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Have you ever stopped to think about the remarkable fact that after three years of teaching and training His followers, Jesus said they still weren’t ready? He had answered their questions, modeled every form of ministry imaginable and walked them through the Scriptures. Yet, it still wasn’t enough. What they really needed was God’s presence. There are many times in life where we try to operate on our own strength. When we do this, we step out of the remarkable power God has for us. This may not be done deliberately, but we are still operating out of self-reliance. Self-reliance fuels doubts and fears. When we operate out of self-reliance, we are telling God that we don’t need Him or His power. God’s power comes to us when we are surrendered, dependent, trusting and putting our faith in Him, above all things. Whether you know it or not, God has a special calling for your life. This is a calling He wants you to know and pursue. Are you ready to experience the presence of God? Here are five ways.

Get to Know God Better

Jesus placed great emphasis on the Holy Spirit. He actually told the disciples it was better for them that He leaves so they might receive the Spirit. The Bible tells us, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away” (John 16:7). Even in His resurrected body, Jesus can only be in one place at a time. His Spirit, however, can be everywhere. This is why Jesus said His departure is to our advantage. He wants all men and women to experience a relationship with Him through the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit. And this benefit is just the top of the iceberg. The Bible also tells us, “For I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Here, Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the Helper. By trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit, you are getting to know God on earth. The Spirit is the expression of God’s inner nature.

Trust That Breakthroughs Can Happen

Many of us are facing impossible situations where we need a breakthrough in our lives. Yet, most of us sit and wait for God to make it happen, and then we wonder why it is that we don’t experience breakthrough as often or as fast as we’d like. What we need to know is that breakthrough is not something we sit around and wait for. Breakthrough is God waiting on us to respond in obedience to what He has already commanded and already promised. Breakthrough happens when we take the first step against barriers in our life. Breakthrough happens when we say that we are going to trust that God is going to supernaturally do what is impossible. God does the breakthrough, but He’s waiting for us to take that first step of faith. We have to believe in God’s goodness, that God has already willed the breakthrough for our life.

Believe in the Power of Prayer

Prayer is one of the best ways to experience the presence of God. It is an opportunity to become one with the Creator and Giver of all things. Prayer helps us to find strength for today and hope for our future. We should actively pray and trust in its power to change our circumstances for good. Your faith life directly correlates to the quality of your prayer life. Prayer has the power to change not only the people and things around you. Prayer also has the power to change you from the inside out. When you’re in need of strength, remember that God is the number one healer and can guide you in endless ways. If your heart and life are centered on God, His Word and His Holy Spirit, you can rest assured that He will direct your path.

Surrender Yourself to God

When you surrender yourself to God, you are following His lead without knowing where He’s sending you. You’re waiting on God’s timing without knowing when it will come. You’re expecting a miracle without knowing what God will provide. You’re also trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances. You know you’re truly experiencing the presence of God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda and control a situation. This is when you’re truly letting go and letting God handle everything. You don’t have to always be in charge. Instead of trying harder, you trust more. You also know you’re surrendered when you don’t react to criticism and rush to defend yourself. Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You are not self-serving. You don’t edge others out, and you don’t demand your rights. You trust in God to work through those relationships.

Let God Work Through You

Jesus expected His disciples to feed the thousands of people in the crowd even though it was impossible for them. That’s because Jesus knew that it wasn’t impossible for God. Similarly, Jesus expected us to take on the seemingly impossible in our own lives. Why? God expects to do impossible things in us and through us. How exactly does that happen? First, we need to look at what we do have and then give it to God in faith.

Jesus knew the disciples didn’t have enough food to feed thousands, but He asked them to bring to Him the small amount of food they did have – five loaves of bread and two fish – and He supernaturally multiplied it. Similarly, God wants us to consider what we do have. This could be our gifts, our talents, our experiences, and unique personality. Then, He wants to us as an agent of change in whatever impossible situation we’re facing.

The Bible tells us “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). It’s important to have faith that God is present in your life and can do remarkable things. How we connect with God right now is so important. The choices we make now can bring us closer to God or away from Him. You can experience God in the hard times by choosing to trust and hope in Him fully.

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