1 John 4:16 – “And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” NASB
I have discovered something perplexing about the Christian walk many seem to have with God. Many of us, seem to move from mountaintop to long and lonely valleys frequently. We have momentary flashes of God’s Glory in which we are elevated into His presence, then we fall back into our valleys until the next burst of His glory.
That pattern does not seem to fit the pattern of Jesus or His disciples in the New Testament. If David, with all his mistakes, sins, shortcomings, and problems could attain the abiding presence of God, why can’t we? We have a better covenant established upon better promises, so why do we fall prey to this predicament? We have the fullness of the Holy Spirit, Unlimited Grace, and the fullness of God’s two covenants. So why do we suffer this plight?
Another question in my mind is, “Is it possible to break this erratic crisis-oriented approach to God’s presence and learn to Abide Continually in Him?” Can we make that kind of spiritual turnaround and have, as the norm of our lives, Praise and Presence rather than Petition and Work?
I don’t know about you, but I am Hungry! I am Thirsty and tired of living for momentary flashes of God’s Glory and Presence and desire to have Permanent Residence in His Presence. I want His Kingdom to Come, the atmosphere of heaven to be present, and learn to live in a culture that is His Kingdom and His Purpose. I want more! If anyone in human history has moved and operated and lived in His presence, I want to!
With that thought in mind, I am reminded of two parallel verses in the Psalms. One is in Psalms 15 and the other in Psalms 24. There is a distinct and clear contrast, yet both Psalms asks essentially the same question, “What does a man have to do to enter the presence of God.” That is a question worthy of asking and one for which I want an answer.
Psalm 24:3 – “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His Holy place?”
Psalm 15:1 – “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy Holy hill?”
One speaks of ascending into God’s presence and the other of abiding in His presence. One desires to stand in God’s presence even if momentarily and the other wants to live there! I want the latter while enjoying the former. I have tasted God’s Glory in my life.
Mankind has as is recorded in various outpourings of His Spirit in spiritual awakenings in human history. On the Day of Pentecost in Acts, we find the first wide-scale outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon mankind. We have recordings of people in many different denominations having an incredible spiritual awakening and the presence of God. Men and women met God and would never be the same again.
We cannot box it, package it, or bottle it we must receive it personally. The Psalmists see the problem and express it with the cry of their souls. They desire to come into the presence of God and ask, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD?” The answer was: “He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:4). Actions, attitudes, motives, and inward cleansing are part of the process.
I have only scratched the surface but will pause here and pick this up again next time or in another devotional. Until then, let us all pursue His Presence as a place of Permanent Residence.
God bless you as you seek Him with a whole heart!