When you study the presence of God in the Bible, you realize there are different meanings to this phrase, “God’s presence.”
On one hand, God is always present everywhere because he is “omnipresent” (Psalm 139:7-12). On the other hand, at times God decides to reveal himself in a visible way to the natural eye (Isaiah 6:1) and in an audible way to the natural ear (Isaiah 6:8), which is his “manifest presence.” And then there is God’s “personal presence” that is the gift to all believers through the Holy Spirit.
This third type of “God’s presence” is what we will be talking about in this article. As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit in us and he will never leave, but we can be walking closely or not closely with the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). In other words, we can be actively carrying the personal presence of God with us or we can be walking away from the personal presence of God.
Therefore, here are 10 signs you will notice when carrying God’s presence.
1. When You Carry God’s Presence, You Will Be Totally Dependent on Jesus Alone for Your Salvation
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Many false prophets have come and will continue to come. They will always try to add something to the gospel. They will say you need this or that. No, you need Jesus alone for salvation.
Of course when you truly are saved by Jesus, there will be fruit in your life. But these other things are not the source of our access to God. Jesus alone is the bridge that connects us to the personal presence of God.
In John 14:16-18, Jesus also said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
2. When You Carry God’s Presence, He Won’t Be Chasing You Around Because You Will Be Actively Seeking After Him
God leads. We follow. It’s always going to be that order. When you are trying to lead God, his presence will not be with you. To be in God’s presence, you must submit to him and actively seek to follow him wherever he leads.
Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
3. When You Carry God’s Presence, You Will Avoid Unholy Places
God is holy. Therefore, we are fooling ourselves if we think we can engage in unholiness and worldliness and still carry the personal presence of God with us.
1 Peter 1:14-16 explains, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
4. When You Carry God’s Presence, You Will Be Fighting for Lost Souls
When the Bible is talking about “the world,” it’s not talking about the earth. Rather, the world is usually used to mean the sinful peoples and nations who love godlessness and follow Satan (Ephesians 2:1-4). However, these people are not our enemy (Ephesians 6:12). No, the world is the very people who Jesus came to save (Ephesians 2:4-7).
He wants us to reach the lost with the good news of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19). In fact, when we are fulfilling the Great Commission, this is a strong sign God is with us (Matthew 28:20).
5. When You Carry God’s Presence, You Will Serve the Lost Without Getting Entangled in the World
While God wants to use us to reach the world with the gospel, the Bible also warns us against becoming “friends with the world.”
James 4:4 states, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” The term “You adulterous people” was not meant to be a pointless insult. Rather, it’s a description of what happens when a believer becomes unequally yoked with an unbeliever. You are committing adultery against God when you link up with those people who do not love God (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
6. When You Carry God’s Presence, You and Other People Who Also Carry God’s Presence Will Be Attracted to Each Other
One danger when you read the Bible in a personal way is that you might forget that these promises also apply to other people. We are chosen, but never think of yourself as more chosen than other people in the family of God. That’s when cults are formed.
1 Peter 2:9 doesn’t say you are just a royal priest and a chosen person. No, it states a Christian is a part of a “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” This is a plural promise, not just an individual promise.
Therefore, when you truly have the presence of God with you, you will be obeying God’s command to be one in Spirit with his church (Philippians 2:1-5).
7. When You Carry God’s Presence, Demons Will Attack You and Demons Will Flee from You
We should view spiritual warfare in at least two ways. First, if there is no spiritual warfare in our lives, it means we are doing something wrong. Why? Because it means you don’t carry the presence of God, you are not advancing God’s kingdom, and thus the enemy does not even bother attacking you because you are no threat.
Second, we need to make sure spiritual warfare is not going unchallenged in our lives. We obviously should not seek it out, running around looking for demons everywhere. But we also must do what the Bible says, being watchful (1 Peter 5:8) against the enemy and actively resisting any attacks that do come against us (1 Peter 5:9).
Thus, when the presence of God is with you, the enemy will try to attack you. But when you remain in the presence of God, they will also flee because they must. James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
8. When You Carry the Presence of God, Your Pride Will Be Crushed and Humility Will Flourish
If someone ever runs up to you and boasts about how they have the presence of God, it’s more likely that they don’t have the presence of God than the person who serves quietly in the back of the church with no one noticing.
Isaiah 57:15, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Never forget, God opposes the proud but gives grace to humble (James 4:6).
9. When You Carry the Presence of God, You Will Walk Through the Fire Without Being Burned
God’s presence is not our genie in a bottle, making our lives in our own image. No, God’s presence transforms us more and more into his image (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). So God’s presence will not lead you away from danger. Rather, God’s presence will lead you through the danger unscathed (Proverbs 23:4). Isaiah 43:1-3 proclaims:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
10. When You Carry the Presence of God, You Will Have a Joy and Peace that Surpasses Human Understanding
God’s presence gives you the power to rejoice even when things are sorrowful (2 Corinthians 6:10).
Peace is not found through perfect external circumstances. Peace is only found through prayer and experiencing the indwelling presence of God himself (Philippians 4:6-7).
Joy is not found in the absence of pain. Joy is only found in the presence of God. Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”