His Ultimate Presence
By Andy Zoppelt
His ultimate presence is defined in the person that is full of the Holy Spirit and lives for the one purpose and desire of doing His will and pleasing Him. We talk much about relationships as believers, but do we have the depth to understand what that all means? Only those who have entered His rest and into His presence, placing their full trust in Him and obey Him can really know Him as He is.
There is a place of abandonment, a place where we have been purged by the fires of His word, a place of total surrender to all that relates to self, a place that brings us into His presence where He has liberty to challenge and guide us as we remain faithful to Him. A true disciple is one that is constantly growing deeper and deeper in his love with Him. If we will hunger and thirst for Him as our highest gain we will find, as time goes by, a liberty in the Spirit and a burning desire to live for Him only and a growing indifference to the things of this world. We will love what God loves and hate what God hates.
We will not need the burning bush that Moses saw in order to follow Him, every bush will be on fire as a testimony of His creation, every cloud and every star will be a witness of His face and every beat of our heart and every breath we take will be a reminder of His life in us and of His love and patience toward us… what more evidence of His presence are we looking for?
I watch my little dogs as they run before me hopping through the grass in our back yard, how every crafted bone, every connected nerve and every pull of the muscle is a demonstration of His glory going before me. What do we see? We struggle to build the smallest things, but then we see the millions of species living and alive on this beautiful earth; we see the trillions of stars and galaxies spread out in endless space, all being held together by His word. We would be ignorant and deceived to put ourselves into our own hands and to live by our own desires. His creativity, His power, His glory and His love is not seen by those who do not have the heart of the bride for bridegroom. Who can understand “the way of a man with a virgin”? Proverbs 30:16
I used to struggle with the meaning of Jesus’ statement, “If you love me you will keep My commandments.” In my mind I was trying to figure what Jesus actually meant. Was Jesus saying that love was the means to obedience, or was He saying that obedience was the sign of Love? We can be sure when our mind kicks in, revelation kicks out. I have found throughout the years that statement, in the ear of the religious, finds more reason to not keep His commandments than to keep them. What Jesus is saying is beyond the carnal way of dealing with things. He is not speaking of some method to obedience, but He is speaking of the hidden things from the eyes of the carnal mind with its efforts to intellectually understand. This obedience comes out of a spiritual awakening, out of a new birth, it is the spiritual result of those who have sacrificed and abandoned their life for His and have entered into the joy of His presence. True obedience is learned in the school of suffering, sacrifice and self denial…as Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. How we deal with suffering will tell us how much of us is still alive in us and how much of us is still trying to be in control.
“In the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Hebrews 5:7-9, NKJV
Jesus was already perfect as God, but He had to learn obedience as the son of man. He became many things as He entered this world: He became poor, He became a servant, He became a man and He became the sacrificed lamb. Divinity touched humanity that He might become the perfect High Priest. He withstood temptation and lived the perfect example for all of us to follow.
Every time we doubt Him we deny Him. Doubt is like a mountain that gets bigger and bigger that slowly gains more and more control over our lives as we submit to it. But when we look away from the weight and sin that so easily besets us and look to Jesus (He is everywhere in His glory) He then becomes the author and finisher of our faith and salvation.
Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” Philippians 2:6-9, NKJV
If Jesus came and learned obedience through the things He suffered, what a glorious thing it is for us to “count it all joy” to suffer for His name sake. To doubt His love, His mission and His message is to be blinded by the things of this world.
To enter His very presence takes suffering in the flesh and the crushing of pride, the flesh cries out for pleasure and ease, it attempts to run from personal suffering, it sets its mind on things below and evaluates life out of its strong desires and its opinions.
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls — Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. he Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:17-19, NKJV
Often God will take away everything, like He did with Habakkuk and Job, to see if He is our God and our Lord. If we complain, we are only showing that we have kept and embraced our life for ourselves…with that, we will never learn obedience through the things we suffer. God’s word and life will only be intellectual and emotional if we don’t learn and experience Him as our strength and Lord.
If we truly walk with Him, our life will be a constant worship, we will not need musicians or a crowd to hype our emotions…we will be full of the Spirit and full of the fruit of the Spirit and all of creation will be the shadow of His face.
Often when I am working in my back yard I hear the song birds singing the most wonderful tunes; I smile inside knowing it is my Father who created those birds to sing for us. He gave them their song and He also has put the true worship of the Spirit in our hearts if we will but live in His presence.
How well did David put this in Psalms 27:4-6, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” NKJV
Psalms 16:11, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” NKJV
Psalms 31:19-23, “You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord, for He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city! For I said in my haste, "I am cut off from before Your eyes"; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried out to You. Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.” NKJV