Thursday, June 21, 2018

prayer...evidence of humility

God gives us what we need most. If he doesn't give it, it's not what we need most or we are not sufficiently humbling ourselves (i.e. praying) to receive it.

To say it another way, we may need humility more then something else we think we need or want more/most, so pray and if you are truly humble/dependent on God he *may grant it. 

Prayer isn't about "getting things" from God for ourselves, it's about receiving things (i.e. humility) to advance God's glory. 

Our greatest need is God himself. The primary disposition necessary to experience him to the fullest of his infinite glory is humility expressed in or by our dependence i.e. A sense of desperate need for God above a need for anything and everything else. Prayer is the greatest evidence of this humility/dependence.

If God withholds providing for secondary needs it is to strengthen our awareness of our primary need for him thereby increasing a closer union/communion with him.

The greatest evidence of our awareness of a primary need for him is prayer. Prayer is the language/expression/fruit of humility. You may have tremendous gifts, skills and resources but if you do not have humility you can not truly walk with God as you were designed to.

A focus on others

The best way to know we are truly dependent on God is when we seek (pray for) things for the benefit of others; Christ first and our neighbors second.

We can not focus on others if we are not drawing from the love of God first. We must have (s
acrificial) love to give/love sacrificially.

The more connected we are to God the more love we have and the more lovely (more able to love sacrificially) we are.

And we are not drawing from the love of God unless we are in union/harmony with him.

And we are not in union with him without humility.


*actually he will grant it when we are truly humble. I only say "may" because only God knows when our hearts are truly in a sufficient posture of humility to receive it; we only think we know. And if we think we are when we are not, we will falsely expect the answer we are praying for.

This is why persistence in prayer is encouraged. Our persistence itself is a humbling process. If we persist long enough we may be sufficiently humbled so we are able to receive the answer we seek.

Often what we seek is not the issue to unanswered prayers, sufficient humility is i.e. why we seek it.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Everything is a gift

If something is given with clear instructions on how to use it correctly, according to its design/function and we accept that gift under those conditions but then use it as we see fit, what will likely happen?

To the gift

It would not operate properly and likely break eventually.

To us

We would not gain the maximum benefit intended from its use.

Our relation to the giver

We would be dishonoring (disrespecting) the giver

The givers relation to us

1. The giver may allow us to experience the full consequences of not using the gift as designed since instructions were already given but ignored. 

2. They also may rightfully withhold future gifts since we have demonstrated our word is not honorable/trustworthy. 

Everything we have and are is a gift; our time, skills as well as all external resources (food, water, shelter, air, material goods etc).

Misuse of God's good gifts is not only contrary to God and his design, but to us as well as the gifts, regardless of whether we agree or not.

Everything has a design, function and purpose and is to be used accordingly if we are to see it operate at its optimal level and fulfill its optimal function. 

The one who knows best how things operate is the creator of those things/gifts. 

To operate things according to the givers will is to also operate according to God's design of things and therefore to operate at an optimal level.  

The designer of those gifts is always the one who best knows how their creation works and must always be rightfully heeded and confided in for the best results/outcome.

How are we created and designed to operate? 

To love God with everything we have and are and our neighbor as ourselves i.e. To know God and to make him known; to spread his renown/glory so others might also live as designed for God's highest glory and their maximum benefit.

Knowing and loving God is not something we initiate but the fruit of being known and loved by God i.e. We are not love initiators but love responders. To say it succinctly, we love him because he first loves us

Thursday, May 31, 2018

seeking fame

When we draw our identity and well being from God by virtue of who we are in Christ, the accolades of men no longer allure us or matter. To the degree we do or don't derive our value from Gods love and value of us is the degree to which we are or are not allured.

It seems our greatest challenge isn't the role we find ourselves in but knowing our heart and the reason we might seek that role i.e. what do we seek to accomplish in whatever role we find ourselves in, whether that be a high or low profile role. Are we seeking the *glory of self or the glory of God? If it is the glory of God we should be content with whatever role God assigns us while at the same time seeking to expand our influence through increased efforts (greater faithfulness) for his glory.

*Ultimately only what is done for God lasts and has eternal implications. As the bible says it, "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, not treasures on earth i.e. value and pursue that which has eternal value not temporary value. 

God gives some a high profile role in the church but if it's **legitimate it occurs only when they are not seeking it as an end inself. 

Recognition for ones efforts appears to occur for many long after they are gone. Jonathan Edwards and CS Lewis come to mind, as well as Paul. Though they were recognized during their lifetime within a limited circle, their ultimate influence and true worth wasn't recognized until after they had passed away. They are far more influential, appreciated and highly regarded today than they were during their lifetime. Possibly because even great men such as these couldn't handle great accolades well? Maybe the true test of our value in honoring God is how much impact we have for him over time, after we are no longer here.

Knowing our heart

Few of us know our own hearts well enough to discern the difference between acting for God's honor or our own. But that doesn't mean none do. Some genuinely appear to come to a place where the praise of men does not pull them off center (i.e. off of their focus on Christ and awareness he is the ground for their identity; the basis of their true worth). It seems it is those very ones, who are least interested in a high profile place in the church, receive the greatest accolades (though it matters to them the least)...possibly because God knows it won't pull them off center.

But even the apostle Paul struggled with getting "pulled of center." His thorn in the flesh was intended to humble him due to the greatness of the revelations he had received. But when all was said and done he also came to the place he was content with his hardships. He even came to the place where he gladly boasted in his weaknesses, so that the power of Christ would rest upon him (II Corinthians 12:7-10) i.e. his sense of significance/value/love came through/from Christ, not men or comfortable/pleasant circumstances.

Having a larger audience

If we have something worthwhile to offer to an audience larger then we do presently and our hearts are truly rooted in him, God may give us a greater influence but only as he sees fit. If he gives us that audience that is his choice, not ours. 

Though we are not to pursue this as a singular and isolated goal, neither are we to despise it if and when it occurs, understanding it is a resource to steward faithfully, ever mindful that to whom much is given, much is also required.

If we desire a larger audience so others might know and experience more of God (not more of us) this is a valid desire; it is about honoring God and not self. It is actually our calling i.e. to bear much fruit (quantitatively as well as qualitatively). Nevertheless we are not to pursue a larger audience in itself; not as a primary goal anyway. We are to pursue God and in (by) that pursuit the audience will come (God will bring them) if it is God's intent.

 A recap

It appears possible that one can be grounded well enough in Christ that they can legitimately seek a higher profile in order to bring greater honor to God i.e. some may legitimately seek a larger platform to reach a larger audience and have a larger impact for God. I think this is rare and only occurs with those who have had humility burned deeply into their souls (or their bodies e.g. Jacob's hip and Paul's thorn) through much struggle and awareness of their brokenness.

God tells us to humble ourselves and he will exalt us. It seems the greater our humility the greater our exaltation (I say "seems" because our individual gifting also appears to play a significant role).

We often think only in terms of the humility side, which indeed is our part and should be our focus. But it also says he will exalt us when we do our part i.e. humble ourselves. Exaltation isn't our focus but neither should we despise it if it occurs or dismiss it as irrelevant or insignificant. It can be a means and platform to advance God's kingdom more widely and effectively. What is sure is it's certainly not wrong that we desire to further God's honor. If we are given a greater platform to do so, we should take advantage of it as an opportunity to honor God, always mindful of our subtle and strong bent toward grandiosity (a word I became more familiar with [though not an unfamiliar disposition] with the help of Jamine Goggin and Kyle Strobel, coauthors of "The Way of the Dragon or The Way of The Lamb").


**Many, maybe most, obtain a high profile role illegitimately, though certainly not all.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Does the universe consist of space or matter?

If you have done any reading on quantum physics you know most scientists have concluded there is *more space then matter. Because of this some have even argued those things that appear solid are merely an illusion i.e. there is nothing of substance there. It may even be simply a projection (or **hologram) from an infinite mind.

YET, we can touch, feel, taste and smell the objects we see and hear around us, even if there is very little actual ***matter present. If there is more space then matter what determines what we see and experience all around us, if there is in fact far more space then substance?

There is force! 

What do I mean? To use a familiar example, we are told at one level, everything is made of atoms. Atoms in turn are made of a nucleus that consists of protons and neutrons with electrons traveling around that nucleus at an extremely high velocity. Yet the space that exists between the nucleus and it's electrons far exceeds the size of the ****individual parts. When you measure the size of these individual *parts they are minuscule compared to the "footprint" taken up by the actual atom i.e. space is the biggest part of what makes up the actual "footprint."  So why do we see and experience the much larger footprint?

We know that electrons fly around the nucleus at an incredible speed. So much so that it creates more of a clouded solid looking blur as you see on the right below...

rather than the nice little circular patterns we see in common illustrations such as  immediately below. 

So what we see and experience is something that appears much larger then it's individual parts. 

What causes this force and what are its effects?

If you take a hammer and touch it to your face, would it hurt? It might be cold but it certainly wouldn't hurt you if placed against your face lightly. However what if you took this same hammer, attached it to a long cord and spun it at a very high speed. And then some part of you accidentally got in the path of this spinning hammer. What would be your experience be coming in contact with the hammer in this situation verses the former. Would this change of conditions make any difference?

A silly question, but I asked to make a point. It's the same exact hammer, is it not? So what is the difference? Force or the velocity of the hammer when it comes in contact with you. So it's not just the hammer you are experiencing but the force behind it i.e. the speed/velocity at which the hammer is spinning when it strikes you. That speed represents energy. The speed/force makes the hammer feels much more significant (bigger, more powerful or solid) then it is if it and the cord it's spun by were merely stationary.

Now what if the hammer were held in place by some invisible (electrical/magnetic?) attraction/force/energy between it and a central object it was attracted to and could be spun around that central point (very far from the hammer) in all directions, always maintaining the same distance and speed from the central object, similar to how electrons travel around a nucleus. What if it's speed was such that it created the appearance of a somewhat round and solid object far bigger then just the hammer (like the illustration of the helium atom above). In fact the velocity was so great it actually made this entire assemblage of parts look and feel like one large solid object and not a singular tiny object spinning around a minuscule central point/object. 

This could explain why something so small as an atom consisting of even smaller electrons spinning around a tiny nucleus is experienced (seen and felt) not as something spinning but something solid and much larger then it's parts. And of course since the parts are so minuscule it would not have the same affect as being hit by a hammer. The electrons are simply too small and spinning at too high a rate to hurt us. But it would give the feel of something solid. Then when you have millions of these held together by an invisible electrical attraction/force it would appear to be an object of some kind that could be observed, touched and held, all the while consisting of virtually no matter at all in comparison to it's footprint (what we see and experience). So when you push up against an object, such as a piece of steel you are not feeling substance primarily, you are actually feeling force. 

What I am suggesting hasn't actually been proven that I am aware of. I am simply offering a hypothesis that fits with what we already know about atoms and also what science has recently discovered about plasma.

For an fascinating documentary ("Thunderbolt of the gods")  on this click here.

Can we explain this

Which leads to a very basic question. If this theory is correct, what energy or force could or would be at work i.e. where does the energy come from that propels electrons around the nucleus of an atom? What we know is this force/energy is so great that when the individual parts of the atom are separated (split apart) it results in an incredible release of energy as demonstrated in an atomic bomb. 

We actually have an answer. And believe it or not it's in the most "unscientific" book of all (according to scientists). The bible.

Col 1:15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

And also

Heb 1:2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholdsG5342 the universe by the wordG4487 of his powerG1411. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 

Last but not least

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 

All three of these passages tell us Christ (the same person that became a man and walked among us over 2000 years ago) is the Creator.

The Colossians passage tells us he is not only the Creator but the sustainer of the universe i.e. the one that holds everything together and keeps everything going. He is constantly standing in attention to and oversight of the creation (...he is before all things...) and in or by his very existence all things stay together instead of disintegrate into it's various parts and fly off into space.

Lastly in the book of Hebrews we are told how he does this; simply by speaking/ 
commanding (which produces vibration/release of energy) for it to be so. Though we too speak, giving off vibrations/energy, this is a power beyond us or our understanding i.e. we do not bring physical things into existence out of nothing merely by speaking.

Granted an electromagnetic force may be involved in holding things together, but that doesn't explain the source of it i.e. who or what creates/causes/sustains it! We must go to scripture for this explanation.

If we dig a little further into the specific key words in these passages we get an even greater understanding.

It's not necessary to read every part of the definitions to follow below. I have underscored, emboldened etc. what I think are the key elements of the definition that are relevant.

Key words in Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Before: G4253 πρό pro pro
A primary preposition; “fore”, that is, in front ofprior (figuratively superiorto. In compounds it retains the same significations: - above, ago, before, or ever. In compounds it retains the same significations.
Total KJV occurrences: 46

Hold together: G4921  συνιστάω /συνιστάνω /συνίστημι - sunistaō /sunistanō /sunistēmi

Thayer Definition:
1) to place together, to set in the same place, to bring or band together
1a) to stand with (or near) (Christ is ever with but distinct from creation (i.e. he is both imminent and transcendent)
2) to set one with another
2a) by way of presenting or introducing him
2b) to comprehend
3) to put together by way of composition or combination, to teach by combining and comparing
3a) to show, prove, establish, exhibit
4) to put together, unite parts into one whole
4a) to be composed of, consist
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G4862 and G2476 (including its collat. forms)
Citing in TDNT: 7:896, 1120

Key words in Heb 1:3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholdsG5342 the universe by the wordG4487 of his powerG1411

Upholds: G5342 φέρω  pherō̄

Thayer Definition:
1) to carry
1a) to carry some burden
1a1) to bear with one’s self
1b) to move by bearing; move or, to be conveyed or borne, with the suggestion of force or speed
1b1) of persons borne in a ship over the sea
1b2) of a gust of wind, to rush
1b3) of the mind, to be moved inwardly, prompted
1c) to bear up, i.e. uphold (keep from falling)
1c1) of Christ, the preserver of the universe
2) to bear, i.e. endure, to endure the rigour of a thing, to bear patiently one’s conduct, or spare one (abstain from punishing or destroying)
3) to bring, bring to, bring forward
3a) to move to, apply
3b) to bring in by announcing, to announce
3c) to bear, i.e. bring forth, produce; to bring forward in a speech
3d) to lead, conduct
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: a primary verb (for which other and apparently not cognate ones are used in certain tenses only, namely, oio; and enegko
Citing in TDNT: 9:56, 1252

Word: G4487  ῥῆμα rhēma

Thayer Definition:
1) that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word
1a) any sound (vibration) produced by the voice and having definite meaning (i.e. not random or arbitrary, but with specific meaning and purpose)
1b) speech, discourse
1b1) what one has said
1c) a series of words joined together into a sentence (a declaration of one’s mind made in words)
1c1) an utterance
1c2) a saying of any sort as a message, a narrative
1c2a) concerning some occurrence
2) subject matter of speech, thing spoken of
2a) so far forth as it is a matter of narration
2b) so far as it is a matter of command
2c) a matter of dispute, case at law
Part of Speech: noun neuter
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G4483
Citing in TDNT: 4:69, 505

Power: G1411 δύναμις dunamis

Thayer Definition:
1) strength power, ability
1a) inherent (vs delegated) power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
1b) power for performing miracles
1c) moral power and excellence of soul
1d) the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
1e) power and resources arising from numbers
1f) power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G1410
Citing in TDNT: 2:284, 186

The bottom line is we don't need mass to see and experience the material world, we need force, power etc. The "solidness" we experience when touching or engaging the material world may actually be due to force not mass. Which matches exactly with what we are told in scripture. 

And the observed creation is indeed real, not simply a projection in the ultimate sense i.e. there really is material (even though in far lesser amounts then the non-material parts) moving at a high velocity which gives it it's "solidness" i.e. it allows us to experience it as solid, not as space or according to the space vs the mass we know it to be. The vast majority of what we see isn't space, in the sense of a vacuum, it is due to energy, force (dark matter?); unseen for sure, but very real (has real and measurable effect), nevertheless.


*The estimate is only 0.0000000000000000000042 percent of the universe consists of actual matter. Do a web search on this number and you will find plenty of sources that site this stat. 

However scientists are now saying there is something in all that emptiness/space, we just can't see it. They call this "dark matter" because we see evidence of its influence/effect even though we see nothing i.e. no observable matter but highly charged electromagnetic plasma.

For a fascinating documentary ("Thunderbolt of the gods")  on how scientists may be incorrect in their materialistic/gravitational view of the universe click here.

**This is what is proposed by a fascinating book titled "The Holographic Universe" I recommend it though I don't totally agree with it. What I do agree with is it demonstrates through the science of quantum physics, clear proof of some kind of an infinite cause/source/order/being (what this book calls "implicate order") behind all that we see and experience.  

***By matter we simply mean anything that we can touch and see. This is distinguished from "dark matter" (which is actually not matter at all) we can not see or touch, hence the name "dark" (though we can see it's effects/influence on matter)

****We are told that if an atom were about the size of a baseball stadium, the nucleus would be the size of a pea in the very center with the even smaller individual electrons being at the outer parameter of the stadium circling the stadium at such a high rate and in so many directions (though always held in place at the same distance), the stadium would appear to be in a shell like enclosure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

God is excited about your potential not your faults

God fully sees all your faults and flaws, yet he doesn't see them at all.

He sees them in that he's fully aware they exist.

Yet he doesn't see them at all i.e. they have no bearing on his infinite love for you and his absolute and complete commitment to your highest good if you are his child (i.e. you are in Christ).

In fact it is *because of his love and commitment to us he seeks to wean us from any and all faults or flaws that cause us or others harm (yet never holding those faults against us) or interfere with our drawing nearer to him and experiencing and participating in his love more fully. To say it simply from scripture, who he loves he disciplines

God views our faults and flaws much like loving parents with a toddler (or a child with a handicap). The lack of maturity (or presence of a flaw) is not off putting to loving parents. They are totally patient and kind. They see it as part of the growing up process, maybe even cute on occasion.

Loving parents don't chide their child when they take their first steps only to fall down again and again. No, they applaud their child for every successful step they make and encourage them to get up and try again and keep trying until they are great at it. 

They also look forward with equally **eager anticipation to the day when their kid starts to run, or ride a bike or do gymnastics or play an instrument or sing a song or figure out a tough math problem or fix something broken or whatever else they reveal they are good at. 

They are ***always seeking to help their child grow and mature because they want her/him to experience the fullness of the joy of being all they are meant to be; the fullness of the potential they were born with and created for. They are excited to see how they will grow and to watch what strengths and characteristics will develop over time, and amazed/delighted as they do. 

So it is with God, our perfectly loving heavenly parent, toward us his imperfect but growing child. 


*in fact he could not address our practical/relational alienation from him until he addressed our legal/judicial alienation. It is only because we are no longer under condemnation due to Christ's removal of it, that God now takes up residence in us by his Spirit and reveals himself to us again, reawakening our hearts to his love for us. For more on this click here

**What about those who didn't have such perfect parents growing up?... 

You have one now. 
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. Psalm 27:10 (KJV) 
(CEV)  Even if my father and mother should desert me, you will take care of me.
(ERV)  Even if my mother and father leave me, the LORD will take me in.
(ESV)  For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.
(GNB)  My father and mother may abandon me, but the LORD will take care of me.

***And just like a good coach will push his student to go beyond what they may think they are capable of, so does God. God is cheering us on, believing in us and pushing us to grow to our greatest potential for our greatest joy and his highest glory. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

God is present in our going

God always eagerly awaits and enjoys our times of deliberate and focused worship and pursuit of him through *private meditation and prayer. It is during these times we often sense his presence most and feel most renewed in our relationship with him. 

However he is equally present (objectively) when we have stepped away from our focused time with him to focus and actively engage/love the world for his glory. 

To say it another way, God is no less present with us when our focus is on others instead of exclusively on him. It only may be less so subjectively/consciously i.e. we may only have a lesser sense of his presence, however what has changed is not God's actual presence, only our focus. 

In fact we have reason to believe he's actually as present if not more so (or at least in a different but not a lesser way) when we are engaging/loving the world for his glory. We see this in the following verses in John 14:
21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”...  
23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
Both of these verses indicate God revealing himself to us and through us ("...manifest myself to him..." and "make our home with him..." with us) is tied to keeping his commandments i.e. our faithful pursuit of him through obedience. What commands are we to keep? The key commands being love God with all our heart, soul, mind and our neighbors as ourselves i.e. loving sacrificially as (in the same way) God loves us. Everything flows out of these two. 

This isn't saying he loves us more because of our obedience but that we experience his presence and love in our obedience. When we are loving the world for his glory, our hearts are in unison with his own heart i.e. we are closer to his desires for others who are also in his image. 

We usually think of private times with God as those times we refresh and renew ourselves through coming into God's presence. And in fact these times are just that, but as we come to understand what God has called us to and that he is also with us in our going and spreading his glory by loving others, this is empowering and can also be a kind of refreshing.

We can all think of those times we did something significant and loving for someone in need and the joy it gave them and a sense of God's smile and pleasure we also felt as a result. 

We still need those times to draw near to him and be quiet before him, but in scripture there is indication that who God is and certain ways he manifests himself to us will only be experienced as we engage/care for/love others for his glory. 

God is always present

As his children God is always with us whether we sense it or not. As we mature, the distinction (or line) between God's objective presence and our subjective experiencing of it, diminishes due to our increasing ability to walk with him by faith verses feelings. We actually are more aware of his presence in reality (objectively) as our faith matures. So it's more an internal faith based awareness of his presence that grows while an external sense or feelings of his presence may actually decline or at least ebb and flow. 

More and more we come to see our focus on loving those around us becomes a continuation and extension of our more private focus on God i.e. we come to see these two (focus on God and focus on others i.e. loving God and loving our neighbor) are not as completely separate and distinct as we may have initially believed or felt. They are only separate and distinct in execution (how they are brought about and manifested) but not in our engagement with God and his presence with us. 

God's objective presence

God is committed to us at all times in all things. It is in this sense he is always present. This does not mean we feel his present necessarily; it is simply an objective reality that has nothing to do with our feelings or our circumstances. It is a reality firmly rooted in the work of Christ on our behalf and only on that work, not our own work. 

Psalm 139:1-18 brings this out best. Emphasis, commentary and highlights added.

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? (i.e. nowhere) 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you... 


In some very significant ways we are uniting and cooperating with God more in our displaying his love to others then we are in our drawing away in solitude with him. Focusing on the needs of others is a kind of participation in his presence, just indirectly verses directly. Over time I would suggest we will more and more come to experience God's presence in and through loving others for his glory as our faith matures.

To focus on loving others is just a different kind of focus and a different way to engage in his presence, not something wholly other then focus on God; different only in manner or kind not different in reality.  

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What he also may be saying is an actual manifestation (i.e. sense) of his presence occurs when we are going and making disciples. 


*God also manifests his presence in times of corporate worship. Though this is not engaging the unbeliever to display his love to them, it is also not a time of complete solitude.
It is a time of inner or personal worship but along side others who are also worshiping God. It is personal worship and in that sense it is private but it is done together with others.