Feeling God’s Presence

February 2, 2011

People today have many ways of communicating with each other.  In our church, there are people that like Facebook.  Others prefer texting.  There are also other preferred avenues of communicating with people in my church, such as phone calls, email, newsletters in print, face to face conversations, and a personal hand-written note.

What I’ve found is that if I want to communicate with EVERYONE in my church, I have to do ALL of the above or I miss some people.  Those who prefer texting will miss my message if I only send a message out on Facebook, for example.  We’re all different.  Rick Warren says, “You cannot over-communicate.”  I’m learning how true that is.

In the same way that we all prefer different ways to communicate with each other, we are also wired differently in the primary way we connect with God.  Fasting does it like nothing else for some people.  Some can pray for 2 hours and totally feel God’s presence.  I hate to admit it but after I’ve prayed for all that I know, my mind starts wondering to what’s for supper or something really spiritual like who’s going win the next ballgame.

Others really feel connected to God when they are in the mountains.  (Psalm 19:1-4)  My preference is going to a quiet place where I can read my Bible, pray, and listen.  (Psalm 46:10)  I’ve known others to feel God’s presence the most when they are sharing their faith or serving the homeless.  (Matthew 25:40)  My daughter, Rebecca, once told me that she felt God when she danced.  (Psalm 30:11)  That reminds me of the true story of Eric Liddell in the movie, “Chariots of Fire.”  He said,“When I run, I feel His glory.”1923-eric-liddell-stamford-bridge.

I guess my point is that there are many ways that we can feel God’s presence. Whatever your bent, that’s ok.  One thing I know, however, is that it’s important not to ignore the other disciplines or leadings when they aren’t our preferred “pathway to hearing from God.”

A runner who feels God’s presence most when he runs still needs to pray and read their Bible to stay grounded.  Someone who feels God when they read their Bible still has a responsibility to help the poor.  If you love to study the Bible, you still need to put it in action.  (Faith without works is dead-James 2:20)  If you’re an action person, you still have to know what the Bible says.

Seek God and you will find Him.  Seek Him in your preferred way, but seek Him in other ways too.  The important thing is that when you seek Him, don’t give up.  Keep seeking His presence.  Keep your relationship with God a priority and keep it fresh by trying other “pathways”.  You’ll find Him.

What’s your preferred way to hear from God?  When do you feel His presence most?

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Daniel Fast

January 1, 2011

“To get unreasonable results, you have to do unreasonable things.” -Craig Groeshel

 

It’s a New Year and it’s time for those resolutions that we make every year.  Many times as believers we say we want to grow closer to God in this next year.  If we want to make changes or really know God better, we need to do something radical.  Andy Stanley says, “The system that you’ve been using is perfectly designed to get you the results that you’ve been getting.” What are you going to do that is radical that will jolt your life into the direction that you know that you need to be going?

MJLifeChurch.tv is participating with LifeChurch.tv in the Daniel Fast for 21 days. Fasting is a great way to push aside ourselves and our wants and focus on God. It reminds us that it’s not all about us. Fasting has the potential to draw us closer to God and helps us refocus on Him. If you have been at a spiritual standstill or you simply want to grow in your relationship with Christ, I hope you’ll join us for these 21 days.

In the “Daniel Fast,” the idea is to limit what we eat to the things that Daniel ate when he requested to stay with the diet that he learned when he was home serving God before he was taken captive.  Basically, he only ate veggies, fruit, and nuts. He avoided all meats and drink, other than water.  You can research more on the Daniel Fast at and the allowed foods here:

http://danielfast.wordpress.com/daniel-fast-food-list/

Daniel could have had the best food from the King’s table but he felt like that would get in the way of his relationship with God. God blessed his devotion, dedication, and heart.

The key to fasting for spiritual growth is not simply going without food. If that’s all we do, we’re simply starving ourselves.  We also need to intentionally draw to God during this time through prayer, meditation, and Bible reading. Otherwise all we accomplish is maybe loosing a little weight.  I hope you’re goal is more than shedding a pound or two, though some of us could definitely benefit from that too!

In the above quote, Craig Groeschel said, “To get unreasonable results, you have to do unreasonable things.”  If your relationship with God has grown stale.   If need some answers or you feel like you need to trust God more.  If you just want to grow in your faith, join us beginning on January 3rd, with the Daniel Fast.  Ask God for something BIG that only He can do through you.  Let me know how it goes for you!