Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
God wants people to experience His presence probably more than they want to do so themselves. Because God is omnipresent, He is with us at all time, but He wants us to be aware of His presence. In other words, God wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him, and we do so by experiencing His presence.
Certain activities called spiritual disciplines will help anyone get into God's presence when they seek God with all their heart.
1. Through Prayer
Most disciples of Christ know the value and benefits of prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God and listening to what He has to say in return. It is more than giving God a list of things to do.
An effective method to pray is to use the ACTS acronym.
- Acknowledge God.
- Confess your sins according to 1 John 1:9.
- Thank God for His mighty acts.
- Supplicate by making requests made known to God.
End your prayer in the name of Jesus because we go to God through Jesus Christ according to John 14:6.
2. Through Scriptures
God wants us to read His word every day because the scriptures help us experience His presence. The Bible is the only book we can read while the author is with us. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” That means reading, studying, and meditating on the word of God will help us see in the darkest places.
Reading the Bible daily gives us spiritual strength to face life's challenges and with ease. God gives us many promises throughout the scriptures. However, we will never know what they are unless we read them for ourselves. Be like the Bereans and search the scriptures for yourself instead of relying on others to tell you what is in the Bible, according to Acts 17:11.
3. Through Meditation
Meditation is more than simply thinking about something. It is mulling over and reflecting on it until you get a revelation from God. Some people don't meditate because they think it is hard to do. At first, it will feel uncomfortable. Once you get into the habit of meditating, it becomes so much easier. Therefore, begin with just a few minutes and increase the time as you continue to reflect on God and things relating to God.
Meditation and the word “medicine” have the same prefix “medi.” Therefore, meditation does for the spirit the same thing medicine does for the body.
4. Through Journaling
Journaling is an effective way to experience God's presence. You simply write a love letter to God. You can tell Him anything. Therefore, feel free to pour out your heart without being ashamed or embarrassed.
Surely, God knows what you will write before you write it, but it is beneficial for you to let God know what's on your mind and what's in your heart just as He has done for you through the Bible, His written word.
An added benefit of journaling is that you can look back on periods of your life and see the path you have taken to grow spiritually.
5. Though Fasting
Fasting means giving up some pleasure to focus more on God. Fasting is a very effective way to experience God's presence because when you abstain from certain things, God speaks to the inner man, and you will be able to hear Him more clearly. Some people think fasting is limited to just giving up food.
Giving up food and drink is usually at the top of the list, but people can also fast from shopping, watching television, and other pleasures for a designated period of time. Married couples can abstain from sex during their time of fasting if both spouses agree to do so.
Fasting requires practice. Start off by fasting for a short period of time. When you acquire the habit of fasting, you might extend the time.
6. Through Service
A great way to experience the presence of God is to show kindness and love to God's people. When you serve others, you are serving God at the same time. When you serve others, you are following Jesus' example. According to Philippians 2:6-11, Jesus made Himself of no reputation and came to earth to serve.
Instead of waiting to be served, be willing to serve others and work in the kingdom of God. Follow the example of Jesus and experience the presence of God through service.
If you practice any of the spiritual disciplines listed above, you will be on your way to experiencing the presence of God. You could start with one or two at first and work your way through the entire list. You will find that each spiritual discipline has its own effectiveness.