“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” (Psalm 95:2)
It is not unusual to hear a worship leader ask the Lord to come and be with us, or some such similar request. But the Psalmist declares here that the responsibility to meet us is not God’s, but is rather OURS!
Given the theological reality that in the days of the Psalms, the people went to “appear before God” in the temple (Deut. 31:11, Psalm 42:2), and that today we now have the Holy Spirit residing in our hearts (I Cor. 6:19), the admonition here is still instructive: “Let US come before HIS presence”! In the days of the temple, God’s people needed encouragement to go and physically appear before the place where He had commanded them to worship Him. Today God’s people need to be encouraged to mentally and spiritually recognize His presence, which is everywhere. But in either case, the point is that it is not GOD who needs any encouragement to appear before us; it is WE, rather, who need to consciously come before HIM!
— We are the ones who do not see Him because of our hardened, sinful hearts.
— We are the ones who act as though He were not present when He always is.
— We are the ones who need to remember that He is always with us, and who need to consciously acknowledge the reality of His presence.
So we don’t need to encourage God to “appear.” Rather we need to exhort ourselves to claim by faith that God is indeed among us; and to then ACT like He is, with our attitudes and actions of worship: let us pray, because He is here! Let us sing, because He is here! Let us rejoice, because He is here! He IS here — so let US act like it!
So each day in our own devotions, and as we gather corporately for worship with other believers: “let us come before His presence”!