This article is a guest blog by Stephen Vaughn, a friend and fellow LU grad (so you know he's pretty cool). I first met Stephen at Liberty, and I've followed his blog every since I found out about it. You can read more of his writing at The Things Unseen.
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God’s presence is experienced by many, even in this complex technological age. Coming into contact with God’s glory in His presence is a result of setting aside intentional, unhurried time to spend with Him. Before I unpack instructional how-to steps, let’s look at some ways to hinder experiencing the presence of God.
- Don’t spend unhurried time with Him. Simply picking up the Bible to check the box will not usher you into the presence of God. We need quiet, focused devotion to spend quality time with Him.
- Don’t engage in spiritual disciplines. It’s not legalism to make yourself pick up the Bible or spend time in prayer. Furthermore, it’s beautiful how the spiritual disciplines develop into “joys” when we intentionally participate in them. Sometimes we just have to exert a little effort.
- Don’t try. Walking with Christ without effort simply doesn’t work. He asks us to be participants as He leads. If we refuse to try and instead expect a rich relationship with the Lord to fall out of the sky like manna, we have seriously misinterpreted our Bibles.
On a more positive note, let’s examine ways to experience the presence of God in our everyday lives.
- Set aside time simply for God’s use. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead you in this time. I suggest a scheduled reading in the Bible, ask God to reveal Himself through His Word before you read, and then bow in prayer for however long the Spirit leads after you have read. It may be minutes; it may be hours. Simply press into God. Oh, and do it consistently!
- Quiet yourself. Put your phone on “do not disturb.” Find a peaceful location (if possible). Before you pray, take some time just to sit in silence. Clear your head. Start by reflecting on your Bible reading and praising God for His glory revealed in the Scriptures.
- Expect to see more of God. If you approach your devotional time with an unhurried spirit, I guarantee you will feel and experience a deeply spiritual time with the Lord. Not only will your devotional time be rich, but the rest of your day will also be evidence of God’s presence in your life.
If I were to summarize this post in one sentence, it would be this: the best way to practically experience the glory of God in His presence is to press into His Word and prayer with an unhurried spirit.
So, what do you say? Give it a try. I promise you will see evidence of His presence like never before.
Stephen Vaughn is a lover of laughter, thinker, writer, high school level athlete, graduate of Liberty University, and a student. He is currently pursuing his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Seminary classes, handyman “stuff,” and occasional church activities keep him busy throughout the day.
You can read more of Stephen’s writing at thethingsunseensite.com.