Presence of heaven

The Rainbow set as the symbol of the Covenant ...

The Rainbow set as the symbol of the Covenant with Noah after the Great Flood of the Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we worship Father God and Jesus we worship them in heaven. Father seated in heavenly places and the glorified, risen Son. Jesus doesn’t leave heaven to meet with us He has already done that two thousand years ago.

What God does is open heaven and allow us to enter into His home. He makes a way into His holy presence for us. He lifts us up and seats us in heavenly places alongside his Son Jesus.

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[c] 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[d]

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12

We come to where he is, where the he dwells. He allows the veil between earth and heaven to grow so thin mankind can peep in. God makes the divide between heaven and earth Velcro thin. When Jesus died we see the dramatic rendering of the veil that divided the two dimensions of earth and heaven. The veil was violently ripped open and God left a light velcro fastening attaching the two sides of the veil together to stop it flapping in the rushing wind of the Spirit going back and forth. If you push through in worship it isn’t long before you boldly enter His throne room.

Why then do we not see clearly into the heavenly places? Why does it seem so dim? Could it be the same effect as driving through a long dark tunnel? Looking into the dark for so long our eyes cannot cope with the bright light on coming out of a tunnel.  So might is be with heaven after looking at the world for so long in darkness our eyes are blinded by the glory after heaven and we see very little? So what is the answer? Become accustomed to gazing on the Glory of God. Make your time in the heavens so common place your eyes become able to see angels, beauty and the vision before you. Then our faces will soak up and reflect the glory we see – just like Moses’.

29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.

Presence and Character

My eye

My eye (Photo credit: orangeacid)

‘God could trust Moses with this level of revelation because his heart had been tested. In His mercy, God gives us the level of revelation that our character is prepared to handle. At the same time, He continues to reveals himself in order to expose our character and invite us to know him more.’ Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p88

We are all loved completely. He presences himself in all of us by his Holy Spirit in His fullness (for those born again). Many of us experience His manifest presence in times of worship but it clear that some people experience a greater revelation of God’s presence than others. John saw into the heavens and found himself standing in the very throne room of God. The whole of the book of Revelations is about what he saw. John witnessed  so much it would make your eyes pop out ; angels, beasts, a lamb, things with many heads, a scroll, a dragon, trumpets and worship. Just imagine what it would be like seeing that kind of revelation!

God is calling us higher, to see more and the only person who can stop you seeing as much of God as you like is you. With each revelation there comes responsibility. It takes character to carry this responsibility. With each powerful encounter God has to make sure our spirits can take it. Our hearts and character must be ready.

It says in the bible that we can grieve the Holy Spirit. If we want God to manifest His presence to us we need to be sure that we do not hinder a full outpouring by grieving the Spirit. He is sensitive to rebellion, bitterness, doubt etc. Like a dove He will not land in fullness where He feels aggrieved. Let us check our hearts for habitual sin, proud hearts, bitterness and unforgiveness. Let us walk with our hearts right with God and expect a full outpouring of His presence.

Presence – what is it about?

Together

Together (Photo credit: ~FreeBirD®~)

Gills comment from yesterday made me think about what we mean by the presence of God? It may seem obvious but I would like to ponder it a while with you.

Immediately my thoughts go to the name Emmanuel – God is with us. This is the name that points to the purposes of God. The plan that God would do whatever was necessary to presence himself with us. This was shown in the life of Jesus. God’s desire for relationship was so highly valued that he was even prepared to sacrifice His Son to gain it.

This blueprint of his plan was first revealed in the garden of Eden where God is clearly enjoying the presence/company of Adam and Eve. As soon as sin enters the world the enemy knew he had managed to attack the core intent of God. Adam was now found hiding from the presence of God in the cool of the day. Adam is banished from the presence of God (Genesis 4:14) and God’s enemy thought he had won. He had broken connection between mankind and God. But God had an idea already how to restore mankind to himself -but it would cost him everything.

God began with calling Abraham. He was a man, the bible says, stood and lived in God’s presence (Gen 24:40). It wasn’t enough for God that one man at a time lived with him in His presence so he calls a nation and gives them the honour of building a tabernacle to host his presence. Exodus 23 onwards speaks again and again about being in God’s presence. Then we find Moses who had an incredibly high regard for God’s presence and whose hunger for God’s presence is astounding.

16 How will anyone know that you look favourably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” Exodus 33:16 (NLT)

18 Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence” Exodus 33:18 (NLT). What an amazing prayer. Moses has seen thunder, lightening, smoke,  breath taking miracles come from the presence of God and yet bravely stands and asks to see God’s glorious presence. I am sure he knew it could kill him or overwhelm him yet he doesn’t cower with the rest of the Israelites. He knows that it will cost him obedience and life change but he still is prepared to ask and encounter.

Was the key to the revelation Moses received of God something to do with how much he valued God’s presence? That he was prepared to lay his life on the line for it?

There is always a tension in the bible talking about God’s presence. The Psalms say ‘I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence’  (Psalm 139:7). This verse suggests that we are always in God’s presence. The Psalms also say ‘ I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells.’ (Psalm 139:7) and this verse implies there is a special encounter with God’s in His presence where He dwells. Perhaps it is both.

When Jesus came it was all about His presence -Emmanuel. It wasn’t enough for God to send another He came himself. Nor was it enough to presence himself with one nation he wanted to redeem all nations to Himself. He wanted all of mankind to enjoy His company and He have time to enjoy there company. This was the joy set before Jesus on the cross. Mine and your company forever.

We find in the New Testament talk of living and moving in God’s presence (Acts 17:28), an indwelling of presence of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16) and being asked to clothe ourselves with the presence of God (Romans 13:14). We still find something special mentioned concerning an encounter with God in the fullness of the heavenlies in a verse from Ephesians ‘Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.’ (Ephesians 3:12)

The presence of God is where we live. We can never run away from His presence and for those who are born again we have the Presence of God dwelling in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We can, however, not get away from the fact there is something special about meeting God on His home turf. When we enter the heavenlies and experience God’s attention something powerful happens. Perhaps it is like walking into someone’s home – you can meet that person on the street and say hello but when you enter their home you really get to know them. You get to understand their tastes, their identity, their interests and perhaps their skills. The whole atmosphere in the home speaks of their values, their character and their understanding of life.  Their hospitality helps strengthen friendship, trust and love. God wants us to enter the room He is in and spend time with him out of choice and intent. To do this we need to be prepared for the impact and power of the atmosphere of His home touching earth. We need to be prepared to lay everything down and be changed. Are you ready?

Moses and the presence of God

English: Border collie dog Deutsch: Border Col...

English: Border collie dog Deutsch: Border Collie Hund (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15&16

I am challenged by the thought that Moses was not prepared to move anywhere without God. He insisted on following the presence of God himself, saying, “If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here”. He wasn’t satisfied just to make things up as he went, he was not content to keep on going and hope God would turn up at some point. The presence of God was so vital to Moses that unless the presence of God went with him he wouldn’t move, he wouldn’t just guess, he wouldn’t carry on. No matter what the pressure or the embarrassment – he was happy to wait for God.

This is mirrored in my collie dog Gemma. When I take her for a walk she is constantly checking to see where I am. Now and again I try to hide from her, it is very difficult, but if I manage it as soon as she realises she has lost me she comes charging through the undergrowth to find me again. She is not prepared to go anywhere unless I am walking with her, unless she is aware of my presence.

‘We need to pay a price to see God more clearly. Moses’ whole life groomed him to see God. His success as Israel’s leader depended entirely on his ability, moment by moment to perceive and follow the presence and voice of the Lord.’ Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p86

Am I prepared to pay the price to follow the presence and voice of God? Will I lay down everything at the call of His voice? Will I be prepared to wait on God again and again for as long as it takes? Does the desire for His presence bring tears to my eyes with longing? It is challenging to ask these questions. It is easy to be in a meeting full of habits and empty of presence where there are no risks and we are in control. It is easier to follow the clear loud voice of man than the small whisper of God we may have to wait for.

The presence of God is so special we should hold it in high esteem. We should give time to it, cultivate it and enjoy it. In his presence we are changed, set free and find our identity. In his presence we glimpse heaven, see eternal truths, experience revelation and receive dreams. In his presence we find unity, freedom and flow together. In His presence we receive healing, experience miracles, sense his breath, know his touch and laugh with joy. We should never ever undervalue the importance of the presence of God.

‘Moses was the great leader he was because he was not focused not personal success but on the God who could be known.  Moses preferred the wilderness with God to the Promised Land without God, a noble choice for sure’  Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p87

Today: How much of your daily life relies on the presence of God?

The Golden Calf continued – possessing 1

When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain,

IMG_0334

IMG_0334 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt. Exodus 32:1

1.   Make us= doing

2.   Make us some gods = possessing

There are many adverts that tell me I cannot be fulfilled in life without owning an object or living a certain way. It will make me beautiful, glamorous, successful and desirable. I know that you know that. What constantly surprises me is how much this culture of ours has subtle ways of leaving its imprint on my life and affecting the way I think and live. Having spent two weeks in the Philippines around those who have nothing I realise how petty we are in the west and much time/money we spend on image and self promotion.

Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please.  I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,’ You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’  Luke 4:5-8

The Devil tempted Jesus to own/posses all the kingdoms of the earth. To have the authority – that sense of power in owning them. The Israelites wanted to own their own influence and rule by making gods. They would have the power in owning their own gods who would have to do as they asked. Idols move where you put them, they don’t speak back, they bring a focus in your life and they look good too.

Life isn’t about having – but about kingdom. Sometimes we mix up dreams of this world for a Godly vision. We want to have a nice house, good family, respectable job, success in what we do, children that are brought up well, cook well and live well – this is no different to the world. We make it sound like a vision but really it is an earthly dream – those in the world want to have all these things.

There is a different between heart desires and kingdom vision. Kingdom vision is supernatural and not of this earth. For example I am trained as a primary school teacher. I want to influence children and families to live well, to knit together community, to bring love to the children – most teachers would desire this this is not a heaven vision. A kingdom teacher with vision will want to bring heaven to the earth – to do God’s will in heaven as it is in the earth. What does this look like? Supernatural gifts of the spirit being used to bring love, peace, community, family, healing, release, binding up broken hearts etc It is the difference between wanting to have reputation and fulfilment against using all of heaven’s resources for God to be promoted and his will fulfilled.

How do I know what is precious to you? – your conversation will give it away. What is the chat as you walk? Is about what you are having for tea, who you are inviting around, what or does your conversation include kingdom talk, dreams, healings, revelation and heaven excitement?

We are the Prophetic Message

 

Gan Eliezer, Rehavia, Jerusalem

Gan Eliezer, Rehavia, Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a strange man. Eating locusts, dressed in camel hair, no wife, no kids, no house – what was he thinking?  His name was John the Baptist. He was a man declaring that there was something coming far more important that this life, these pleasures. He showed his message in his life he lived.

Moses second son was prophetic too – by the name he carried.

Exodus 18:4 Eliezer – which means ‘God was my helper, he rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh

Moses sent his wife and 2 sons off to stay with Jethro (his father in law) to keep them safe. This was sometime before the Israelites escaped from Pharaoh. One month into the journey around the wilderness and Moses sees his children and wife again. What a fantastic re-union. How he must have missed them. Moses tells them all that has happened and about the amazing miracles God did – the way he helped them cross through the sea.  Eliezer heard all about his name being fulfilled. He understood who he was. He had found his identity.

The name of his son shows what faith Moses had that God would rescue the Israelites. Even before the mass exodus Moses named his son “he rescued”. This was a brave step to stake his belief so clearly in the name of his child. Everyday when Moses looked at ‘he rescued’ he must have wondered when his freedom was going to come.

Jethro is delighted at the testimony Moses brings.  He sees the hand of God in all that had happened. The testimony takes him to the presence of God in worship. Aaron and all the elders feast in God’s presence.

My name means noble and for years I only felt shame. God brought me out into a place of freedom where I saw his grace on my life and I understood who I was. I discovered my identity as a noble princess of the King. It is something that I am still discovering and coming to an understanding of. As I change and tell my story I am the message. I rub off God’s love and goodness into other peoples’ hearts.

Your story (testimony) of all that God has done for you will turn peoples hearts to God. You will cause them to desire a relationship with God. Be generous in sharing your story around.

Today: What does your name mean? Feel free to adopt a prophetic name that you see being fulfilled. Eg loved of God, free son, adventurous daughter etc Share your story with someone today and be the message to them.