What Happens When I Linger in God’s Presence


God gave me an unsolicited word for 2017—linger. I love the concept and even the sound of the word. It speaks for itself. My first call to linger is to tarry in His presence.

Lingering does not come easily these days. All my responsibilities and my ministry via social media have given me a distracted mind. To help me escape some of that distraction, I have spent several days at the beach—lingering in the presence of the Lord.

As I have lingered and listened, this is what has happened. He has spoken to me.

He Loves Me

In reality, all of Scripture tells of His love for me, of His relentless pursuit to bring me back into relationship with Himself. I could find hundreds of verses assuring me of his love. Here are two I am especially grateful for:“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

‘The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves.He will take great delight in you;

in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

He Calls Me Friend

In the Old Testament, even in any other religion of the world, no one could imagine thinking of God as “friend.”

Yet Jesus once again turned the religious establishment upside down with these words to His disciples:  “I have called you friends….” (John 15:15)

What do you do with your friends? You hang out with them. You linger in their presence.

He Assures Me I Am His Daughter

It would have been enough to have my sins paid for, to be forgiven, to have an eternal home—and all the other gifts offered through His death and resurrection. But God did one more things: He adopted me.

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

He Treasures Me

I understand that. I certainly treasure my children and my grandchildren. But I hardly think of myself as a treasure. God does:

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)

He Reveals His Plans for Me

He whispers in my ear about the pathways for my life:

“You have made known to me the paths of life….” (Acts 2:28)

One of my favorite Scripture passages assures me more specifically of this:

“For we are God’s handiwork (actually, work of art), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

He Blesses Me

Of course. I am blessed when I am in the presence of my family, my friends, many other special people in my of life. So surely I am blessed in the presence of God.Moses instructed Aaron to bless the people in this way:

“The Lord bless you

and keep you;  

the Lord make his face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:24-26)

He Gives Me Rest

Since I seem to be weary much of the time, this benefit of lingering in God’s presence brings me great joy:

“This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence….“ (1 John 3:19)

He Is Always with Me

Sometimes people neglect us, fail us, even abandon us. Not our God.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

So I continue to linger in His presence, listening for His words of love, comfort, encouragement, hope:

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalms 16:11)

What about you? What have you heard as you linger in His presence?

C2017 Judy Douglass