"As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever" (Psalm 125:2). On stormy days, how foolish it would have been for the Israelites to have exclaimed, "I can't see the mountains today; I guess they're no longer around us."
God wants us to live aware that He surrounds us at all times. "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age," were Jesus' final words to His disciples in Matthew.
As we train ourselves to lift our thoughts and our moments of perplexity to Him, we'll discover that He's willing to direct every detail of our lives. We learn we can depend on Him to bring to mind appropriate words because we're living in union with the Holy Spirit. Even small expressions of love to Him can often bring the joy of His presence. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
Hannah Whital Smith wrote that to live in His presence "simply means that we acknowledge God in all our ways by saying over each moment of our life, 'The Lord is here,' and by doing whatever we do for his glory."
Being in God's presence does not make us appear either preoccupied or unhappy. Phoebe Palmer said that during one Christmas season she didn't want to have company because of her strong desire to seek God. But she went ahead and entertained as she was expected to and said later that, despite her inner seeking, she had never been so cheerful and her company had left with thoughts of God.
God responds with love to every effort we make to recognize He is near. He longs for us to discover He is truly Immanuel (God with us).
Thank You, Jesus, that an abiding sense of Your presence means peace, strong confidence, and victorious living.
"'"Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,' declares the Lord" (Zech. 2:10).
"My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest" (Ex. 33:14).