Seeking His Presence? Beware of the many methods created and cloaked as Christian which are nothing more than an attempt to conjure up God’s presence out of a self-serving agenda. Contemplative prayer and soaking come to mind as Satan’s counterfeits.
Simply put, contemplative prayer or centering prayer, is a way of praying that is not according to the biblical prescription. Contemplative prayers and soakers are simply rebels who refuse to obey Jesus so they want Jesus to just continue to dump His Holy Spirit on their rebellious hearts.
JESUS told you to die, not to run around seeking His presence in contemplative prayer or soaking meetings – with other self-serving flakes, counterfeits. He’ll decide that how much of His holy presence He puts on individuals – according to their personal obedience. He alone decides how much of His presence He chooses to put in our lives.
Psalms 16 is prophetic of Jesus who rendered perfect obedience to His Father: “For thou wilt not leave my (Jesus’) soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalms 16:10-11)The “presence” of the LORD and “fulness of joy” He alone can give, only comes with the true disciple who is truly walking with Christ. We see this throughout Scripture.
“In his presence” sure is “fulness of joy” and He requires our obedience to bring us into His presence (Psalms 16:11).
“For he whom God hath sent (Christ) speaketh the words of God (fully obedient): for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” John 3:34
As seen in the above verse, where Christ is our example, the LORD’s presence in our lives is contingent upon our abiding in Him, obeying Him (John 14:21-23, etc.). Seeking His presence without obeying Him, truly worshiping HIM, reveals a self-serving nature. We don’t seek the joy or His presence – We seek His face (Jeremiah 29:11-14).
IF you truly want more of the presence of the LORD, no need to mindlessly sit soaking or meditating. Get up and obey and then and only then will He graciously grant you greater anointing and reward!
We are to immerse yourself in His Word – Joshua 1:8 not mindless meditation which is new age paganism.
Many today want God to do more for them, they want more of His presence and to “soak” and yet, they’ve not obeyed Him and His simplest instructions. Not going to happen.
YOU can pray till you are blue in the face and God will not hear if you will not repent and literally obey Him: Proverbs 28:9 says: “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law (Word), even his prayer shall be abomination.”
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7
Of course we should seek and ask Him to be anointed and full of His Spirit in order to DO His work, and yet, such comes from laying down our lives – which He then raises upward by His presence.
“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:10-12
The resurrection presence, life, glory, and power of Jesus fills and raises up the truly obedient – those who resign themselves to the crucified life.
Nancy Cote notes: “This movement is growing by leaps and bounds because this generation loves signs and wonders and what their itching ears want more than Sola Scripture of solid doctrine. Dying to self and picking up their cross and preaching of The Cross that is foolishness to them.”
Yet, Jesus’ presence does not come to us just because WE want it to. Isn’t a preoccupation with seeking His presence while not obeying Him cloaked pride? There are conditions to be met – obedience and truly worshiping HIM are essential. This is in contrast to seeking His presence for our self-serving purposes. Remember how the disciples wanted to sit at His right and and His left?
“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.” Matthew 20:20-23
When you die – lay down your life – He will reciprocate with His resurrection life (2 Corinthians 4:10-12). That’s His promise but you must die to experience this, not try to control things yourself which is further evidence that you are not dying to self. He’s in control, not you.
Fact: Jesus says that to those who OBEY Him – live by faith – will be granted His presence, not those who selfishly seek to soak or conjure up His presence through their own merit or works for their own self–serving purposes.
Seeking His presence is paramount to seeking signs instead of the Savior Himself. What did Jesus say of the sign seekers?
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:” Matthew 12:38-39
Seeking His Presence or Simply Obeying Christ?
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:21-23
Today, so many who vainly believe they are Christ’s, are being misled into self-seeking experiences they are told are of God. Quite a contrast with New Testament disciples of Jesus we read about in the 27 book canon. The honest student of Scripture and follower of Jesus knows that a walk of faith, a denial of self (the cross), soundly grounded in the Word, is the walk of a true New Testament believer.
“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Acts 5:32
It seems that today, many people claiming to know Jesus, seek to do anything except soberly and soundly follow Him, denying self, taking up the cross, and abiding in Him.
According to Jesus, in the end, at the Judgment, those who loved and obeyed Him will be received into glory and remain with Him eternally. In contrast, those who revel in the experiential, not being rooted in Christ, will be terminated into the bowels of eternal damnation (Matthew 7:21-23).