In the past few weeks just prior to Pentecost Sunday and in the partial week since it seems as though I’ve been thinking, talking, writing, reading blogs, articles and “tweets” about, watching video’s, and listening to other people talk…
all about the same thing!
It’s just like Bill says in this video, between bites of lunch…It’s a move of the Spirit, a fresh presence of Jesus one can only describe as an “encounter”. Jesus is showing up in miraculous ways and reaching out to His Church, to the people who are truly seeking Him and who are dependent upon His Holy Spirit to empower them for His mission works which are to begin within the church first and move out from there. Some are being healed, others delivered from crippling emotional wounds, still others from stagnant and prideful religiosity, The mission is the same, it’s a great co-mission between Gods Holy Spirit, Jesus and through us to deliver the captives! The miracle is that none of the weapons formed against Gods children can prosper in His Holy presence which is being poured out, He causes the lame to walk and the blind to see! The manifestation is His Glorious light and His presence that we carry with us into this dark, and dead world!
It’s said that fear is the beginning of wisdom, in that verse to fear means to be in awe of who God is. We’re taught that no sin can come into the presence of a Holy God and I believe that’s true but why? After all, Satan is the father of lies but didn’t Satan come before God to talk to Him about Job? Could it be that our misunderstanding of this is whats keeping us from experiencing a life changing fullness of His presence? When we finally come to a place where we know what we are and seek to repent be forgiven, are we still afraid to come into His presence because of our attention wrongly being placed on the sin’s of our past and those we’re yet to commit, on OUR profound unworthiness instead of His agape love? What if the reason no sin can be in Gods presence is simply because of how much it breaks His heart? Some don’t believe God has feelings and that the descriptions of such in His word are allegorical and simply for the benefit of our understanding but I don’t agree! All of us love our children, can you imagine having them paraded before you in any condition other than being in perfect health and how that would affect you?
I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ!
I think some people’s perception of God and the idea of being in His presence are scary thoughts because they imagine the experience being something similar to that of Dorthy in The Wizard Of Oz!
Surely at some point in your life you’ve encountered a stray dog who’s been severely mistreated by people. Even though it may be starving and you’re holding out food to give to it, it will approach you with fear and almost against it’s own will,with it’s head down ready to run at the first sign of your displeasure. Sadly, because of their life experiences that’s how many people feel about love and so consequently they also feel that way about approaching God who actually IS love!
I want a visitation, a personal encounter with Jesus! Like the Israelites I want to pass over the Jordan into the presence of His blessing and rest. Joshua Made two piles of stones that day to mark the significance of what had happened, the first one on the bank from smooth river rocks that were taken out of the Jordan and another in the middle of the river where the ark stood as the entire nation walked past. I believe the stones he used to make the second pile were gathered from the land and were in a much rougher sharper condition than the smooth ones he first used, their roughness symbolizing our present sinful condition. The smoothness of first stones was the result of the influence of the water, placing them in the river represents the Holy Spirit’s work on our hearts of stone and just as it was with the Israelites who did cross over into Canaan it took an act of faith to make the waters part and repentance or the circumcision of their hearts to enter in! Through my experiencing the presence of Jesus and His wondrous love, I too must leave my own sin or “Egypt” behind before I can cross over into and all He has waiting on the other side for me!
15 replies on “In His Presence!”
Great post Jeff. Love Bill … he’s REAL. How about when he finishes praying … back to eating!! Reminds me of Jesus when He raised the young girl back to life – “give her something to eat” He says.
When I first saw that video I new I had to share it! Yes, he is the real “McCoy” with the real message for Gods Church that I think needs to be heard!
Awesome piece! Yes, you are right in the similarities of stories coming about since Pentacost Sunday. I have seen a greater outpouring of His holy spirit, just like spoken of in Joel. For me, God showed up in a visit from a friend where in turn He used her to do a deep ministry of heart “surgery” for many past and some recent wounds. I’ve had similar encounters before, but this was the most profound. After this intense time of ministry the JOY of the Lord flooded both of our hearts in a way I’ve never been touched before. As the wickedness of the world seems to increase, we will truly need His Presence in fresh supply to encounter and surivive the daily battles.
In the presence of His love we are more than conquerers! I pray that as His church we’ll stand on His promises and live in victory! Thanks for stopping by and reading Coleen!
Good message, Jeff. Very insightful. – Pastor Luis Yosefus, Real Jesus Ministries, http://www.RealJesus.net
Thanks for stopping by and reading Brother Luis!
Hey Jeff – another great post. In my own life, I can directly relate to the piece you wrote about being delivered from ‘stagnant and prideful religiosity”… that was me. What happened to me was that I got so caught up in serving and ‘doing’ that the awe, freshness and living love relationship with Jesus took second place… not a good place to be… religiosity and pride slowly creep in. But, thanks be to God, His great love for me began to work in my heart and became like a consuming fire. Now, I am more in love with Jesus than ever before… blessings my friend!
Thank you very much Brian for your comment! I pray that you’ll continue to grow closer to our Lord, and that you’ll continue to let His light shine through you! There’s no greater blessing!
Hey i been here reading your blogs and posts. I would like you to join and prehaps share on my group http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_113157055442016#!/home.php?sk=group_113157055442016
Thanks for sharing your heart here Jeff. I think the hard thing for me to watch Christians do though, is to always place themselves into this position of wanting a visitation and personal encounter with God or Jesus. Isn’t that what salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is all about? Shouldn’t every day I wake up after that, also be that same personal encounter? I can’t think of how it gets any more personal. Christ gave up His inner most substance so that the Living Spirit of God could dwell inside of us. Jesus longed for us to become One with Him and the Father(John 17:11). But I don’t see Christians focusing on His daily existing presence that fully abides(1 John 2:27). It almost seems as though we value this far away position from God because it is more humble, despite that it completely disagrees with where the Word says we are in relation to God. Christians do this because their hearts condemn them for the sin they have engaged in and they can’t bring themselves to face God dwelling in them. But my bible says that God is greater than my heart(1 John 3:20) and that there is no condemnation for those who are saved(Romans 8:1). So, why continue the pattern then? I wonder if the Holy Spirit is grieved as we carry Him around inside of us verbally expressing to Him and one another, how we long to have an encounter with Him? His presence becomes more real by acknowledging that presence even if we don’t feel like He is there, or sense Him being close. Coming into agreement that He is not there and then seeking Him only perpetuates distance. How are Christians supposed to be fountains of living water, never thirsting, if we are always thirsting for Him to come around and recognizing a lack that is really not there? Despite our seeking, the word says faithfully and assuredly He is still right there all the while in all of His fullness just waiting for us to accept that it is forevermore so. What we are doing is recognizing our experience and senses over what the Word really says is reality. We walk by faith and not by sight(or our senses). The more I recognize and accept Him being there, praise Him for being there, think about Him being there, and think about my closeness with Him…no matter what I feel or how much I have sinned, the more real and close He gets, and the more I walk in the fullness of His presence. Be blessed, Michael.
Michael, I do agree that we are continually in the presence of our Lord Jesus,no question about that! However I also realize that not everyone who reads my blogs understands that which is why I spent as much time dealing with the “why that’s sometimes not the case” aspect of it which is partly as you say, the fear surrounding their sin and the focus on IT instead of Gods grace. One thing I won’t do is assume that Christians live in an ideal spiritual environment where as you suggested,
“Shouldn’t every day I wake up after that, also be that same personal encounter?
Yes it “should” but that’s just not how it always is in real life! Christians live earthly lives that and their minds are occupied with earthly things. There are times when even the most devoted Christians can require a renewed or “revived” experience of the Holy Spirit’s presence!
I have a rule I follow very closely as far as Christian apologetics is concerned and it is this…
If I can’t explain something to my 10yr old daughter in a simple enough way for her to understand it I have to wonder about it’s source. Our Heavenly Father is not the author of confusion and this whole concept you’ve brought up seems like something that has the potential to do just that with many Christians. What sort of message are we sending people here? Be saved! but if you can’t keep a perfect relationship with Jesus you need to feel guilty for it and just pretend that you do? I taught my daughter that we are always in His presence but sometimes we will mess up forget it, that’s why we ask for forgiveness and ask Him to restore in us a clean heart before Him. I very much appreciate you comment and would like to continue this conversation in more detail later but I have to go now and pick up my daughter!
remain blessed my brother!
Hey Jeff, No need to post my comments, I can’t find your email and don’t need to continue our conversation over the blog, unless you find it helpful for your readers.
The simplist way I can sum up what I am saying is this:
Although it is great to understand “why that’s sometimes not the case” and why “that’s just not how it always is in real life!”, it is not truth nor beneficial to explain to immature Christians that their reality just does not match up with what the word says sometimes. That does not exalt the name of the Lord nor His words of truth. That is walking by sight and not by faith.
How you overcome those times of “it not being the case, and not how it always it is in real life” is to walk forward during those times, professing and confessing the truth of the word, that my reality despite what I see or perceive, is what the word says it is, not what I sense or experience. That is walking in and by faith and not by sight. This is how immature believing Christians become mature. The more we confess and profess that our reality is what the word says it is, the closer our experience and reality match up with that truth in the word. If I feel far away from God, accepting and recognizing that I am indeed far away and I have to figure out how to get closer to Him, is not going to get me closer.
Confessing and professing Colossians 2:9-10, and 1 John 2:20,27 and that He will never leave me nor forsake me and that nothing can seperate me from Him is how we as Christians renew our mind to know that we are never separate from Him, no matter how far we feel or think we are. We won’t get closer by any other means. Using language like Wanting a visitation and personal encounter with Jesus, does not help people to walk in the presence of God. Helping them understand that confessing and professing the word of truth concerning their position to Christ, despite what seems real to them, helps people to walk by faith and experience that presence on a greater scale. My 4 year old is grasping this and understands it. Why? because he has not been indoctrinated with the present traditions of “Christian” man to accept experience and feeling over the truth of the word. Walking by faith is saying the truth of the word is more real than what I seem to think, sense, or feel right now.
Confessing and professing that I am close to God, He lives in me, I cannot be separated from Him in any capacity, He abides, I am one with Him…..until my mind is renewed to accept that truth no matter what the present circumstances tell me, is the process of how we mature into the experience of feeling His presence actively moment by moment. This exalts the truth of the word and the work of Christ and is pro-actively exercising faith as commanded in the word.
I hope this clears any confusion up?
I’ve thought a great deal about what you’ve said both here and on your original blog post entitled
“Is Christian Revival rebellious and manipulative?”
and upon reflection I couldn’t help but wonder about the Israelites who turned their back on God so many times only to be restored when they returned to Him.
My point is that Christians today are no different, we fail God, we turn from Him and even walk away, we put things in His place in our lives, basically we commit sin! I certainly know that I do anyway…Being reconciled to Him through our repentance and His forgiveness we can receive a fresh presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives! I don’t really see what the problem is with that, your point seems to be that we should never be in the position of needing to experience revival or renewal and I do agree that we shouldn’t but isn’t it wonderful that we CAN repent (which means to turn) and come back into Gods presence with a clean heart?
That’s really all I’m trying to say
Hey Jeff, I applaud your willingness to dialog and search to find the truth about these matters. I exhort your willingness and desire to truly know the truth of God. It is my goal to exhort Christians beyond what you describe to a higher calling. Yes we fail, yes we choose do things according to the flesh, and Yes, Thank God! He does not count that against us. But the NT calls us beyond that. Christians have been concluding and therefore accepting our position as what you describe, sinners who can’t stop failing and will never make it in this life, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:t(Ephesians 4:13). Christians have been purporting this fallacy for the last 100 years and where has it gotten us? More lukewarm, more settled in that we cannot walk in holiness, more accepting not to try, more settled with being a sinner rather than being a saint. Christ and God and the disciples are very clear in the NT, we are expected to walk in holiness and come into the fullness of the stature Christ. 1 John 3, we are Expected to stop sinning completely and walk fully in the Spirit. Just because no one we have ever known has done that, does not mean it is not possible, all things are possible for those who are in Christ Jesus. It is not ok to just conclude that we fail and God is there to come back to. That is not expectational in any capacity. We are responsible for what we teach people and how we lead them. The Abide Project exhorts people to the end goal and gives them practical ways to accomplish it. Praise Jesus forever! that we can become Christ-like accomplish His purposes. Amen? Lets tell people that, lets encourage people to get to that level. The point of my Revival blog is that Christians won’t get to the level I am speaking about, by pursing revival the way they do. Something must change.
I exhort you to call people to a higher calling, a higher achievement in Christ, a place where God desires them to be.
I appreciate what you’ve said here, it’s time for me to “get closer”, in Christ,
John 17:21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
17:22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.