Posts Tagged ‘Presence of God’

The Sound of Pain

When cries of the human heart meet the compassion of Our Life-Giving God… wonderful things happen!

In Webuye, Kenya; a young woman came up at the end of the meetings for prayer.  She shared with Ron that she had 3 children, but 2 had died previously and just recently she buried the 3rd child.  As Ron began to lay hands on her and pray for her she went down under the power of the Holy Spirit and all the women gathered around her and prayed for her, soaking her in the Father’s love while she was on the ground.

Pastor Chris Delosa began as pastor in one of the new churches in Webuye where our meetings were being held. During one of the sessions the leaders took a love offering to bless him.While he was experiencing the joy of birthing something new; he also was walking through deep pain… the pain of losing his wonderful wife to typhoid fever. His worship and his passion for God are so evident as revival life comes into the small gathering of leaders. Although he is now left to raise their 3 small children… he no longer feels alone. Every leader surrounds him and laid hands on him and prays for more grace to flow. We are in awe of how God meets with us… in fact we are all partakers in the flow of love. Pastor Chris was not only surrounded by the Presence of God, but also other desperate pastors who knew the pain of similar losses, similar frailty.  Glory filled the House of God.

Ron praying for the 19 widows

On the top of Mt. Elgon there were 19 women who were recently widowed when a neighboring tribe came in and massacred their husbands in front of them and their children.  They were fighting over land rights, but in these meetings they were fighting back tears. Forgiveness comes at a cost.

The sound of pain is everywhere, however, THERE IS A RIVER! whose streams, make glad the city of our GOD!

Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.  And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. Ezekiel 47:8-9

Hunger for the Glory

The Glory of the Lord is the most awesome reality of Heaven. It moves the Angels to sing of His holiness and bow to His majesty. Although, the Glory of the Lord may be experienced; it is often misunderstood and seen as a rare occurrence here upon the Earth. The Bible talks about the Glory in many ways in both the Old and New Testaments. Still it remains only a vague concept to most Christians. It is my belief, that the Glory of God should be a central focus for the Church and a passion for all who long to know Truth.

Just consider for a moment the experience that King Solomon was able to share with us at the completion of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6-7.

Then Solomon spoke: “The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud. I have surely built You an exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever (2 Chr. 6:1-2). Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place. Now therefore, Arise, Oh Lord God, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests, Oh Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let Your saints rejoice in goodness. Oh Lord God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed; remember the mercies of Your servant David.” (2 Chr. 6:1-2 & 40-42)
When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the Glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the Glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the Glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chr. 7:1-3)

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

Moses Gives Insight:

Moses contends for God’s Presence… with a passionate plea, we hear his desperation, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” (Ex 33:15-17). We need to contend for the Presence of God in our lives and never settle for our perception of reality. Note that Moses pulled upon God’s heart with an earnest expectation of going beyond the Presence and seeing something more… encountering something more. And God says, “I will do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” He wanted God’s Presence to go with him, but he wanted something greater… something visible, tangible and real. He wanted to see evidence of God’s goodness and encounter His Glory.

He said, “Please, show me Your Glory!” (Ex 33:18).

What a prayer! He not only wanted to know that God was with him, he insisted upon the manifestation of that Presence… God’s goodness. We could say, he wanted God’s Presence made known to him, a manifestation… made visible and tangible. Think about it… if Moses could see the Glory of God, why shouldn’t we? Why can’t we see His Glory?

I believe as a Child of God, we can see the Glory! (Heb. 1:3)

The Bible speaks about our ability to see the Glory with the eyes of faith. We must understand that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord.

  • ”But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the Glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor 3:18)

The Bible also points to where we find the knowledge of the Glory of God.

  • ”For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

Look Into the Face of Jesus:

Spending time beholding Him and worshiping at His Throne, takes us somewhere in the spirit. It transforms our sense of reality and moves our heart into intimate places with the heart of God. These encounters deepen our knowledge of how love and grace are imparted, because we are introduced to heaven’s atmosphere. These encounters cause us to have a greater hunger for His Voice and His revealed Glory in our lives. Seeing Him in the pages of God’s Word is just the beginning… faith inspires a deeper search, knowing that there is more available for our lives. Deep cries out to deep… we go deeper and we begin to have Glory encounters of our own, where we gain firsthand knowledge of His goodness and His power.

You and I were made to drink of His Spirit and share in His Glory! (1 Cor 12:13)

Anointing and Increase

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’” (Luke 4:14-19)

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Jesus was anointed by God… indeed “God was with Him” in increasing measures by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). Yet even in the transition of Jesus into His Earthly ministry, we can see a direct connection between a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29). This reality is both inspiring and instructional.

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6)! It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting so that we may increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around us.

We are ambassadors for Christ {The Anointed One} as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

A Mercy Seat

Where His Glory Dwells

Ark of the Testimony

“Now when Moses went into the Tabernacle of Meeting to speak with Him, he heard the Voice of One speaking to him from above the Mercy Seat that was on the Ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubim; thus He spoke to him.” (Num. 7:89)

When we hear of Moses walking into the Tabernacle to speak with God, it is almost unbelievable at first. Our heart wonders of the sight… a face-to-face with the Creator of the Universe. And yet, something important comes to mind as I read and re-read this verse. God’s voice comes from a position above the Mercy Seat!

The Tabernacle of Meeting:

It is there and only there, that we find a mercy seat. It is not that way with man’s natural environment. In the world around us or even in nature, there is no seat of mercy. Yet in the Tabernacle of Meeting there is a Throne, a seat if you will, established at God’s initiative, that invites the seeker to see himself differently than the world’s perspective. The Tabernacle of Meeting was designed to be a place where God meets with man, to transform how he sees everything. It was to be where man was able to fellowship in God’s Glory, get his needs met and sense the embrace of a loving Father (Phil. 4:19).

This place offers the revelation of God’s true heart toward our deepest needs! We need this environment, this fellowship - before we have our lives put together. We need to be loved – before we are healed. We need to be loved in our rags and our wrestling. We need a place that has a Mercy Seat!

Our Father’s Heart:

To pull from the parable of the Prodigal Son… must I first hear music and dancing before I can arise and go to my Father’s house? That’s the way that it would work if Religion were my father, but my Father calls out to me in His fullness… an invitation to the orphan heart:

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters;
And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk, Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.” (Isa. 55:1-3)

Thankfully, the One who sits upon the Throne doesn’t call the white-robed crowd, but those clothed in sackcloth. I don’t have to wait for the music or the dancing. I don’t first have to receive the ring or the robe. I can come dirty. In fact, I must come hungry, seeking and poor.

In the Midst of Glory:

The Voice comes from above the Mercy Seat, where the Shekinah Glory rests above the Ark of the Covenant. Make no mistake, this is a supernatural experience that is not duplicated any other way, but standing before the Presence of God. In His Presence is fullness of joy!

Don’t wait until you’re well. Don’t delay until you can find suitable clothes. Don’t put off having this meeting until everything is just right. Come now! Come just as you are! Don’t wait for just the right robe, come in your “grave-clothes”.

  • Mercy means - You will not receive what you deserve!

In my mind, this is one of the greatest truths taught in the Bible. It is in reality the Gospel of the Kingdom! Jesus Christ has offered us the experience of a Mercy Seat… and in so doing He continues to destroy the works of the devil. (1 Jn. 3:8)

Lifting the Broken

Praying for the sick in Kenya“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18)

I find myself at times feeling very sorry for the pain I see people go through… both physically and emotionally. Times of stress or struggle can overwhelm the best of us and our character is often tested even when we are in the very center of God’s will. Somewhere in the midst of suffering there is a powerful resource for our future success.

The “Sifted” Need Lifted:

At times it becomes obvious when a person needs the lifting power of God’s grace. Jesus responded to Peter when he was sifted by the Devil (Lk 22:31-32) and we must respond to those around us (Gal 6:2). We must become equipped with the Truth of God’s Word for the downcast and troubled. When we give God our pain, He does replace it with joy. It’s so subtle that after our own personal seasons of heartache, we often forget how the comforting Presence of God lifted us out of dispair and brokenness.

Finding Hope Anchors the Soul (Heb 6:19):

We can find hope in God’s Word, because it serves as the platform for God’s thoughts and purposes for His family, the Church. God says to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you” (2 Chron. 1:7). The Good News is that He says that to all His children in order to move them into joyful hope.

Jesus tells his disciples, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn 16:24) and He prays, “that they may have the full measure of My (His) joy within them” (Jn 17:13). Isn’t that powerful? Those who have experienced this joy know how amazing it is. It goes beyond our mental comprehension and it lifts the broken out of their painful perceptions… even before it delivers them from their painful circumstances. Its the power of hope!

How do we attain this joy?

Jesus tells us that it is hinged to abiding in His love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (Jn 15:10-11) Love moves us into joy, because it releases hope inside our hearts.

God truly wants to lift the broken:

Here are some more verses that can boost our hope and free us to rejoice in our good Heavenly Father:

  • Prov. 10:24 “What the righteous desire will be granted.”
  • Ex. 33:17 “And the LORD said to Moses, I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
  • Zeph. 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.”
  • Ps. 22:5 “…in You they trusted and were NOT disappointed.”
  • Isa. 49:23 “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.”
  • Ps. 21:2 “You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips.”
  • Ps. 145:19 “He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.”
  • Ps. 6:9 “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.”
  • 1 John 5:14-15 “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us –whatever we ask– we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
  • Eph. 3:20 “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

The Lord is so tender to those who are of a broken and contrite heart and desires to be near them. When the humble cry out for help, He is quick to respond even in the midst of the confusion that often blinds us of His Presence. He is kind, merciful and wants to lavish love on His children (Rom 5:5). The discipline is only for a moment, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5)

Becoming Mighty In Spirit!

To be mighty in Spirit is to know God intimately and to experience the power of His grace daily over pain, fears and struggle. It is a process of establishing more than how a person feels, because it is based upon the fruit that is released when the sifting occurs. It is being sensitive to the purposes of God that aim to advance His Kingdom even in those seasons when mystery is more evident than revelation. Our trials are putting courage into our bones and transforming us to become mighty in Spirit! (2 Cor. 4:16-17) There will always be trouble, but the grace to arise is more than equal to the task of lifting the broken. To be mighty in spirit… is to understand what it means to be “renewed daily”!

To be mighty in Spirit… comes as we know God intimately and experience the power of His grace daily over pain, fears and struggle.

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