Entering God’s Presence
I can’t think of a more needed thing in our lives right now, when being in each other’s physical presence is limited, than to develop or deepen the daily habit of entering God’s presence. Psalm 95 provides us with three principles on how to do so.
So—let me encourage you to grab your Bible and a cup of coffee right now, and prepare to enter the presence of your Loving Father and Awesome God! (The coffee is optional; God’s Word is not!)
First, prayerfully read through the Psalm yourself, asking God to show you principles concerning how he bids you to come into his presence.
Now let’s break the Psalm down into three sections, and meditate on each section separately:
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”
What has God shown you here—what does he say about how we should enter his presence? Personally, if I had to summarize the points of this passage, I would say that God wants us to enter his presence joyfully! You could also say “thankfully” but these are two aspects of the same attitude. Now think for a minute—what do you see in these verses that would cause you to be joyful or thankful as you enter the presence of your heavenly Father? Make it even more personal—what in your own life do you have to be thankful for? What has God done, or is he doing, or you know he will do, that brings you joy?
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”
Let me encourage you to include your body in your act of worship—go ahead, bow down!—“kneel before the LORD.” If the first five verses of this Psalm encourage us to enter God’s presence thankfully and joyfully, because he is our loving heavenly Father, these two verses remind us that he is also our God, our Maker, our LORD! As such, he wants us to enter his presence reverently! Take some time to worship God right now—just reflecting back to him in prayer how awesome and majestic the creator of the universe is! Remember, he is God—and you’re not!
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
I believe God is encouraging us here to enter his presence submissively. We need to continually ask God to soften our hearts to receive his Word; we need to ask his Holy Spirit to give us obedient hearts. We often ask God to reveal his will to us in certain circumstances; this is appropriate, but I think many times what we really need to pray is for hearts that are submissive and obedient to his already revealed will! King David himself found it necessary to pray “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God!” (Psalm 143:10)
Is there an area of your life that you find yourself resisting the promptings of the Holy Spirit? Now—“today” as he says in verse 7—would be a good time to express to him that you are willing to obey (or at least you are willing to be made willing!).
There we have it—three ways to enter God’s presence: Joyfully; Reverently; Submissively. You may want to use this Psalm as a guide for your daily devotions!
It wouldn’t seem right to meditate through Psalm 95 without making it the guide for our prayers today. So—throughout the day, take time to express your gratefulness for all God has done, is doing, and will do! Find time today to remember that he is God; worship him as such! And finally, ask the Holy Spirit to give you an obedient, submissive heart—especially in any area that you sense yourself resisting his will.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)