When we talk about the presence of God, we are not talking about just what happens in a church service. What we experience in a church service is truly contingent upon our individual time in the presence of God. We also act as though the presence of God is something we access two or three times a week, but God is omnipresent, meaning He’s everywhere. So the question is not if God is present, but rather are we aware.
In scripture (Genesis 3 & 4), the first time God shows up, in the Garden of Eden, man hides. The next time we see the presence of God, we see that Cain left the presence of God. And this theme is repeated throughout the Bible but in 1 Chronicles, someone recognizes the presence of God.
In our text we see David brings the presence of God back to the people of God. We see the phrase “before the Lord”. This is the exact same Hebrew word that translates as “presence”.
Give Thanks to the Lord
In verse 8, David gives a pretty clear methodology on how to give thanks:
1 Chronicles 16: 8-10 – “Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! Talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!”
“Sometimes when we get in the presence of God, we just throw up our hands in thanking Him.”- Dr. D’Ann Johnson
Seek the Lord
When we are in His presence we should seek His face and His strength. We have to have uninterrupted face-to-face time with Him.
1 Chronicles 16:11-12 – “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth”
“Don’t find yourself in the presence of God and do not get strength!” – Dr. D’Ann Johnson
Sing to the Lord
1 Chronicles 16:23-24 – “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”
Give to the Lord
Part of our response is to give Him what is available to us, including our gifts, abilities, our money, and even our life!
1 Chronicles 16:28-29 – “Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him.
“It’s hard to give Him a gift if you haven’t given Him glory.” – Dr. D’Ann Johnson
Worship the Lord
This scripture literally means to bow and make oneself low, recognizing that the best of me is still filthy rags in the presence of a Holy God. This is something that we have to get back to in the modern church. We’ve become cavalier about the presence of God: It’s one more thing we have to do on our list of activities for the day.
1 Chronicles 16:29b-30a – “Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.”