Yes, the answer is yes, there is a connection and one thing leads to another.
Kelvin, the connection is there, the sequence of one leading to the other, maybe you start by worshiping to invoke the presence that leads to relationship. Not quite sure what you mean by discrete things. Do you mean as in private or as in not really noticed in their happening.
God is always there. He's present. We can't invoke Him. It's our side of the relationship and our living a life of worship that helps us to recognise that fact.
Having the relationship requires being right with God - as in "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness". Daily fellowship has to be maintained to be "in His presence" as it were. If you're out of fellowship, all the emotional "drawing near" is to no avail.
"Living a Life of worship" isn't possible or authentic if we're out of fellowship from a sin perspective.
I agree with you totally
You are able to worship and walk with the Lord (thus feel His presence) because you have a relationship with God :)
We're always in God's presence, we always have relationship with Him, and if the relationship is good we are by definition worship God aright. Nothing discrete at all -- it's all one package, called relationship, or believing (same thing - if that's confusing, read the book of John). In fact, I'd suggest reading the book of John straight through, without stopping, but thinking a lot about relationship; it may help put these concepts together.
Now there is a sort of "discreteness", too, but it's in our own viewpoint. We may FEEL apart from His presence, but we may engage in worshiping right -- say, by helping a person, and thus we encounter God, and become more aware of His presence, and thus our experience in worship times will gain a greater sense of reality. We may become depressed because of failure and want to shrink from God, but we realize what is happening (our poverty in spirit - Matt.5) and open a Bible, start reading, and rediscover the joy. We may listen to the world, and become jaded and disillusioned, and lose the sensation of His love invading our life -- everything becomes just "stuff" -- but then we come to worship with the brothers and sisters, and we enter in, halfhearted at first, but the joy takes over.
It works all sorts of ways.
My very first sentence was really a complete "answer", but as it plays out in life, worship intertwines with every aspect of what we do, so the answer could go on forever.
Kelvin, can I recommend a book to you - it's 'Here I Am to Worship' by Tim Hughes - this is a book for worship leaders, those involved in Worship and also could be of interest to those being led. I found it very useful and I would recommend all worship leaders try and get their hands on a copy. Not a big book, but has been a big help to me. One comment that stuck with me is 'Worship without witness is self-defeating and witness without worship is self-indulgent'
Yes there is a definite connection! Our level of relationship with the Lord will affect our worship of Him. A shallow relationship with Him will produce a shallow and superficial worship of Him. Being in relationship with the Lord means we are constantly looking closely at ourselves, knowing that He sees everything we do. God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere, so we are always in His abiding presence. However there is His manifest presence that we encounter when we worship at His feet, whether corporately or privately. When we have not worshiped in private, we are probably not really worshiping in public either, but that points back to relationship. Speaking of being discrete, not necessarily, however, when we have spent time worshiping God on a regular basis, then we won't be discrete at all because our relationship with the Lord, which will flow to other people, will be evident.
Unfortunately, I find myself disagreeing with the stance that we are always in His presence; we are not by default in relationship with our Lord. God IS everywhere there is light, because He is the light. But there is darkness too and we sometimes we walk away from God. Take the example of Chirst on the cross where sin made God, in my words "look away" from His son. There too lays the thought we can walk away from God, not that He walks away from us.
We may have a relationship that on the surface is tangable and feels right but underneath we don't trust Him entirely. We doubt then we forget, then we fail, then we walk away. It's only we we walk towards Him and even in our failure we trust Him and His Grace for us that we overcome our failures. Thats when we are in relationship with Him, when we surrender our egos to Him.
I have seen so many in the churches, people play church and believe that they are in relationship, but stumble and look away and not to God. Stumbling is not failure here, we will always stumble, but its the free will He has given us to decide to look away and doubt His Love for us or to look towards the only one who can uplift and forgive us.
To answer your question, yes , one can lead to another, but we are responsible to allow it and follow it up or not.
In our freedom we unfortunately abuse Jesus' statements such as "I will never leave you or forsake you." We blithely go our way, not asking "where can I possibly flee from your Spirit?" Even the picture we make of God turning His face from Jesus on the cross, is only a theological construct designed to help us somehow rationalize Jesus' statement that He must die before resurrection with John's initial declaration, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."
A person taking too literally the last passage might conclude that through Jesus' death there is no more sin in the world (there are sects which conclude this). I doubt Simon Peter would agree, walking towards Jesus on top of the water, having taken his eyes off the Lord for a moment and letting fear almost drown him! John writes, to paraphrase, "Wow. You say you have relationship with God, and therefore have stopped sinning. Big... fat... liar."
We will picture truth from different sides, depending on which side needs to be developed. If we are puffed up, it's good to hear, "We're here in God's presence! Look at this bunch of nasty sinners saved by grace." If we are stifled by neurotic fear, we could use to hear, "Hey! Chin up! You're a King's Kid!"
Your statement of principle, ...underneath we don't trust Him entirely. We doubt then we forget, then we fail, then we walk away" is very strong and a concise way of thinking about it.
I'm still mulling over your initial statement. It seems to say that being in relationship with God is what defines being in His presence. I'd say "objectively" we are always in His presence, in that He never lets us out of His sights; but "subjectively" we try to step out of His light (cockroach mentality) because we're reluctant to simply confess our sin and return to His light. So it kind of depends on which side, ours or God's, we're looking at it from.
Greg, I like the way you put things, and it helps me to stumble through my lack or gaps of knowledge. It nice to be called a King’s Kid, it’s a nice feeling but that’s all it is a feeling. Feelings are neither good nor bad, they just are.
I believe that you need to be in a relationship with God before you go into His presence. Even the high priests of old needed to do that in their way. Ok, what I mean is that they needed to get things right not go into the presence of God in the Holy of Holies with a bad attitude or in arrogance or they died. We need to do the same, not go into His presence without getting our attitudes and arrogance sorted. Respect and reverence to whom we are presenting ourselves is vital. A relationship places in a “right mind or right spirit” so to speak, to honour Him.
Anyone can bowl up into God’s presence even satan did that, when talking about what he could do to Job. But, even he asked first before he started to do his mischief. Don’t forget that satan is NOT in relationship with God and he will get his reward for his attitude. We will get our reward for our relationship with God, not for how many times we come before Him.
Just because we turn up for church and do our thing, saying we want to be in God’s presence and think that’s all we have to do is wrong.
We need God more than He needs us, but He wants us more than we want Him!!