Summary: How do we pursue the presence of god in our daily lives?
Dare to Pursue
September 24, 2006
Introduction: No one likes the feeling of being lonely. Sometimes we like being alone and it is a healthy thing to be alone, but no one desires to be lonely. Part of the reason is we were created to be social creatures. We love relationships and we all long for close personal connection with another person.
I tend to be social by nature. I love being with people and being around people. In fact, of all the people I know, the one I truly love to be around the most is my wife. When Alana and I were dating, I couldn’t wait to see her from one night until the next day. I wanted to be around her all the time. We were in college together at the time and we lived in separate dorms. Guys were not allowed in the girls’ dorms and vice versa. So, if Alana had already gone to her room and I wanted to see her I would have to go to her window outside the dorm and get her attention. Then she would come to the window and we would talk. I spent a lot of nights standing outside that dorm.
I still have a serious need to be near Alana. I have a need to be around my wife on a regular basis. I love being around her. She makes me laugh, she makes me think and she makes me a better person. When I cannot be around her I feel disconnected and out of sorts. The times when I am gone to a conference or am away speaking and Alana cannot be with me, I don’t do well. I don’t eat right, I don’t sleep right and I wander around counting the minutes until we can be together.
One of the great things that help me get through the times of separation from my family is pictures. I have pictures of Alana and the kids all around my office. I keep them close to me and they help me to get my fix of family during the day. I see their faces and it refreshes me and makes me look forward to getting home.
Do you have experiences like that? I am sure that you have people who stir those kinds of feelings in you. How do you deal with them and how do you make it through?
One of the deepest desires of the human soul is to connect with God. We desire his passion as we talked about last week and we seek his presence. We all have a desire to think of the awesome, creator God of eternity as being close and personal to us. In our society we have tried to do things to remind ourselves that God is around us. Some things are really helpful and serve as good reminders of the nature of God. To be honest some things are very hokey and really don’t reflect God.
Illustration: Shane’s Light-up Jesus lamp
Bobble head Jesus
Do these things seem like realistic representations of God to you?
We need to get an adequate picture of what it means to be in the presence of God. We need to understand that God is bigger and greater than we can imagine and he desires for us to recognize his presence everyday of our lives.
We want to look at a verse that is a vision of heaven the prophet Isaiah was given. In it he relates that angels are circling the throne of God and crying the same thing over and over:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)
This passage is telling us that all of the earth is filled with the glory of God. Literally all of creation is reflecting the glory of the nature of God.
The term for glory is the Hebrew word kavod.
Kavod literally means weight or significance.
It is the idea that all of creation is dripping with the significance of the majesty of God.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
Psalm 24:1 (NIV)
All of creation is designed to reflect wonder and awe and splendor of God.
The question for us becomes, why don’t we live in that everyday? Why are we not overwhelmed with the power and wonder of god all the time in our lives?
There are several factors that keep us from seeing the splendor of God.
1) We get caught in the pace of life.
2) We get trapped in familiarity.
3) We get lazy in our spiritual disciplines.
All kinds of things keep us from experiencing the wonder of God. But one key factor tends to destroy all of our good intentions for finding the presence of God.