God told Moses to take his shoes off because he was on holy ground (Ex. 3:5). On the road to Damascus, God’s presence radically changed Saul (Acts 9:3). In His presence Jacob’s name was changed as well as the direction of his life (Gen. 32:28). David was so impacted by His presence he longed to dwell there. He said in Psalm 51:11, “Do not cast me away from your presence.” Being in the presence of Jesus will always transform our lives.
When the Ark of the Covenant was abruptly put aside, we see some incredible results. It says in II Samuel 6:11, “The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months. And the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household.” Because the Lord’s presence dwelt in the house of a willing man, he and his whole household were blessed. He was so blessed that others took notice and went and told King David about it. In Psalm 91:1 we read, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Mary was in Jesus’ shadow in the secret place of the Most High. That’s where His blessing is.
Through David’s life came an understanding of what was paramount and necessary for His life source – being in His presence. David said in Psalm 84:10, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” He goes on to say that even if it was just standing at the door of the throne room near His presence it would still be better than anywhere else in the universe.
As we abide in Him not only will He abide in us, but we will bear much fruit (Jn. 15:5). Genesis 18:17 says, “And the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?’” We see here a unique insight into God’s thinking. God doesn’t want to keep us from His will and passions, instead He wants us to be involved. If we read on we see how God wanted Abraham to come into His presence and know His will.
In one of the Gospels we are told that Jesus has torn the veil (Mk. 15:38) and has invited us to come into His presence. He is still inviting us to come and know of His will and plans. We read in Isaiah 1:18, “’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord.” He loves us and desires for us to abide with Him.
Do we know God’s heartbeat? Do we know what’s in His heart? He wants us to put our head on his chest and hear His heart. John 15:4-5 says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
It’s through the place of prayer that we learn what His will is for our life and for our community. It’s only as we spend time abiding in Him that we are empowered to walk victoriously throughout our lives. Let us be separated unto the place of prayer.
Bill Virgin is the Senior Pastor of Christian Life Center in Lees Summit.