Summary: Man is a stranger in this life.We need to lean on God for direction. We can only have His directive when His abiding presence be with us.
GOD'S PRESENCE WITH US
"And He said,My presence shall go with thee,and I will give thee rest" Exodus:33:14
What a reassuring and comforting words from LORD, even as we go through the journey of life. To set out on a journey into an unknown destination, one thing that is very important is to solicit the presence of someone who is familiar with the terrain. The journey of life is a journey into the unknown. But we have a God who is timeless and very much abreast with all the events of all ages right from the beginning to the end. He has the programme of events in your personal life,in the national life and in the world a large.
It is therefore proper to seek His presence at every stage of our human existence.He alone knows the way through the wilderness and will certainly take us to our destinations. Moses knew the necessity of having God presence when he said in Exodus 33:15 that"if thy presence go not with me,carry us not up hence"
In the same vein, David, more than everything else, values the presence of God. Hear him "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not the Holy Spirit from me" ( Psalms 51:11) In other words,he prefers any other form of discipline but not the withdrawal of God's presence.
Take a look of what the presence of God will do in your life .
*His presence will give you rest and peace Exodus 33:14
In this present evil world filled with all uncertainties, only the presence of God guarantees us rest. Rest of mind; void of worries and anxieties. We are rest assured of our safety in the midst of danger. Psalms 23:4 attests to this fact."Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;thou rod and thy staff they comfort me". *Isaiah equally testified to the assurance of safety when he said "When thou passest through the waters,I will be with thee:and through the rivers,they shall not overflow thee:when thou walkest through the fire,thou shall not be burned; neither shall the flame Kindle upon thee"(Isaiah 43:2). These promises are activated only when we have the presence of God.
*His presence will give fullness of joy Psalm16:11.
Joy is a scare commodity is the world today. We hear of calamities, commotions, fightings here and there. But in the presence of God is the fullness of joy. This played out when David brought the ark of the Lord into Jerusalem "So David and the elders in Israel,and the captains over thousands,went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with JOY. In those days the ark symbolized the presence of God .
*His presence will provide shields against the enemies (Psalms 9:3 ) If we can maintain the abiding presence of God in our environment, we should be rest assured that no demon or adversary will be able to operate around us. His presence repels the devils. The enemies are turned back by the presence of God. The stubborn ones will fall down and perish in God's presence.
*His presence brings you into favour and honour Gen39:1-2
You remember the story of Joseph, whether in Potiphar's house or in the prison or in the palace, the presence of God is what he required to obtain favour , honour and great success. "And the Lord was with Joseph" was a reccuring decimal in his life. Daniel and Mary the mother of Jesus were also beneficiaries of favour and honour all because the Lord was with them.
*His presence will ensure victory and success Joshua 1 :5
Time and space will fail me to talk about Joshua who did exploits as a result of God's presence with him.
We cannot actually exhaust the benefits of His presence in just one sermon. I believe the points we have made so far will spur us up to seek the presence of God.
The question now is,: how do I ensure the abiding presence of God?
*Run away from sins. God eyes are too holy to look upon sins. Habakkuk warns us that God is of purer eyes than to behold evil,and cannot look on iniquity. (Habakkuk 1:13) Abstain from all appearance of evil whether in the private or in the public. Avoid ungodly programs on television and indecent sites in the internet.
God loves a holy environment. Therefore, be holy in your lifestyle.
*Give yourself to intelligent and fervent prayer. Pray Jesus kind of prayer .You may want to study the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and the Apostles' prayer in Acts 4:23-31 .Follow these pattern in your prayers.
*Of course you have to study and meditate on the word of God at all time.Your actions must be guided by the word of God.