I.D.: Recognizing God’s Presence
Recognizing God’s Presence
On Sunday, Pastor Kevin talked about the importance of learning to recognize God’s presence in our lives. If we want Wellspring to be a place and a people that host the presence of God, an important first-step is learning to recognize when God’s presence is at work in us and among us.
We don’t ever want to put God in a box and assume we can only experience His presence in certain ways or that we will always experience Him the same way. But it can be helpful to have a general idea of how some people experience His presence sometimes. Then if you ever have one of those experiences, you’ll know: “I wasn’t making it up; that was God!”
So to start you on your journey of learning to recognize God’s presence, we’ve put together a brief overview of some of the ways people experience God.
- Happiness: Some people experience a deep sense of joy or wellbeing in the presence of God that is not necessarily connected to any situations or circumstances in their lives. They might find themselves unintentionally smiling or laughing in response.
- Sadness: Some people experience a deep sense of grief or sadness around a particular person, issue, or place when in the presence of God. Though they might not have any obvious cause for sadness in their own lives, they might find themselves crying or even sobbing as God shares His heart with them.
- Peace: Some people are filled with a profound sense of peace in God’s presence. Anxieties, worries, and exhaustion might slip away as they feel surrounded and protected by God’s light and love.
- Heat: When experiencing God’s presence, some people may feel heat or warmth spreading through their whole body or in specific areas. It can be barely noticeable or you might become so warm that you begin to sweat. Some people, for example, feel heat in the palm of their hands when God is prompting them to pray for someone else’s healing, or warmth in their own heart when God is doing a healing work inside them.
- Heaviness: In the presence of God, some people feel a gentle heaviness settle on them, almost like putting on a lead vest before going for an X-ray. Because of this sense of heaviness, some people find it difficult to remain standing or seated and may instead lie on the floor, resting in God’s presence.
- Shaking: When in God’s presence, some people may experience shaking or trembling in their bodies, like the “quaking” that the Quakers were originally known for. Sometimes their whole bodies may shake, and other times it may just be specific parts of their body, like their hands or their arms.
- Slight Pain: When God wants to heal someone around you, He might give you a word of knowledge through a sympathy pain that mirrors what that person is suffering. Especially if you don’t usually experience pain in that part of your body, a sudden and unexpected pain may indicate that God’s presence is upon you and He wants you to pray for someone else’s healing.
- Unusual sensations: Sometimes God tries to get our attention in unusual ways—a tickle in our ear, tingling in our skin, the feeling of a breeze passing by, etc. If you experience an unusual sensation, you might ask God, “Lord, is that you? Are you trying to get my attention?”
This is a very short, incomplete list of ways people sometimes experience God’s presence. If you’ve experienced God’s presence in other ways, or have had powerful encounters with God that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org