Summer Worship Wednesday – Seeking His Presence

by Kathy

Psalm 16 11

 

Have you heard of this hymn –  “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”?    It was one of the first hymns I learned to play on the piano as a young girl.  Every now and then, I pull out an old hymn book, place my fingers on the piano keys and play and sing this old hymn.  Here are a few of the words:

 

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

The words – “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love” – resonate every single time I sing them.  The sad truth for all of us is this – our hearts are actually bent on distancing ourselves from God.   We often have good intentions about developing a close and intimate relationship with Christ, spending time reading our Bibles, memorizing Scripture, and praying.  However, the day starts with all of its demands, distractions and needs and we are off running towards them forgetting what our heart truly needs.

Do you experience the pull in your heart of wanting to spend time in God’s presence but also find there are a (pardon the old expression) hundred and one things calling for your attention? Me too!  This is why I so understand what Paul wrote in Romans 7:14-21 (HCBC)

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am made out of flesh, sold into sin’s power. 15 For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. 21 So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me. 22 For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. 23 But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.  24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.

This scripture so clearly speaks as to why we choose to do the wrong thing and yet we long to do what is right.  The good news is this God has the answer for how we can deal with this.   We must seek Him – pursue His presence.  When we spend time cultivating our relationship with Him, we are strengthened to run less to feed our sinful hearts with things that won’t truly satisfy us.

Through the years, whether I have had kids running around the house or not, there are some things I have put into practice that allow me to be more aware of God’s presence.  Let me share them with you.

1.  When I first wake up in the morning, before my feet even hit the floor, I like to begin focusing on God by either praising Him, praying for the day ahead, saying a verse that I have memorized or thinking about a worship song.  This is a great way to put aside the all the responsibilities that need to be handled that day and just praise Him for His presence and promises.  Such a great way to start the day!

2.  I love my time reading God’s Word.  Before I start to read, I ask God for insight into the what I am reading.  I ask Him to use His Words to show me my sin (so I can confess it), teach me how to apply His Words into my life, guide me and redirect my thoughts when necessary.  Sometimes, I like to look at the verses I’m reading again throughout the day.  One of the ways that I do this is to write them out on an index card and carry the card around with me.  I will also put them in the note section on my cell phone so that I can refer to them later.  This way, I am thinking about these verses as I go on with my day.

3.  Prayer is something that seems to be more precious to me than ever.  For the past couple of months, I have been journaling various scriptures that I am holding onto as God’s promises and praying these scriptures over people in my life, including myself.  Next to the written Bible verses (written in black), I am taking different colored pens and writing out thoughts that come to my mind as I pray the scripture.  This is one of the ways that God is using my word for 2015 “abundance “ to be seen in my walk with Christ.

4.  I tend to be pessimistic, so cultivating a thankful heart is incredibly important for me to do.  No matter the situation or circumstance I find myself in, God is showing me that He wants me to offer a heart of thanks to Him.  This practice of thankfulness produces big trust and a heart that is more joyful.  Even when I don’t feel thankful for the situation, I can always praise God for who He is and for His promises!

5.   We must learn to be still – allowing our hearts to quietly embrace the opportunity to truly know Him – to listen for His voice – to trust His ways and not fret.   In 2014, my word for the year was “still”.  Honestly, 2014 was a very hard year for me, but by being still in His presence, I came to know Him in ways that I had never known – ways that brought me to surrendering to Him with great abandonment.

6.  When my head goes down on the pillow for the night, I like to thank God for the day and how He led me. I will often turn my mind back to scripture that I have memorized and speak the words again to my heart.  It truly makes for some great sleep.  If I find myself waking up in the night, I spend that time again in prayer and quoting scripture.

Perhaps one of these ideas will lead you to spend more time in His presence.  Please feel free to share how you spend time with God.

Take time today to worship God for the gift of His presence in your life and for the joy that He brings.  There is nothing that is more important!

 You reveal the path of life to me;
in Your presence is abundant joy;
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.  Psalm 16:11 (HCSB)

Have a grace full week finding abundant joy in His presence ~

4 Responses to “Summer Worship Wednesday – Seeking His Presence”

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Kathy! These are incredible reminders, thank you so much for your wisdom and allowing God to use you as such a great encourager!

    • Kathy says:

      Michelle,
      Praising God for how this ministered to you today! Thanks for posting a comment. Have a blessed day!

      Kathy

  2. Karon Mathews says:

    Kathy, I treasure the quiet moments before our household rouses each morning. Without this “God time” events of the day deplete my energy and muddle my mind. This particular Grace Full Journey really resonates with me and I thank you for it and thank God for you.

    • Kathy says:

      Karon,

      Don’t you love those quiet morning times! Thank you so much for your comment and friendship! Have a blessed day seeking His presence!

      Kathy

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