Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The luxury of His Presence, can you live without it?

Today I have something on my heart I want to share and talk about. Since coming to a revelation of grace, and beginning to fully understand all the benefits, luxuries and blessings that Cross of Christ provides, I have only hungered for God more and more. Over the past year, I have sought and studied to know Him more. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to experience tangibly the Presence of God. Many of the preaching and teachings I have been enjoying have impressed a deep hunger for me to understand what it means to be in God's Presence. I can't tell you how many times Rob Rufus would mention in a sermon that he experiences God's presence tangibly every day, not to boast, but to impress the importance of it. I remember him once sharing how he realized that others he knew were not experiencing God's Presence tangibly and he said, "You mean you don't have that every day, I would be so depressed if I went one day without Him coming and touching my life in a tangible way." This really made an impact on me, and I desperately wanted to know what he truly meant. I have never known you could experience God's presence like he described. So I began to press in, and ask the Lord to come and show me His presence. I became obsessed with having God be real to me. And he did not disappoint me. It is the tangible presence of God that is revealed intimately, personally and indeed corporately, the personal and relational presence of God that was lacking in my life all these years.  Several things have happened to me since first experiencing His tangible presence, times under power of the Holy Spirit that have been so refreshing and created more hunger in me. I never knew what it was like to be in the Presence of God until now. I always used to hear people say how the curtain was torn in two at the cross, the temple curtain was ripped from top to bottom and we no longer need to go before a priest and offer sacrifices. We could enter into the Holy of Holies and approach the throne room of grace boldly at any time. But this never fully impacted me or meant much to me. They were just mere words. No one could prove to me why this was so profound. I already knew of God's omnipresence and that there was no where I could go and He would not be there.(which don't get me wrong, that's amazing!)  Now, I am learning why it is so profound that I can be in the Presence of the Lord. It's not just head knowledge, it's not just in the Bible so I can read it and believe it, it should come alive through revelation and experience!  I was never satisfied, nor was I living fully in a benefit of the cross, a privilege of God's grace to me, because of Jesus wonderful sacrifice. Jesus was forsaken by the Father, which is no small thing, so we too can be in fellowship with Him as Jesus is!! And God is kind enough to show us His realness in tangible ways. But we have to know what we are missing first, if we don't know what we are missing, will we ever long for it?
Once the Spirit touches you tangibly, God's spirit, His presence comes upon you, I don't think you will ever be the same. Having an awesome God, Father and friend, who wants a relationship with you. He doesn't just give his Word, He gives the living Word. 

In the garden of Gethsemane, pressure started to come upon Jesus on his physical being. He began to feel an increase of pressure because He was starting to be pressed out of the Father's Presence. Remember Jesus always walked with the Father, as a man, He only did what He saw the Father doing. So he spent his whole life as a man in communion and fellowship with the Father, in His very Presence. When the Father turned his face away from Jesus on the cross, it was more painful for Jesus than all the beatings and lashings, that is why He cried out, "My God, my God why have you forsaken me." At this moment he became sin for us, and the Father couldn't partner His Presence with sin, which is why Jesus cried out "My God" instead of my Father. He, in that moment, was not able to be in right communion and full fellowship with God, because He had BECOME sin for us. This is amazing to me! 
I just want to live always aware of God, hungry for more of Him and pressing in to be with Him. (and by this I don't mean striving.) The past couple of days however, I have grown weary in my flesh. It has been a very active week and I just pooped out! In my heart of hearts I wanted to be full of joy and hunger, but I honestly just didn't even think or feel like asking God to meet me. It's sad, but true! My faith for God to breakthrough my emotions and weariness was not even there.  For some time now I have been experiencing God in a real way daily. So when I hit this exhaustion you can imagine how almost empty I felt. I know I have only begun to understand what it really means to be in such an intimate close relationship with God, but those 2 days I felt lonely. (Now I really know what Rob meant!) So, today I took some time to just be with Him and already I feel so refreshed, I still feel a bit tired physically, but I have a greater sense of peace! Thank God that we can draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. It's funny, I started to write this yesterday and couldn't finish, and today I listened to a Rob Rufus message from last Sunday and he talked all about the Presence of God in our lives, AGAIN!! I have to say, I am grateful he brings it up over and over, he is the man who encouraged me to press in, to live in my rich inheritance and accept this awesome luxury of spending time in His Presence!!!


andrew said...

I love your blog Lydia!! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us on line.

I have one quick question for you in relation to this post. What do you perceive to be the difference between pursuing a supernatural "experience" and pursuing God himself? (if there is a difference?) I suppose it comes down to how we define his "Presence"...or maybe even more specifically his "Manifest Presence".

lydia said...

Thanks so much Andrew!
That is no quick question, that is an excellent question! Since God is a supernatural being I don't think there is a difference, but I think I know what you mean. For me, before I had a revelation of pure grace, I pursued God very differently because my mindset was different then. Before grace, I had a lot of wrong mentalities and I didn't know God's love for me and acceptance for me because I was under so much legalistic condemnation driven teaching. Once that began to lift and revelation came to me of my perfect righteousn status and who I am in Christ, I began to have encounters with God that were more personal and tangible. So, I think first our pursuance of God can only go deeper by the amount of ongoing revelation we have in the full truth of the Gospel and hearing Christ preached. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ, and as we continually renew our minds with all the wonderful aspects of the glorious gospel, our minds will be transformed supernaturally. I can't tell you a method or formula and I have only just begun to know God in a more supernatural way so I am no expert other than my own personal experience. Hope this helps a little at least. Feel free to keep asking questions. Also, I highly recommend Bill Johnson's book, "The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind." I think you will find this book to go deeper with answering your question. I have it linked in books I highly recommend on the side.
Much much grace and peace to you and your family today!!!

andrew said...

Thanks Lydia. Yes I have read "The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind" and I agree it is an amazing book.