Practicing the Presence of God — Continued... Barry's Video Blog...
It is vital that we find freedom to draw near to God by entering His heavenly throne room. It is also vital we let Him draw near to us!
Reasons Why from Scripture!
So Much Depends It!
You can be confident that you have access to enter and stand before the Lord because of the many benefits written in the Bible that result from doing so. Greater power in prayer is just one of many!
As Christians, we are all at different places in our growth. Our backgrounds are different. Our personalities vary like night and day. Yet even so, our Master has a plan. The great Shepherd has one place toward which He is helping all of us grow.
Whether you are trying to move forward in your spiritual pilgrimage, or you are driving a car, it always helps to know where you are going. God is steering all of us toward the same place in our relationship with Him. We need to cooperate.
God is directing you and I into the throne room until we learn to stay before Him. This intention of God was clearly revealed as early as the book of Exodus: "In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation...You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, The place, O Lord, which You have made for Your dwelling, The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established." (Exodus 15:13,17).
Entering the throne room of God (heaven) now, before we die, drawing near to the fountain, and learning to stay before the Lord while looking at Him, is the practical process-goal of Christian growth. I call it a "process-goal" because it is something that after we learn how should never stop doing. It is something that should become a way of living for us.
Much like Israel’s promised land, we have our promised land too. You don’t have to wander around in the wilderness any more. Here and now, you can enter the throne room of God and stand there before the Lord.
Is our standing before the Lord, something reserved only for the Jews? The answer is no: "Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord...Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer..." (Isaiah 56:6,7).
Is standing before the Lord a privilege only for the professional clergy? Again, the answer is "No." The Bible says, "the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings." (Psalm 36:7b). Clearly, the Lord is trying to shepherd each of us into the throne room to stay before Him: "for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life..." (Revelation 7:17).
By entering and standing before the Lord we become more like Jesus (Hebrews 13:1,2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18). It is in the throne room of God that we find refuge in the Lord and the security for which we long (Psalm 27:4,5). When we come to Him we find rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28,29). In the throne room of God we can quench the thirst of our soul with a river of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 63:1,2 and John 7:37-39a).
David wrote, "The Lord is my shepherd...And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:1 and 6). The longing of David’s heart was to follow his Shepherd, eat at His table, and stay before the Lord. Related to this idea is that the Bible calls the throne room "a renowned planting place" (Ezek. 34:29b). Many scriptures show that the ‘planting place’ is the sanctuary of God. Those who learn to stay there, become like trees who are strong and bear fruit because they are ‘planted’ by water that flows from the sanctuary of God (Ezek. 47:1-12; Psalm 92:12-14). However, the Bible is even more specific than just to enter the throne room and stand before the Lord.
When we enter, we are to learn to keep on "looking" at Jesus’ face: "How blessed are the people who...walk in the light of Your countenance..." (Psalm 89:15-17). The Bible also tells us, "Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually." (1 Chron. 16:11). By standing before the Lord so that we can keep looking at Him we will experience God as our defender and find the deliverance that can only come from God (Psa. 25:15; Psa. 141:8). It is vital that we find freedom to enter and look at His face continually. The more we Christians do so, the more God will have freedom to heal our land (2 Chron. 7:14).
The Bible speaks of, "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who...has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2). In other words, God is most effective at being able to perfect our faith if we enter before Him and trust that we are looking at our Lord. Don’t dismiss these words as mere theological Bible talk. You can apply this principle. The Psalmist said it this way, "Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your statutes." (Psalm 119:135). By looking at the Lord, He is able to perfect our faith because He teaches us through the Holy Spirit that is shining from His face. If we keep looking at the Lord and stay open to the fountain, God can use what He pours through us to help "perfect" the faith of those around us.
We are also told, "The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;" (Numbers 6:25). I believe the greatest principle concerning power in prayer is that the Lord does His work by the Holy Spirit that He pours through us. When we pray we are told to come boldly before the throne in order to find God’s help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). As we keep looking at the shine from His face, the Lord is able to do the greatest work: "Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He is gracious to us." (Psalm 123:2).
On a practical note, I have found it especially important that when you look at Him you also look at the love of God, His power, His justice, His goodness—look at all the attributes of God being radiated from Him onto you. Doing so, helps to decrease our tendency to look other places in order to find substitutes for God. Our need is for all of God. The shine of God upon you is God Himself. Now lets get back to our walk through the scriptures on this subject.
If you want God to heal this land you need to pray. But, in order for our prayers to be the most effective we need to enter the throne room and trust that our eyes are actually looking at our Lord—in all His glory: "and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chron. 7:14). Do you want fruit that would heal nations? Nurture trust in the Lord and faith until you find freedom to enter the throne room and pray while looking at the Lord.
King David said, "For my eyes are toward You, O God, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless." (Psalm 141:8 ). I know by personal experience that standing before the Lord and looking at His face is powerful in terms of spiritual authority and keeping demonic harassment away. David also wrote, "My eyes are continually toward the Lord, For He will pluck my feet out of the net." (Psalm 25:15).
The Lord gave instruction to Moses that gives us understanding about what we can do to experience God speaking to us. The Lord told Moses, "You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel." (Exodus 25:21,22). If you want to hear the voice of the Lord better, direct your heart to ‘look’ at the Lord because He speaks to us from above the (throne) mercy seat.
I have learned experientially that in terms of actual relationship with God, nothing helps me to hear His voice more than trusting He is before me and that I am gazing at His face with the eyes of my heart. Neither you, nor I, are Moses. But, the principle still applies: "Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony" (Numbers 7:89a). How well we stay before the Lord and keep looking at Him, is something we can spend our whole lives working to improve. None of us can ever pride ourselves because we think we have "achieved."
Let me emphasize again that because of the many benefits in the Bible from being before the Lord, you can be sure that God has granted you free access to enter and stand before God. God has made a way.
I am praying for the Lord's abundant blessing on your efforts to direct your heart toward Him.
Come and Drink — Continued...
(C) Barry Hall 1999
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