Warm-up Question:"What does it mean to be in the presence of God?"
Adam and Eve had intimate fellowship in the presence of God before the fall (Genesis 3:8). Since that time, sin has prevented our ability to be in the physical presence of God (Exodus 33:20). Now only the holy, sinless angels are in the physical presence of God (Luke 1:19). But Christians have the presence of God within us by virtue of His indwelling Holy Spirit (John 14:23; 15:4), and that indwelling presence comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are aware of the reality of this presence from our obedience to His Word. “We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). Note that Peter says that “we are chosen people . . . belonging to God.” If we belong to Him, will He not be present among us? We never lose the reality of God’s presence, no matter how badly we fail; we never sink so far as to banish the Holy Spirit forever. We can anger God because of our sin, but true believers never lose the presence of the Holy Spirit. While we will never lose the reality of God’s presence, we might well lose the “sense” of His presence. I don’t want to lose the sense of God’s presence in my life. I want to know He is with me, and not just know it, but sense His presence too.