to Him.

You are truly an inspiriation, my sweet friend! Glad you are feeling much better. Tyler has the crud now and feels terrible but he refuses to miss school..not sure who he got that from...I would stay at home with the sniffles in a heartbeat. :-)

Happy TT!

HEATHER said...

Thanks Laurie Ann,
That was a very inspirational post your such an encourager to me on the way you write thank you.



Great post. I am so thankful for the presence of God.


Denise said...

Thanks for sharing such lovely words with us dear, love you.

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

I, too, pray that I never crowd Him out with the thing of this world. Beautifully, said, my sister.

Glad you got to visit with the Grands (I like that term and think it is sooo cute) and hope that crud scoots on out of Jesus Name!!!

Big big hugs to you, my friend.

MJ said...

Beautiful Post! Aren't Grandkids fun! I am glad you got to have some time to enjoy them.

Blessed Mama said...

Thank you so much, Laurie Ann! This is exactly what the Lord has been speaking to me about! Beautifully said :)

Michele Williams said...

You always inspire me! Thank you so much! God bless you...

Mary Moss said...

Oh, my! This is a wonderful post! I really enjoy how you delve into the meaning of the words. It adds a richness and deptth to the scripture.

He And Me + 3 said...

So glad that He is always there for me and I can be in His presence at a moments notice. I want to remain in His presence so much that people around me know that I have met with God almighty.

milet @ said...

i always love to read your TT.

thanks for visiting mine.

God Chaser said...

Love this one also- I have been reading about the Israelites and their journey with God. Glad you reposted.

Forever in His Presence

Diane ~ said...

Hi Laurie Ann! wow what a wonderful post!! no matter how long we walk with the Lord it's always good to be reminded to be "..focused on God's Word..",& to "...stay connected to God... through prayer.." Important truths for a victorious Christian life!
thank you for sharing & thank you too for visiting my blog! ♥

Tricia said...

Hey Laurie Ann
This is an absolutely wonderful post! I too am so thankful for the presence of God in my life! I love the visual you gave... the prayer of Moses is a powerful and great one to remember to pray. I frequently ask God at the end of my quiet time in the mornings to allow His presence to go with me... I do not ever want to rush out of His Presence, I want Him to always be with me...

Have a wonderful weekend!