I want to look at our interactions or encounters with His presence. Not to create some type of spiritual hierarchy but rather to look at our ongoing relationship with Him. In recent years I wrote a manual on Hearing His Voice and looked at the ways He speaks to us. In the introduction I made the point that while some have detailed prophetic dreams or visions that is not the norm for most of us. I also noted that not having these experiences does not make us less spiritual. At the same time I believe we are all called to an experiential relationship with Jesus. Which means we are all called to encounter Him at some level in some way.
An important qualifier in looking at presence is Paul’s comment that we see dimly.
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV
We need to keep this in mind as we pursue and reflect on His presence. Jesus made a way for us to come before the throne of grace but we still live on this side of eternity and cannot fully see or know the realm where the Father dwells. John described some of our limitations here.
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3 (NKJV)
Knowing that in our walk here we will never see clearly or fully there is still the opportunity for an experiential relationship, one we can have here and now. I know many, myself included, regularly encounter His presence in worship. At the same time, many years ago I met a fellow who was a very solid and faithful believer who did not like singing and worshipping. He said it did nothing for him. While I personally have no grid for that I never doubted his faith. I just assumed he encountered Jesus in a different way.
That being said we are called to encounter and I use the term ‘Quality of Presence’ not as a measuring stick but as a barometer. I know the scriptures and Jesus’ commitment to always be with us. My faith rests in that. At the same time my experience of His presence varies. In that variation I continue to seek His face desiring not only an ongoing relationship, but a deepening one.
I have shared before that I encounter Him most deeply while sitting in His presence worshipping Him and focusing my mind and heart on Him. I also experience Him when hiking in the mountains or out in the woods, which leads to prayer and worship as I walk. I encounter Him reading His word.
What are your experiences and do you have things to share that will help others?