The Christian life encounters many pitfalls. One unsuspecting pitfall is that we lose the joy of being a Christian. We become lukewarm in our relationship with Christ. Prayer is routine. Bible study is a chore. Our worship has become cold and formal. What has happened to our lives?
There was a church in the New Testament that had these same problems. Jesus spoke these words to the church at Laodicea: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”(Revelation 3:15-16) This church was religious, but they no longer enjoyed Christ’s presence. They had lost a vibrant relationship with their living Lord.
What was Christ’s answer to their problem? “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) Christ was telling the church that they were leaving Him out of their lives. He politely was knocking on the door of their hearts; so that they would once again enjoy having fellowship with Him.
A meal in Bible times was a time-consuming event where people enjoyed talking and listening to one another. Jesus longs for this kind of communion with us. Have we opened the door? Christ has prepared a meal for us with His presence and blessings. Have we sat down and taken the time to enjoy His presence? He is waiting.
When we take the time to enjoy Christ’s presence, we will view life and our circumstances from a totally different perspective. We will see life as God sees life. We will see our problems as God sees our problems. God has prepared a banquet for us. Here is what He offers to us as take time to enjoy His presence.
1. We have guidance in our life. “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me;” (Psalm 43:3a) The question is often asked: “How can I know the will of God?” To understand the will of God means more than following a formula, but we follow the Lord. As we commune with the Lord, we will discover what pleases Him and what doesn’t please Him. God’s greatest priority for our lives is that we know Him. His light and truth will guide us.
2. We enjoy true worship of God. “let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.” (Psalm 43:3b) The Psalmist in the midst of all that was happening in his life saw the importance of worshiping God. Worship is not to please ourselves, but to please our Lord. He desires worship because He is worthy of our worship. Our worship is bringing glory to God in all that we say and do. When we worship God, we recognize His presence and majesty.
3. We have joy in spite of the circumstances in our life. “Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy:” (Psalm 43:4a) The Psalmist faced many trials in his life which caused him to become to discouraged and depressed. He understood that in God’s presence there is great joy. No matter what is happening in our lives, if we remember that God is with us, we can experience a joy that is not based upon circumstances, but based upon a relationship.
4. We have an attitude of praise. “yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.” (Psalm 43:4b) We often give praise for the blessings that we receive from God, but what about giving praise to the giver of those blessings. When we enjoy God’s presence, we will focus upon all that God is. We will praise HIm for His attributes and titles. Every day, we should take the time to praise God for all that He is and does.
5. We have a contented spirit. “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” (Psalm 36:8) A lack of contentment is a warning sign that we are not enjoying God’s presence. When we are walking with God, we will be totally content. When we are close to the Lord, everything else will fall in place.
6. We receive comfort from God. “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) Comfort is not based on circumstances, but upon our relationship with our Living God. His rod shows his protection against our enemies. His staff shows His guidance and help in our lives. When we have His protection and guidance, we are sure of His comfort and love even in the most trying times.
Enjoying God’s presence begins with salvation, but it continues for all eternity. We enjoy His presence as we listen to him, communicate with Him, meditate upon Him and pour out our heart unto Him. Are enjoying His presence today?
“Dear Lord, my life often becomes filled with the routine. I have lost the joy of being Christian. I haven’t taken the time or effort to enjoy your presence. Thank you for knocking on the door of my heart. Thank you for your desire to fellowship with me. I now open up the door of my heart to you. Please come in! I know that the greatest joy in life comes from being in your presence. Amen.”