A lot of us have a mistaken idea of what “being in God’s presence” is. We tend to think of it as a feeling, an emotion or a supernatural moment. All of these can accompany God’s presence, but they don’t define it. God presence is simply himself, his being.
With the Holy Spirit residing in us, we always have God’s presence — and that’s an incredible thing. Paul says: “God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
In Old Testament times, the Lord made his presence known by rending the heavens or manifesting himself through a pillar of fire or a cloud of smoke. When Jesus came, it changed how we experienced God’s presence. Through Christ, we actually got to see the presence of God. Jesus’ life revealed exactly what God is like — how utterly full of love, grace, mercy, power, truth, and righteousness he is. The Son of God came to earth as an exact representation of the heavenly Father’s nature.
Even more incredible is that through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, a transformation takes place when we accept Jesus: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
To have God’s nature in us means we don’t have to try to be holy; we are holy, by virtue of his presence in us. We don’t have to try to be acceptable, we are made acceptable by him. We don’t have to try to be good; we already are good by his divine nature, which resides in us through his Spirit.
Jesus bought you a life free of shame and fear. You can live with abandon without hindrance or condemnation. That’s why Paul exhorts, “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).