Sitting in God’s Presence
As we focus on today’s final lesson, we want to put together as many of the concepts that we’ve covered in earlier lessons and go through a time of hearing from God in a step-by-step way. This process is called meditation or, as I like to call it, sitting before the Lord.
There are five basic steps in this process:
1. Setting Aside Time — Meditation requires a commitment of time. I encourage you to think of this as a season of time. The exact length of time will be determined by your purpose and your state of being as you come before the Lord. Your goal is to have a mind committed to hearing from the Lord, not a mind that’s closed, cloudy, or cluttered.
2. Getting Still Before the Lord — Fix your thoughts on the Lord. True stillness before the Father involves a sense of relaxation and of total ease in His presence.
3. Recalling the Lord’s Goodness — As you spend time in stillness of heart before the Lord, meditate on the goodness of God. Review your past, recalling all the times in which He’s protected, provided, blessed, and cared for you. Reflect on the Lord Himself: His greatness, grace, and goodness. Remember all the promises in His Word made to all who believe and trust in Him.
4. Making a Request — How much more meaningful to make a petition to the Lord after we’ve entered into His presence with a committed mind and heart, having removed the hindrances of sin or false understanding that might keep us from hearing Him clearly. State your request as simply as possible, and get to the very heart of what you want the Lord to do for, in, and through you.
5. Submitting Our Will to God’s Answer — As you make your request, be aware of any pride in your heart, asking God to remove it. Be mindful of any doubt or disbelief in God’s ability or desire to answer your request. Be aware of answers you’re likely to reject out of hand even before God speaks. Ask Him to help you in your belief, praying for Him to keep your mind open, unclouded, and uncluttered. Then, sit before Him and await His response to you.
When we sit before the Lord, meditating on His truth revealed to us, we see things from a different perspective. The things that once occupied our minds lose their grip. New things awaken within us. We feel stronger and better able to face life. Psalm 36:9 asserts, “In Your light we see light.” There’s something about God shedding His enlightenment on a subject that causes us to see His truth clearly.
The apostle Paul prayed that the Ephesians might be given a “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph 1:17). He prayed that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened so that they might know the hope of His calling, the riches of the glory of His inheritance, and the exceeding greatness of His power toward them (Eph. 1:18).
What a wonderful thing to experience! Nothing will seem impossible to us if we seek the Lord in prayer, expecting and actively listening for Him to speak to us. When we do, we'll come away from our time spent with Him with renewed hope, an awareness of all that He has for us, and an assurance that He can and will act in power to bring about all that He has said.
To learn more about how you can experience a deeper relationship with God through prayer and actively listening for His voice, click here.