The Presence of God
One of the possible problems (it’s ‘kind of’ a nice problem to have) certain preachers of the gospel, or teachers of biblical truth, may have to face, is the fact that others can conclude that they are somehow of a different kind, other than ‘human’-kind.
Paul was looked upon as weak in appearance: “… his bodily presence is weak,”
9 lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.
However his preaching, his letters, and his exhortations to the churches, his spiritual revelation communicated in his epistles were weighty and powerful.
When someone carries that kind of spiritual authority, it is the presence of God that others sense, and as a result sometimes, they can want to run and hide.
We read concerning Peter the Apostle:
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
A great sense of unworthiness at the manifest presence of God (in this case in miracle supply through the Son of God) can take hold of us if we are truly in the Presence of the King of kings, in Peter’s case after a miracle.
Then we read of how Peter was on the receiving end of unusual behaviour, after God had revealed to Cornelius that Peter was chosen by Him to deliver a message.
Cornelius responding to the Revelation of God through a supernaturally given vision in which an angel spoke to him, concluded that Peter was something more than human.
Acts 10:25-27 King James Version (KJV)
25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
“Stand up; I myself also am a man…” was Peter’s correct response. The man was awed by The Presence of God, mistakenly thinking it had something to do with Peter being other than human.
So sometimes when we read the revelation of God in scripture, as written via dictation from God – we don’t know how to respond, it can be overwhelming.
This does not happen every time, but this sense of God’s presence is given that we might know what we stand upon – Christ the rock of revelation!
People can withdraw and feel their unworthiness in the Presence of God, if a preacher happens to carry that Presence.
So it is the Presence of God, that leaves us strangely uneasy, it is not that these ministers, are somehow superior to us. Or are somehow more than mere mortals.
There are other ‘presences’ that are not of the Only Living and True God, – these too can cause us to feel uneasy.
But this is a different experience entirely.
Alas some do not know the difference and end up deceived into following some cult.
Spiritual discernment is a given portion to true Christians. However, even they – can make mistakes, demonstrated in the rebuke of The Lord Jesus to his wrongly discerning disciples: But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9)
The reality of both the existence of God and the experience of His unseen Presence, is lost because of a veil of unbelief that is over the minds of the unbelieving.
When we turn to Christ opportunity arises for the veil to be lifted and the reality of God to dawn upon the soul and spirit of mankind.
II Corinthians 3/
14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
In these days of falling away, we can nevertheless be sure that God working all things after the counsel of His own will – will manifest Himself to spiritually hungry hearts. The extent of this manifestation will be determined by The Lord Himself.
There was a time in Samuel the prophet’s day when there was what the scripture refers to as a time of ‘no open vision’. Here is how different bible translations express it:-
|And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
|The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.
In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.
Living in such a day not dis-similar to what is described above – what is to be our response?
Well, Samuel was specially chosen to change the situation in as much as he had prophetic revelation, against the tide as it where of it’s absence.
Today the gospel message is sent out to all who will come unto Christ for salvation.
Those who receive Him become part of a priesthood of all believers and all receive this spiritual discernment, and enjoy fellowship with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Even though they still live in an evil society in which there is no spiritual revelation, because of the rejection of the gospel, they are given God’s grace, and He will respond to them, when they come to Him.
Whether they are overwhelmed by the river of God’s Presence or they take a drink of the Water of Life, they belong to The One to whom they yield their lives.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Christ’s spiritual reality!