How Important is the Presence of God to You?

Nena Arias | June 26, 2023

“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
(Psalm 63:1)

As you read the above verse do you identify with the cry and deep desire of the psalmist as he expresses his yearning for God? Do you ever yearn and thirst for God the way he clearly tells God how much he needs him?

In what order of priority would you say seeking the presence of God is in your life? Please believe me, I am not endeavoring to be facetious. The reason I ask is because for the most part people use their leftover time for spiritual matters, which in many cases it practically amounts to none. That is the truth. Statistics show that the average time pastors and spiritual leaders spend in daily prayer is seven minutes, just imagine how it is for the average Christian? Not very encouraging, is it?

Also, let me ask you this, when you read about the extraordinary manifestations of God’s presence and power in the Bible or when God spoke so clearly to the prophets and other people giving them such specific instructions about what he wanted them to do, do you ever hunger to experience God that way? Or do you wonder why we don’t see more of that in our days especially since we see such pressing needs all around us? I certainly do, sometimes very vehemently.

To yearn means to long for, to hunger for, to desire eagerly, to have strong need, to require, to ask earnestly for, to beg for something. Wow!! Have you ever felt that way about needing the presence of God and I am not just referring to when you find yourself in a desperate situation of a crisis? In moments of crisis, it is easy to think of God and even cry out to him with great impetus due to the urgency of a situation. But those moments are more out of desperation than anything else, not because you really want to get closer to God out of love for him.

I venture to say that we have never lived with so many options of distraction and entertainment like we are at present. All of them vying for our attention. Just with television, computers, iPhones, and the internet alone we can use up all the time we have just to browse around all that world of content and not have enough hours in the day to do it.

On the other hand, if there is something that Satan fights us on tooth and nail, it is prayer and the reading of God’s Word. Have you noticed that when you decide to spend some time in prayer the most forgotten and insignificant things that you have neglected all of sudden come to mind? Your mind begins to wander to other things that have nothing to do with your purpose of prayer? Or your phone rings at that precise moment, or someone texts you? Or worse yet, you happen to fall asleep because your body is tired.

If all that would happen when you would be talking to a human they would be offended that you can’t concentrate long enough to have a conversation with them, and they will write you off as a very rude person. Yet, that happens to us right at the moment that we have decided to spend time with God, and we ask for his attention, then wander off on all these other thoughts and activities.

I have experienced these things right when I want to spend time with God, so I have even had to apologize to him because I am so embarrassed before him. He deserves my best attention and sincerity when I approach him.

To accomplish the goal of spending more meaningful time with the Lord, it means that we have to prepare better to combat for all those contingencies before we address God, so we won’t disrespect him. First of all, designate appropriate time daily to commune with the Lord. Choose a private place to avoid distractions and interruptions. We turn our phones off or silence them. It is important to get into a position or posture that will not allow us to fall asleep and make it a point to concentrate purposefully on what we are endeavoring to do which is to connect with God on a deeper level.

Practicing the presence of God is so important that Deuteronomy 8:3 says, “Man does not live by bread alone…” That means that just like we would desperately look for food if we are really hungry physically that we would do the same or even more to feed our spiritual hunger for God. He is worth it and we need him with that urgency.

Psalm 143:6
My soul longs for You, as a parched land.

Isaiah 55:1
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters and you who have no money come, buy and eat.

John 6:35
I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.