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
The question asked in both Psalms 15 & Psalms 24 regarding the Presence of God is one that needs to be asked today. Who can enter the presence of God? How can we enter the presence of God? Are we relegated to momentary flashes of His glory or can we establish permanent residence in His presence? If we can, I want that!
There is a Jewish ritual that helps bring understanding. In David’s day, the priest had to be cleansed by blood at the brazen altar and by water at the laver, before he could enter the Holy Place. The blood was for cleansing of the guilt of sin and the water for service. If he was cleansed without and within, he could enter the Holy Place for a veiled encounter with God.
In Hebrews 10:22 we read, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” That speaks of today! What they were expressing in that ritual was “Grace at work.” Ephesians 2:8-9 informs us, “For by grace are you saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
God’s Grace sought us, bought us, and has brought us into His presence at the Cross. It did that for us while we were still in our sins, defiant, degenerate, and defiled. 1 Timothy 1:14 declares, “And the grace of our LORD was exceedingly abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” Then in verse 16, we discover Paul’s revelation of his own experience and God’s incredible grace.
Saul of Tarsus before he became the apostle Paul was a religious zealot bent on destroying this new wave he considered hypocrisy and heresy. But God’s Grace transformed him, and he became a brand-new man, totally transformed. When grace comes and we receive it we are candidates for a supernatural encounter with God that is transformational. It is at that point we are ready to ascend into His presence. The fact that we do not remain there is explained in attitude, not His purpose.
Back to the question, “Who Can Ascend into God’s Presence?” I suggest that we could rightly say, he who has applied God’s means of Grace and met God at the altar and laver receiving His Pardon and His Grace. I am Hungry! I am Thirsty! I want more than momentary flashes of God’s Grace, Person, Power, and Presence!
Psalm 42:1-2 is the cry of my heart, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” NASB Matthew 5:6 reminds us, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
When we cry out for God and desire Him more than life, He responds. When we have that longing that can only be filled by God, He responds. Many have ascended, momentarily, into His presence only to move back into the valley of despair and emptiness. In that encounter with God, when we truly came into His presence it touched something in us that can only be satisfied with more of Him. We never forget that encounter and long for it. The only question is will we commit ourselves to and believe that He wants to elevate us into His presence continually?
The spiritual life should not be a roller coaster ride. If this cycle of up and then down is all we can have, it is a miserable life. I believe it is God’s desire to bring us into His presence and let us abide there. I believe that He wants an abiding intimate relationship with us. He wants to give us the Kingdom. He wants to walk and talk with us, as He did with Adam in the garden. He wants us to enjoy His presence as did Enoch. He wants to communicate with us daily, as He did with Moses. I believe He wants to abide with us, as He did with Abraham.
There are over 160 times, in the Bible, that the declaration appears that we are “in Christ.” Not simply touched by Him, stood before Him, seen Him, experienced Him, or encountered Him but we are IN HIM! In 1 Corinthians 6:16, we find the quotation, “I will dwell in them and walk in them…” God wants to be more than our Savior, Healer, Baptizer, Deliverer, and Provider. He wants to have continuous fellowship with us. He wants to dwell among us, walk among us, and commune with us.
I am not satisfied with occasional glimpses of His glory, I want permanent residence there. I don’t want memories but a current reality. I don’t want to testify of God has done something in my life, I want Him to be doing something all the time. We cannot be content to have ascended and then descended back into the valley, we need to go beyond that and learn to Abide! “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?” Let it be me!
God bless you as you press into His presence and abide in Him and His words abide in you. Have a fantastic day!