Every child of God must strive to remain ever more present in the presence of God. The Word of God gives us some indicators that can help the Christian to know if they are still in the presence of God.

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:17-31

This text gives us some indicators:

  1. Living as the Gentiles do;
  2. Being separated from the life of God;
  3. Loss of moral sensitivity;
  4. Remaining in anger;
  5. Mismanagement of speech;
  6. All kinds of malice;
  7. Grieving the Holy Spirit.

Lies and anger easily give access to the devil and can therefore easily lead you out of the presence of God.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:14-15

Bitterness brings much trouble in assemblies and can lead away from the presence of God. Bitter people seek to make bitter everyone who approaches them. Bitterness is a feeling of sadness mixed with disappointment and resentment. Beware of embittered people who consider that all those who have succeeded are arrogant or magicians! When the indicators are red, one must act quickly to rise up. This is where fasting and prayer come in to return to the presence of God.

However, our fasting moments must first be moments of seeking the presence of God, and then the rest will follow. It is true that fasting brings added benefits in various areas of our lives, but that is not the focus of our study here. We will only study fasting in the dimension of a key to maintain ourselves in the presence of God, at the level of growth and effectiveness that we have reached.

The disciples of John and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, ‘How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?’ Jesus answered, ‘How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.'” Mark 2:18-20

The Lord Jesus speaks of fasting in order to seek the presence of the bridegroom. In other words, one must maintain a life of prayer in fasting, to always maintain in the presence of the bridegroom (God). This does not mean that fasting is the only way to enter, grow, or even maintain in the presence of God.

I emphasize, however, in light of the text we have read, that fasting is a path and a means to remain in the presence of God.

This is one of the meanings of fasting according to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can decree moments of fasting and prayer to seek the presence of God in our lives, in our churches, and in our ministries. Moments of fasting and prayer in groups have the advantage of promoting brotherly communion, which is also an element of spiritual growth…

This text is an excerpt from the book “Being present in the presence of God” written by Rev. Don Yves Kisukulu K.

We invite you to read the following article “How to Speak in the Presence of God“.

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