How can we expect to carry God’s presence, when we’ve not spent anytime in His presence.
In order to carry God’s presence or allow more of God’s Spirit to flow out of us, we have to continually (day after day) take time to “clothe” ourselves with God’s presence.
First, just to clarify, when we receive Christ, His Holy Spirit resides within us and we have actually become the temple of God, or the place where God’s Spirit dwells. So, wherever we go, we are to be carriers of the Spirit of God. (Romans 8:11, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 5:18 are just a few references.) Even Romans 13:14, tells us to clothe ourselves with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence, as I live here on earth! (Psalm 116:9) However, we also still “carry” our human selves with us in all its imperfections.
In order to carry God’s presence or allow more of God’s Spirit to flow out of us, we have to continually (day after day) take time to “clothe” ourselves with God’s presence. Just as the clothing we wear everyday covers all the parts of our human bodies we prefer not to put on public display (or, others would prefer we kept unrevealed – some of us need more discretion with this – please!), being clothed in God’s presence allows God’s light and love to shine above our physical appearance. Just as Moses had to pull away and go up the mountain to spend time before God’s presence, and then also waited to be certain he was not going anywhere unless God’s presence was going with him, we too should practice this principle. Moses rested, waited, and worshiped and received the Word of God (a parallel to us being still and praying and feeding on God’s Word). Even Jesus as well broke away from the disciples to a quiet place to pray for strength. How much more do we need to do this? Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably 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 33:15-16
The practice of resting, waiting, and worshiping in God’s presence is such a contrast to our fast paced, overly committed culture. For most, when we do have a free moment or some down time, we’ve fallen into the common practice of feeding on social media, instead of really resting in God’s presence and meditating on God’s word. (And yes, social media is used for inspirational and spiritual purposes too – if you’re reading this – point understood; however, the practice of a quiet time spent just in contemplation and meditation is still needed more than ever.) It’s wonderful to read and be inspired through the devotional thoughts of others, but the Lord can and longs to speak to our hearts personally and directly too. From personal experience, I can testify that God will not only speak personally to you, but will draw you so much closer to Him through this practice.
If our scrolling habits (on facebook, our iPhones, iPads, etc.) are consistently taking the place of prayer, focused study on God’s Word, and reflection, we should not be wondering why we often feel drained and stressed, and are carrying around everything but God’s presence. Just like Moses and the disciples in the upper room (see Acts 1:4-8), let’s remember we too need to practice waiting to be filled and refilled by God’s Spirit, to be the carriers of His presence, His peace, His joy, and His strength. ”
I realize for some, sitting, waiting, and meditating may be a new concept, or something you are not as comfortable with (or something you don’t have time for). However, if you can learn to scroll, you can learn to sit, wait and meditate. If you have time to scroll, you have time to rest and wait in God’s presence too.
Here are a few introspective questions for those who want to do some soul examining:
- What am I carrying that I need to put down (at least during certain portions of my day)? My iPhone or iPad? Oh, that can’t possibly be You speaking, Lord?
- What am I not carrying that I need to pick up? My Bible? My Journal? (So that I might carry more of His peace and His Word in my heart – well, there’s a thought to ponder?)
- Am I spending more time on posts, pics, and tweets than I am sitting at Your feet Lord, in prayer and meditation on Your Word?
If you carry His Spirit, He will carry you through everything!
…Without Me, you can do nothing.” (Jesus – John 15:5)
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The God Who lives forever is the Lord, the One Who made the ends of the earth. He will not become weak or tired. His understanding is too great for us to begin to know. He gives strength to the weak. And He gives power to him who has little strength. Even very young men get tired and become weak and strong young men trip and fall. But they who wait upon the Lord will get new strength. They will rise up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weak. Isaiah 40:28-31