Jacob experienced the presence of God in the book of Genesis. It is found in Genesis 28:16-17. Jacob woke up from his slumber and realized that God was present! And he was afraid! Why? Because when God is present, you become aware of His holiness, His greatness, and His majesty. Not only are you aware of the greatness of God, you are aware of your own sinfulness, smallness, and tremendous need!
That’s what needs to happen in the church. We need to wake up and realize that God is here and we need to bow down and worship the Almighty God Who created the universe!
Why do we need the presence of God? Something about the presence of God charges you with spiritual power. Time is overcome by eternity. Eternity and time seem to merge and the presence of God is all that is important. An outpouring of love and the Holy Spirit of God is real. In the beginning, Adam walked with God in the cool of the evening. But Adam walked away from God and we have been walking away from God ever since. Sin has separated us from God. Then, the Bible says, "All men's thoughts were evil always.” (Genesis 6:5-6) The Lord was grieved that He had even made mankind. But a few people still loved God and God wanted to spend time with man. Enoch, Noah, and Abraham are among the few.
God still desires to have a relationship with us today and visit us in all His awesome power and glory. God desires to give an Outpouring of love and the Holy Spirit.
Notice that it was simply the presence of God and it made Jacob afraid!
Most people don't want to talk about spiritual things or go to church. But when the presence of God comes, they don't want to leave the place where God is. When God's presence is real everything changes!
But the wrong attitude can keep the presence of God away. The wrong attitude toward God or man will keep the presence of God from showing up.. People recognize how small they are compared to God! Our attitude has a lot to do with God’s presence or absence.
The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he will lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:5-6
Dennis Kenlaw said, “You don't walk casually into the presence of God.”
Some people waltz into the church building like they own the place and dare God to show up. I can hear them now if they sensed Gods presence, "How dare you show up in my church. I can’t believe You’re sitting in my seat!" Notice the emphasis, “I, me, my.” That's why churches are weak. The presence of almighty God is not wanted. Notice that the power of God is able to reach the world in our lifetime. I used to wonder how, in such a short time, the early church could have reached the whole world and grown the way they did. I don't wonder any more. When God shows up, anything is possible! If you had eleven men filled with the Holy Spirit, living in the presence of God, the church would experience such growth that you couldn’t imagine what would happen! People have a hunger to experience the presence of God!
The Bible says, “He has set eternity in the heart of man.” Ecc.3:11 In the Asbury revival of 1970, in less than a week word spread to all parts of this continent and people were begging for someone to come and share a testimony with them about the presence of God. Why? Because when someone shared a testimony, the Lord would manifest His presence and revival would break out there as well. That sounds like something out of the book of Acts! Now I’m not talking about something wild and crazy. But if the presence of God shows up it will be anything but normal. People become convicted of sin and they want to draw closer to God. They confess their sins and begin to praise God. The Puritans lived in expectation of this kind of awakening. That’s where the Great Awakening happened.
My parents go to a small church in the middle of nowhere. Over the past year God has done some amazing things in their church. The size of the church has doubled in less than a year. God sends seasons of blessing. If His presence were real to us, that's the way it could be here. Notice the price of having the presence of God. Prayer, confession of sin, and anticipation of God’s presence is key. Believing that God will actually show up in power takes commitment. Religious games will not get the attention of God. Self-righteous patting yourself on the back will not get the attention of God.
Prayer and confession of sin is what the church needs.
- Dr. Darryl Taylor -