Text: Psalm 15 & Psalm 24
There is something perplexing regarding the walk that most Christians seem to have with God. We seem to move from mountaintop to valley. Our lives are often roller coasters and there is the continual back and forth from the mountain to the valley. We have momentary flashes of God’s Glory which lifts us into His presence and then we fall back into our valleys until we again receive another burst from God’s Glory.
I am perplexed because that pattern does not seem to fit the pattern of Jesus or His disciples. If David, with all his mistakes and sins, could find an abiding and continuing experience in God, why can’t we? We, New Testament Christians, who have a Better Covenant established on Better Promises and the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We, who have unlimited grace, and the fullness of two covenants. Should we not have the abiding manifest Presence of God in our lives?
Is it possible to break the erratic crisis-oriented approach to God’s Presence that many seem to have and learn to abide in Him continually? I think of the words of Jesus in John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…” If that place of the presence of God were not possible, He would never have uttered those words. Also, I recall His response to the disciple’s request for Him to teach them to pray in Matthew 6 where part of the prayer included the request for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. That speaks volumes to my heart about what is possible in Him.
It is possible for us to have the spiritual breakthrough that elevates us into an attitude of Praise and Worship rather than petition and work? Is it possible to have Permanent Residence in His Presence? That is my question and my quest. I want more, no I want all of God I can receive, in this life. This life is where my commission is carried out. I know I will have that in heaven, but I am living and working in the here and now and I want God’s Presence now!
I am Hungry! I am Thirsty! I am tired of living for momentary flashes of God’s Glory and Presence. I want more! If I have ever moved into His Presence, even momentary, and I have, I want to move there to make that my habitation and reside in His Presence. I want the atmosphere of Heaven to permeate my life and I want to learn to develop the culture of the Kingdom in this life. I want more of Him! John said, “He must increase but I must decrease.” I want to decrease so that He can increase in me and live in the Fullness of His Presence, Person, and Power.
That brings us to the two parallel passages found in Psalms 15 & Psalms 24. There is a clear contrast in these two Psalms, yet both ask essentially the same question. “What does a man have to do to enter the presence of God?” That is a vital question for each of us who want more of Him in our lives.
In Psalms 24:3 we read, “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place?” In Psalms 15:1 we find, “O LORD, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?”
Notice that one Psalm speaks of “Ascending” into God’s Presence and the other speaks of “Abiding” in His Presence. One desires to ‘stand’ in God’s Presence for a moment and the other wants to ‘live’ there. I want the latter, I want to ABIDE in His Presence.
Our Christians history is filled with examples of incredible spiritual awakenings and outpourings of His Spirit and the manifestation of His Presence. At Pentecost in Acts, we find the first massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon people. At the turn of the century there was an outpouring in Greenville, SC led by a Baptist minister, Robert R. Singleton in 1905. In 1900 there was an outpouring at Bethel College in Topeka, Kansas led by Reverend Charles Parham and Agnes Ozman. We have reports of spiritual explosions led by Hugh Cadwalder, W.J. Seymour, Elder C.H. Mason, G.B Cashwell, and E.M. Bell.
In those moves of God, there were Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc. They and their churches and communities were touched by an outpouring of God’s Presence that thousands were won into the kingdom, lives were changed, people healed, delivered, and set free. These people met God and would never be the same. They were never again satisfied with ‘business as usual’ Christianity but wanted God’s Continuing Presence in their lives, home, cities, and churches.
We have seen it in history, but can we have it in our lives? I have a conviction that you may or may not share and I will address it but will pause here and say, “Go with God and He will go with you.”
Have a Great Day in Jesus!