Mack: How can we cultivate a more real sense of God’s presence? How can we stir ourselves to be more spiritually minded of the reality when we always see what is temporal around us? How can we cultivate a more real sense of God’s presence?
Tim: Well, the Lord says that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. And so we think. Isn’t that the question of the Christian life? How do we draw near to this God who dwells in unapproachable light? We love this unseen Christ How do we cultivate that? I think you know, I, I think I can look at my I would just say this. One thing that I think is very valuable to do if you’re a Christian is to go back through your life and do an inventory. When were the times in your life when you walked closest to the Lord? What was true of your life when you had seasons that you felt were especially sweet? I know, that if my prayer life has got to be maintained, it’s got to be a priority in my life. One of the things when people lose their first love when they lose a sense of the presence of God, your priorities go out the window. A lot of times that’s what happens when you I mean, we want to do inventory, too. Have we allowed something into our life where we heard it in the message yesterday morning? We have a God that is desirous of a relationship with us. And when we do things that show that we think little of that relationship, we despise that relationship. We grieve the spirit we need to. There are things in your life you need to fight for. If you want to keep that relationship sweet, And I know that for myself, I have got to put a premium on my prayer life. I don’t find that it’s so difficult to be in the word but maintaining that close prayer and fasting, maintaining that life is difficult. I can tell you this, that oftentimes the seasons There is something in my life that biography, especially missionary biography, tends to ignite something in my own life. And I think if all of us will go back and do inventory just as to the truths. I’ve preached through Song of Solomon before at Grace Community Church, but that thought yesterday, the fact that Jesus does not in any way ridicule His bride I’ll tell you this. Keeping that reality in your mind because the devil will be right there all the time to tell you you have no access. You have no approach. Don’t think you can go to Christ after what you’ve just done. But if you let that thought permeate. That Christ beckons his bride and he’s ready. Even after you have resisted his advances, he is ready to accept you back. Don’t listen to the devil. Go back to him. This is the Christian life. This is the heart and soul of all of it. And it’s its priority You’ve got to prioritize this relationship and may seek to fight for the first love. Fight for it.
Michael: I hink it’s important that we actually define the terms we’re using. What do we mean when we say experiencing the presence of God? Because if we don’t have a biblical answer to that question, we’re going to be in trouble. We can be in mysticism and dangerous territory quickly. We’re not talking about feeling. We’re talking about cultivating your faith. To believe that he’s always with you. That’s what we mean. I can be on a trip in my car with my wife. We went to the Grand Canyon last year on our anniversary, and there were stretches of miles that we didn’t say a word, but we communed. Why? Because we were in each other’s presence and we knew it. I don’t have to feel God to know that he’s right here with me. I do what David said. Psalm 68. I have said the Lord always before me because he’s my right hand. I shall not be moved.
Lee: I want to respond really briefly because a memory came to my mind. This person will remain unnamed. But I think maybe many of us would be familiar with the idea that subjective experience is born out of objective truth. And we were in the study, we were in Romans 15, we were treating one of these benedictions of the Apostle Paul about joy and peace and believing and abounding and hope and how do we cultivate these things? How do we cultivate the presence of God? And Michael, you were there that night, but one of the men in our body, I think he answered it better than any of his pastors could have. And he began to recount the things that we had come through in this study of Romans, these beautiful objective truths. And within 2 minutes’ time, that very brother was in tears of joy. It was a living sermon of exactly how we cultivate the presence of God.