Lately I have been thinking about the times where God’s Presence has really touched and changed my life. We can have such experiences with God that it changes our thoughts about who He is and can change the course of your destiny (or at least what you thought it was). Living in Guatemala wasn’t my first choice. I had other ideas in where I wanted to live, how I wanted to serve God and a plan for my life. When I visited Guatemala for the first time I had a powerful encounter with God that changed my plans, I thought only for a few months but it really changed everything. These are moments that we need to steward well. What will we do with God’s Presence when we receive it?
God’s Presence is something that we must cherish at all times. It can never become second place in our lives. Once you have encountered God for the first time you want a second, a third and so on. I’m not just talking about the day you got saved you encountered God. I’m saying there are deeper experiences where everything will change. This experience must be well stewarded so that we can have another encounter. If we just walk away the same as we were before the encounter then I think He may be reluctant to come so powerfully again.
I believe that everyone should have these deep experiences with God, however, not many want to pay the price to have them. It takes time to build a relationship with God, just like it does with anyone else. We don’t steward, or hold in high-esteem, the times that we have had in God’s Presence.
If you want to have this type of encounter with God, take the time. Learn to trust Him. Fall in love with Him. It will be well worth the wait. Here I will give you 5 steps to be a steward of God’s Presence. I don’t want this to just occur once in a while in my life. I want this to be something that is of regular occurrence.
1. Be a Person Where He Feels Welcome.
And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven upon Him like a dove, and He remained upon Him.”
In the Old Testament the Spirit would come upon a person but then He would leave once He did what He needed to do. This was the first time that the Holy Spirit remained upon a person. I learned a lot of this from Bill Johnson’s book, “Hosting His Presence”. The Holy Spirit felt welcome when He ‘remained upon Jesus’. He wants to feel welcome upon you as well.
It is important that we welcome Him. Invite Him into your home, workplace, church, etc. Everywhere you go, invite Him to go with you. He’s more than willing to go, but He likes to be welcomed. This is one way we steward His relationship with us. We show Him that we truly do want Him with us at all times.
2. Hunger For His Presence
Do not cast me away from Your Presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
David knew the Holy Spirit’s Presence so well that He didn’t want God to take Him away. God’s Presence was so important to David. He recognized that he had sinned with Bathsheba, but now he would take any punishment but he longed for God’s Presence. His hunger was so great. He speaks about it all the time. He was a steward of His Presence.
When we long for the Spirit’s Presence it’s hard to keep quiet. You cry out for it. We long for more. To have an encounter with God we must long for His Presence.
3. Allow God to Test Your Heart.
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.
An encounter with God will require Him testing your heart. Do you really want to meet with Him? Will you allow Him to get the junk (sin) out of your heart? I’m not saying you have to be perfect in order to meet with God. Rather, you must be willing to allow Him to test your heart.
To purify gold it must go into the furnace and get to its hottest point before it can be purified. Sometimes we must go through fire in order that our hearts are tested. Do you continue to serve God when you’re going through difficult times? Don’t be like so many others that give up on God for every hard situation that comes their way
4. Live Righteously.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.
Psalm 139:23, 24
Lately Christians don’t want to hear this because they’re ‘saved by grace’ (Ephesians 1:9). This is true, however, God still wants you to live a life of righteousness. Now, we will never be perfect, but I don’t think this should stop us from striving for perfection. I may not make perfection but I would like to get as close to it as I can.
We can’t do this in our own strength. We need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to search the inner recesses of your heart. Let Him reveal your intentions to why you do things. You steward His Presence by living righteously for Him.
5. Be Attracted to His Presence!
When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “if only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.
Mark 5:27, 28
Who told the lady that if she touched Jesus’ garment she would be made well?She was simply attracted to His Presence. Once she got close to Him she wanted to get even closer. She wanted more. She received her healing the moment she touched Him, not because it was a rule, rather because she had faith in His Presence.
We must be attracted to Him. There must be something that draws us toward His Presence. Remove anything or anyone that pulls you away from Him. Be a steward of your time to receive more of His Presence.
Take these steps to know God more. Live a life chasing after Him. As you seek Him you will find Him. There is nothing greater than pursuing God’s Presence.