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More Stories by Frank A. Decenso Jr.

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The Relevantly Potent Gospel: The Message

The Relevantly Potent Gospel: The Evidence

The Ministry Model of Jesus: Part One

The Ministry Model of Jesus: Part Two

Experience His Presence Series

Experience the Presence of God: Be Accepted

Experience the Presence of God: Be Aware

Experience the Presence of God: Be Active

Experience the Presence of God: Be Alert


Experience the Presence of God: Be Active

By Frank A. DeCenso Jr.
Guest Writer

Hebrews 10:19, 22
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus ... 22let us draw near ... .

These verses call us to boldly draw near to His presence. This may appear to contradict the implications of His presence being universal and His Holy Spirit dwelling in us, so let's examine this admonition to "draw near" from two perspectives: our perspective and God's perspective.

Our Perspective: Our drawing near to God comes from our hearts' desire for more intimacy with the Creator of the universe; an intimacy much deeper than His cosmic presence gives and more intimate than even His indwelling presence provides. It is an intimacy not unlike a bride’s desire for her bridegroom’s embrace, or a child’s longing to be held by his or her father.

God's Perspective: God longs to dwell with us in the sweet fellowship that was lost in the Garden because of sin. Now, since Jesus died to pay the price for sin, the Father is ever bidding, ever inviting humanity back into companionship, to dwell and commune forever with Him. He desires to be intimate—friends or lovers, if you will—with those whom He created and deeply loves.

Not to belabor the issue, but to reiterate it because of its profound implications, we can enter into God’s glorious presence with a “humble boldness” because of what Jesus accomplished for us.

We may sometimes think of God as a taskmaster with a list of ‘chores’ for us to do. In reality, His heart beats with both a love for us and a desire to fellowship with us. Jesus issued an invitation in Revelation 3:20: “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends” (New Living Translation).

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, I will not be dealing in depth with all the practicalities of pursuing God's presence. However, I feel I would be amiss at this point not to present at least a few personal examples.

One example is my spending quiet time before the Lord, inviting Him to "hang out" with me. I have found this practice extremely beneficial, particularly on cold, wintry mornings, lying face down near the fireplace. As the warmth of the logs permeates my body, the warmth of God's presence penetrates my heart, and I simply find myself basking in His love.

A second example is when I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in what Scripture passages to meditate on. I try to follow a yearly Bible reading regimen, but I have the most blessed times thumbing through the Scriptures, waiting for the Spirit's guiding, and listening to His instruction. What a beautiful way to learn about God—being taught by Him!

Moving on in our study, we find in the following Psalm a writer articulating a strong desire to be where God was:

Psalm 84:2, 5
2My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
5Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

The psalmist’s longing for God drove him to make the pilgrimage from his perhaps distant home to Zion—the place where God's manifest presence dwelt. This pilgrimage of many was not like a short car ride to a local revival meeting. In some cases, it was an arduous trek through a wilderness that required persistence and determination to complete. The psalmist's hunger for God’s presence fueled him with "strength" in the quest to find the presence of God at the end of his destination—always trusting that when he arrived, God would be there.

May our hearts cry out for God's fellowship to such a degree that we will not rest until our pilgrimage finds us in the place of His presence! God is bidding us to "draw near" so that He may touch us with His glory, His awesome grandeur, and His everlasting love. Oh, that our hearts would be reciprocal in our yearning to touch God! Why not invite Him to spend some time with you today?

As we seek His presence in deeper and more intense ways, we will need to employ the next step of being more alert.

Copyright © 2005 by Frank A. DeCenso Jr. All Scripture references are NKJV unless otherwise noted.

Frank has been teaching the Bible in churches and other venues for more than 20 years. He is currently the Ministry Resources Director at Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Virginia Beach, Va. He is an employee at Regent University in the Information Technology Department. Frank is married and lives in Virginia Beach.

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