Went to small group the other day and shared about “being with people who like being with God”. By that I meant getting around people, like the writer of Psalm 84 or the guys from Bill Johnson’s Bethel church, through what they wrote. I shared some of my notes from a recent conference that related to the presence of God:
- Josh Stevens said:
- Their passion has always been his presence. Healing just happened.
- If I don’t see another miracle would still be the happiest person on earth
- The key to break through is knowing he loves you unconditionally.
- God wants to be with you all the time.
- I know the Holy Spirit. I spend time with him and he comes with me.
- They went to Haiti with doctors to see the kingdom come. Most professional people there didn’t really get what Josh et al where there for. There was a baby with burns all over its body. Doctors where changing its nappy and it was screaming in pain. I think Josh was on his way to the loo when he felt the Spirit go towards the baby. So Josh went towards the baby. They baby stopped crying. When he was near the baby was quiet. When he moved away it cried. Miracles of overflow.
- me – Jesus wants to be pursued, called out to, invited in,…
- Sometimes when God’s presence comes on you it’s not do something. It’s just because he wants to be with you.
- Joaquim Evans said:
- Christianity is not about God it’s being with God.
- It’s about hosting his presence and letting him be good.
- It’s not about our performance. How much I have prayed or how many people I have healed recently. It’s just about him and his presence. Our attitude should be “God you are so good you will do it anyway”.
- Put your attention on God “wow, papa!”
- If you want to see an increase in miracles get used to declaring “he is good“
I was going to talk about a guy someone introduced me to after I preached on psalm 84 called Brother Lawrence. He was a 17th century monk and there is a book about him with some of his writings in called “Practicing the presence of God”. Some speak of particular special experiences of God’s overwhelming love but this guys seems to enjoy it all the time. His secret is just remembering that God is present. I began to discover this a few months ago so it was really encouraging to read it’s nothing new.
I also shared a bit about the theme that runs through the bible of God’s presence.
- The bible starts with God walking with Adam in the Garden.
- He says “I will be with you”
- to Isaac, Gen 26:3
- to Jacob Gen 31:3
- to Moses Ex 3:12
- to Joshua (+ I will never leave you or forsake you) Joshua 1:5
- to Gideon Judges 6:16
- to Jeroboam 1 King’s 11:38
- Isaiah prophesies it in Isaiah 43:2
- Jesus fulfils it for the few “Immanuel God with us”
- and promises it for the future “two or three are gathered….there I am”, John 13:33, God promises it to us Heb 15:5
- The Holy Spirit is poured to bring God’s presences to the millions.
- The climax of the bible, the endgame, the goal, the glory is described by John:
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. Rev 21:3 (ESV)
A friend also pointed me to Phil Moore’s comments on this passage of Revelation:
“The number one calling of any church is to experience the presence of God and let others experience it through them.”.