Living in God’s Presence
Where are you living, friends? Oh, I don’t mean a location. I mean are you living in God’s presence? Living aware of His presence will change our hearts and minds and affect all we do.
Bible Reading of the Day: 1 Chronicles 11-15
Some perfect background music for the beginning of our reading today would be “I just can’t wait to be king” from the Lion King. David was a teenager when he was anointed as the next king of Israel by Samuel. A lot had happened since then. He defeated Goliath, fled from Saul, hid in the desert, lived on the run, forced out of the nation, and fought many battles. It was nearly 15 years between the time that he was anointed king and actually became king.
In the waiting, God develops us for His calling. In the waiting, God changes our character so we can be ready and able to do His will. And in the waiting, God is working miracles. No time of waiting is wasted and God is using it all to make us to be more like Him.
We can want to make things happen, can’t we? Our timing, our way. But in His sovereignty, nothing inhibits God’s purposes. Not even the unexpected. And here at the beginning of chapter 11, David is finally anointed as king.
1 Chronicles 11:1-3, “All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, “Here we are, your own flesh and blood. 2 Even previously when Saul was king, you were leading Israel out to battle and bringing us back. The Lord your God also said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will be ruler over my people Israel.’” 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron. David made a covenant with them at Hebron in the Lord’s presence, and they anointed David king over Israel, in keeping with the Lord’s word through Samuel.”
Living in God’s Presence—Aware of His Presence
One key distinctive about David as king that set him apart is in 11:9, “David steadily grew more powerful, and the Lord of Armies was with him.” There is no favor on this earth that can compare with God’s presence. God is with us . . . are we with Him?
And David was aware of God’s presence. When we live our lives aware of the presence of God, it will impact how we live.
1 Chronicles 11:17-19, “17 David was extremely thirsty and said, “If only someone would bring me water to drink from the well at the city gate of Bethlehem!” 18 So the Three broke through the Philistine camp and drew water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem. They brought it back to David, but he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out to the Lord. 19 David said, “I would never do such a thing in the presence of my God! How can I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives?” For they brought it at the risk of their lives. So he would not drink it.”
Living in God’s Presence Impacts Our Lives
Don’t let anything or anyone distract you from God’s presence. When we live in God’s presence, we are aware of God’s presence in our lives, and we are more careful about what we say or do. God’s presence and His word guide us in the gray areas of life.
Whenever there are gray areas and we are not sure if something is right, there are a few things to consider. The fact that we are not sure should tell us something.
- Doubt means we probably need to leave it out.
- I ask myself, can I see Jesus doing or saying this? What would Jesus do?
- What is the presence of God, the Holy Spirit within, telling me?
- And what does God’s word say?
Living in God’s Presence Impacts Others
When we live in God’s presence, others will take notice.
1 Chronicles 12:18, “18 Then the Spirit enveloped Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said: We are yours, David, we are with you, son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to him who helps you, for your God helps you.”
You see, it should be evident to those around us that we belong to God. His presence should be evident. I just want people to see Jesus when they see me. Oh, I wasted so many years trying to fulfill the calling I thought God had for me. I wanted to be seen. I wanted to know that I had a purpose. But it is the fulfillment of God’s purposes in me, not mine, where I find the greatest peace. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And when people see anything good in me or in you, oh friends, may we just testify that it is Jesus. May they sense His presence in our lives that they might come to know Him, as well.
Living in God’s Presence—God is Holy.
In 1 Chronicles 11 and 12 it is a hall of fame of sorts, listing those who were by David’s side are listed in the Bible!
In 1 Chronicles 13, David is wanting to bring back the ark of God, which contained the presence of God.
We find this story also in 2 Samuel 6:6-7, “But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the LORD’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.”
2 Chronicles 13:8, “8 David and all Israel were dancing with all their might before God with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets. 9 When they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out to hold the ark because the oxen had stumbled. 10 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him dead because he had reached out to the ark. So he died there in the presence of God.
11 David was angry because of the Lord’s outburst against Uzzah, so he named that place Outburst Against Uzzah,[d] as it is still named today. 12 David feared God that day and said, “How can I ever bring the ark of God to me?” 13 So David did not bring the ark of God home[e] to the city of David; instead, he diverted it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath. 14 The ark of God remained with Obed-edom’s family in his house for three months, and the Lord blessed his family and all that he had.”
We can grow too familiar with God that we forget He is Holy. Being in His presence is not a casual thing. God is Holy.
Living in God’s Presence—Seeking His Presence
In 1 Chronicles 15, “1David built houses for himself in the city of David, and he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. 2 Then David said, “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.”
And then in verses 13-15, David does it God’s way:
“13 For the Lord our God burst out in anger against us because you Levites were not with us the first time, for we didn’t inquire of him about the proper procedures.” 14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. 15 Then the Levites carried the ark of God the way Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord: on their shoulders with the poles.”
David was humble in his request to bring back the ark of God – in 1 Chron. 13:2 he said, “if it seems good to you”. It takes a humble heart to live in the presence of God.
Living in the presence of God means we live our lives according to God’s word and command.
Scripture of the Day: 1 Chronicles 11:14
“But Eleazar and David held their ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord saved them by giving them a great victory.”
We need to stand our ground – in God’s word.
- In the waiting, God develops us for His calling.
- In the waiting, God changes our character so we can be ready and able to do His will.
- And in the waiting, God is working miracles.
- No time of waiting is wasted and God is using it all to make us to be more like Him.
- Don’t let anything or anyone distract you from God’s presence.
- When we live in God’s presence, we are aware of God’s presence in our lives, and we are more careful about what we say or do.
- God’s presence and His word guide us in the gray areas of life.