ORANGE — The Barna Research Group a few years ago reported that of the 75 million adults who attend church on a normal Sunday “less than one-third say they feel as if they truly interacted with God,” while another third say that “they have never experienced God’s presence at any time during their life.” Of the churchgoers, most said they desire to feel connected to God but “leave the church disappointed week after week.”
I like to feel His presence—the experience liberates and motivates me beyond description. To do religious duties when the pleasures and excitements of the world are far more appealing is not easy. In fact, few would choose it, but connection with God—that’s something else. God wants to connect with us. He wants to overflow our lives with His Spirit.
We are not supposed to struggle with resisting the pleasures of sin and the world. That’s no His plan. The Bible tells us “be not drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit.” God has something far better. His Spirit in us is the energy of God. It’s called a “quickening.” It is life-giving, motivating, empowering.
I experience God often, usually it’s when I reaffirm my love for Him, my trust in His ways, and promise that I’ll serve Him with all my heart forever.
If you don’t regularly experience His presence or perhaps never have, may I suggest the following:
• Enter into worship with abandonment and without self-consciousness.
• Surrender to God those things in your life for which He has been asking you.
• Seek after Him by continually choosing Him above other things you like to do.
• Sit towards the front during worship.
• Attend every church service.
• Ask Him (Matthew 7:7-11) and keep asking because He will not refuse you.
• Go forward during worship for prayer; God flows through people; His presence is often caught and never earned.
Some might think or even be bold enough to say that experiencing and connecting with God is not important. But when God offered to send an angel to lead Moses, he became upset and told God if His presence didn’t go with him he wouldn’t go. When David fell into sin his heart’s cry was “take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” Jesus said the Holy Spirit was like a river flowing out of our belly and that it was important to Him to return to heaven so the Spirit could be sent.