Today we talk about feelings a lot, and many times when we talk to the Lord it’s asking Him to meet our felt needs. Do you ever feel like God just isn’t there? Although our feelings tell us that at times, we shouldn’t be driven by our emotions when it comes to our trust in God. Know that is a foothold the devil uses to turn you away from total dependence upon the Lord. Scripture says: “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’.” (Rom. 1:17) Scripture also tells us “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6) We shouldn’t have to feel God to know He’s there.
The Lord has said He is with us always. The best way to remind ourselves that He is always present in our lives is to stay in His Word. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) The Lord isn’t limited to time and space as we are, He is literally everywhere, sees everything, knows the future, and He holds our future, and His hand is upon us in every moment. “The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of His feet.” (Nahum 1:3)
There are times in Scripture where the Lord showed His presence as a cloud (Luke 9:34-36); as a windstorm surrounded by brilliant light (Ez. 1:1-5); as a radiant glowing figure of a man seated on a throne in the sky surrounded by bright light (Ez. 1:22, 26-28), as high and exalted seated on His throne where the train of His robe filled the temple (Is. 6:1). But for most of us, we feel His presence through the Holy Spirit that has sealed us, and the deeper we meditate on His Word, the more alive we become in the Spirit. “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph. 3:16–18)
We must be aware by faith of His presence with us at all times. David spent a lot of time tending sheep. He didn’t see the presence of the Lord, but he knew the Lord was always with him. “You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” (Ps. 16:11) We can be just as aware as David to the Lord’s presence. Sometimes when I really need to feel His presence, I spend time being quiet and still and breathing deeply, because His breath is within us all; His breath is what gives us life (Gen. 2:7). If you are experiencing any difficulty in seeing or feeling His presence, ask Him to open your eyes, ears and hearts to knowing He is God, He is everywhere, and His presence is upon you.
You may want to use the prayer by A.W. Tozer from The Pursuit of God:
“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.”
“Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”