Have you ever experienced the atmosphere in a room change? Maybe someone was in a bad mood. The color of the air seemed to change as their emotions filled the space. The opposite can also happen when someone with gladness and joy releases peace. One human can change the mood in a room for better or for worse.
If people can change the climate in a room – how much more can God?
One thing I will always seek after in ministry is God’s presence. When He is present, anything can happen. It’s like the words to the song, “When You walk into the room, everything changes.” Healing, deliverance, restoration, and great joy abound when He is present.
But isn’t God everywhere? Yes, God is omnipresent. However, His tangible presence is referred to in scripture as His Kabowd….or in more familiar terms, His Glory. The Glory of God is defined as His heavy, weighty, presence. It’s what Moses requested when he prayed, “Show me your Glory” in Exodus 33:18.
God answered Moses’ prayer in a distinct way. He will do the same for us as we seek and pray for the manifestation of His Glory to be in our lives, ministries, etc.
Is it important for us to make a request like Moses? Certainly, God can crash in, even in His glory, without being asked. But most of the time, from my experience, God is more present when His presence is INVITED.
We live in a condo. Many of the condos around us are occupied with college students. Occasionally, someone will walk into ours on accident. It doesn’t happen very often, but it has happened on occasion. More often though, the only people who come into our condo have been invited in.
Invitations are powerful. They give access.
When we invite God’s presence ….His RSVP is affirmative.
We can take a couple of approaches when it comes to inviting God’s presence into our day, life, or gathering.
We can focus on doing our own thing and leave it all up to God whether He shows up or not. I’ve heard people say this about receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They will say, “If God wants me to pray in tongues, He will grab ahold of my mouth and make me.”
Some have the perception this is what happened at Pentecost…that God just showed up & made everyone speak in tongues. They were not asking specifically for the gift of tongues, but they were expecting an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Jesus had told them to wait for the gift that had been promised.
They were ACTIVE in their seeking and waiting.
I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with the logic that “God will make me…” In fact, it completely removes responsibility off of the individual and puts it solely onto God. I disagree, because I believe God allows us to participate in invitation.
While preparing and planning (for whatever) we can say: “I’m not going to seek an experience…I’m only going to focus on my agenda…if God wants to interrupt me, that’s up to Him.”
Ok – fine, but don’t expect much of an encounter with God if you’re not asking for one.
A second approach is to invite God into our midst. Moses ASKED and God responded.
Jesus already made the first move. He came as a man, and sacrificed His life in a brutal death so we could gain access to HIM. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve forgotten the veil in the temple was torn. That means we can boldly go into His throne room. He is personal. God is not some distant being up in space. He is as near as our air. He has form, substance and personality. He has feelings and thoughts. He’s a real person who has invited us to intimately know Him.
I remember being taught that the “touchy feely” part of Christianity was just for new believers. I was taught that there was a honeymoon stage in the beginning, and after that we “mature” into walking by faith and not by our feelings. Now I understand that is mostly a lie to move us into a religious system. Jesus paid a great price to bridge the gap between us and Him. The truth is IT IS FINISHED. If we must “walk solely by faith and not our feelings” then perhaps we have missed the whole point. The point being, the finished work of the cross.
Meditating on the finished work brings up a lot of feelings for me. Feelings of deep gratitude, humility, and a desire to pour out my entire life for Him. Feelings of desiring more intimacy with this beautiful Savior, and wanting Him to receive the glory due His name. Feelings are not all bad. Jesus created us to feel stuff because He also has feelings.
Feeling HIS presence is one of the best ways to experience Him.
Revelation of the access Jesus has given us to HIM is really all we need. Confidence knowing He will give an affirmative answer to our invitation, makes asking that much more simple.
It sounds like this:
- Holy Spirit, come.
- God, come.
- Show us Your glory.
- Lord, fill our (home, office, place of work, church) with Your tangible presence.
- Jesus, we love You, we welcome You here.
It really is that simple. God loves us. He’s looking for resting places in people… individuals and families who are simply humble and open to allowing His presence to rest in them.
How about you? Will you allow His presence to invade your spirit, soul, and mind today? Will you be His resting place?
It’s as simple as asking.