Longing for God's Presence
by Danna Appleby
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Many times I awake with a song on my heart so it was no exception when a simple, but powerful song came just as I opened my eyes. The lyrics are a prayer: “Draw me Lord. Oh draw me Lord. Draw me Lord and I’ll run after You. And I’ll run after You.”
It wasn’t long before another song came to mind: “In Your Presence. That’s where I am strong. In Your Presence, O Lord my God. In Your Presence, that’s where I belong. Seeking Your face. Touching Your grace. In the cleft of the rock. In Your Presence, O God. In Your Presence, O God.” (Ex. 33:21-23)
When I awake with a song on my heart; I feel that the Lord wants to get a message to me. What could He possibly want to say? Had I not spent enough time in His Presence? Did He desire to draw near to me? So I said: “Oh yes Lord, I want to draw near You. I praise You and welcome Your Spirit. I repent for not spending enough time with You.” I opened the Word to Lamentation 5:21: “Restore us to yourself O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old.”
Immediately, I was reminded of a Scripture our pastor read the previous Sunday from Revelation 3:2: “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.”
All during the day I pondered those things, but the one thing that came to me was that God wanted to spend time with me. That had to be it! The embers of my soul that had once been blazing were dying down and not burning as brightly as they should. After all, we’re to “seek His face always!” (1 Chron. 16:11) A Scripture I believe God would have me share with you is Jeremiah 21:8: “Furthermore, tell the people, This is what the Lord says: ‘See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.’”
Are the embers of your soul dying down and becoming cold and indifferent to the things of the Lord? Death to the spirit brings coldness of heart and a reluctance to speak out about God’s truths because the fire has either died down or gone out completely.
Even David said he encouraged himself in the Lord and we must encourage ourselves. It is at those times that our praise becomes a sacrifice because we may not feel like praising because we’re cold and indifferent. We must repent of coldness of heart and ask God to warm our hearts once again. The embers will soon ignite and sizzle with new life. We’ll become a burning torch for God and our excitement will return. We must never allow ourselves to become cold and indifferent because the enemy will use every opportunity to destroy our relationship with the Father.
In times of deep repentance we must ask the Holy Spirit to restore what has been lost. We’re told that if we’re lukewarm He will “spew us out of His mouth.” (Rev. 3:16). God longs for His Holy fire to blaze forth, not only because others will desire what we have, but because the Father wants us to love being in His very Presence.
Jeremiah said that if he didn’t speak the Word of God that it would be like a fire shut up in his bones! (Jer. 20:9) Paul encouraged Timothy to “stir up the gift of God.” (I Timothy 1:6) We can “stir up” that gift with a high praise to the Lord. When we do so the embers will spark again. Our words will then become a dynamic testimony of the Good News of Jesus Christ! Let’s pray that God will set us ablaze for Him.
Father, we repent of coldness of hearts. Where there is a lukewarm condition, I pray for a renewed joy and fervor for You and that we will begin to desire Your holy fire to burn within our souls. We repent for not spending enough time in Your Presence and in Your Word which keeps the flame burning every day. You desire for us to spend time with You because You love us and long to fellowship with us. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
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