Have you ever wondered what it means to ‘host the Presence of God?’
King David wrote:
‘One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.’ (Ps 27:24)
The unusual circumstances in which God answered this cry of David’s heart—with the help of a man called Obed Edom —have something to teach us today.
The Day God’s Presence was too Hot to Handle
King David discovered the hard way that God’s Presence is to be honoured as holy.
His intentions were good—bring the Ark of God’s Covenant to Jerusalem, so that God’s Presence, along with praise and worship, could be at the centre of Israel.
Unfortunately, David turned to the ways of the world, not the way of God’s Word, to determine how to transport the Ark.  As a result, one well-intentioned young man on David’s team lost his life.
Deeply disturbed and upset, King David took the Ark of the Covenant aside, to the property of Obed Edom. (Read the full story in 2 Sam 6)
What Happened When Obed Edom Hosted God’s Presence:
Obed Edom opened the gate to his property and King David brought in the Ark of the Covenant, and with it, the glory and manifest Presence of God. What happened as a result is an inspiration for us today:
1. Personal Blessing on his Property and Household
The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household. (2 Sam 6:11)
When Obed Edom hosted God’s Presence, everything and everyone in Obed Edom’s life was touched by God and blessed.
The Bible doesn’t tell us that Obed Edom did anything to warrant this blessing.
- No extra praying or fasting
- No hard work to earn God’s favour
- No religious rites.
The only thing he did was host God’s presence.
Jesus has made the way open for us to live continually in God’s Presence. It is not by anything we have done, or can do, but by His blood shed for us.
2. The Rumour of God’s Goodness Gets Out
Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” (2 Sam 6:12)
Stories of what God was doing in Obed Edom’s life were being passed around, as people start gossiping the goodness of God.
Maybe it went something like this:
‘Have you heard what happened to Obed Edom since the Ark has been at his place?’
- His crops have doubled in size
- His daughter who was barren has started having babies
- That servant of his, last time I saw him was limping with a deformed leg, but he’s been healed 
When we host God’s Presence, people around us will notice the difference. The word of God’s goodness will get out.
3. Other People get Hungry for God
When King David heard the reports of God’s blessing on Obed Edom’s life and property, he became hungry for the Presence of God. As a result he now studied the scripture, looked into God’s prescribed way to transport the ark. (1 Chron 15:11-15)
You know that you are hosting the Presence of God when people around you become seekers.
When testimonies and stories go out, a chain reaction occurs. People see what is possible for them and they want what you have.
4. Obed Edom and his Family have a Godly Heritage
Obed Edom and his household were changed forever. No doubt his children and grandchildren grew up saying, ‘Can you remember when the Ark stayed with us? Can you remember what God did?’
And Obed Edom and his family have become a part of Israel’s story, recorded in Scripture for all eternity.
Later we see that a man called Obed Edom and his sons were gatekeepers for the Presence of God, for the tabernacle/temple (1 CHRON 15 & 26)
The Bible doesn’t expressly say this was the same Obed Edom, however evidence suggests that it was. Having tasted of the Presence of God, God called the family into a ministry through which they could be close to Him for generations to come.
5. A Nation is Brought to Worship
King David ‘and the entire house of Israel’ brought the Ark out from Obed Edom’s house—and the nation rejoiced.
David prepared a tabernacle for the Ark of God to dwell, and rostered Levite musicians to look after it, in accordance with God’s prescribed order.
And in an open tent, looking upon the glory of God, there was 24/7 worship and prophecy and praise—something that only happened during David’s time.
When you host God’s Presence, a chain reaction occurs that can impact not only your family, but your community, region and nations.
How to Host God’s Presence
Hosting God’s Presence is not about performance. It is not about following prescribed rules, or doing the right things, but about having God at the centre of our lives.
All that Obed Edom did was make room for God’s Presence.
What would happen if we believed ourselves to be living ‘Arks’ of God—containers of His manifest Presence?
What could take place if we saw ourselves as gatekeepers of every place that we occupy? To open the gate to His Presence in our homes, churches, workplaces and every situation we live and move in?
Take some time to pray today and ask, ‘Father, what does this look like for me, for my family, ministry, church, or workplace?’
 20 years before, in 1 Sam 6, God allowed the Philistines to transport the Ark on a new cart, in order to return it to Israel.
 To get an idea of what God’s blessing would have looked like for Obed Edom, read the marks of God’s blessing in Deut 28. These include health, fruitfulness, prosperity, and freedom from oppression. (In 1 Chron 26, lists 8 sons of Obed Edom ‘because God had blessed him!’)
Hunger for God: 6 Ways You Can Stir it Up
An Open Heaven Is Your Inheritance
Regional Visitation: the Place Where You Live Matters To God
Would you like to share some ideas on the topic of Hosting God’s Presence? Do you have a story to tell, or a scripture or poem to share? Leave a comment in the comments box. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church
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‘On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ John 7:37-39
Some years ago, we were visiting Pukekura Park in New Plymouth, NZ. Pushing our young son along in a stroller, I noticed a man-made waterfall. “Look, Stephen,” I enthused, “What a beautiful waterfall!” and we paused to watch it.
In the meantime, The Hunk was reading a notice behind us that said, “Insert a coin into the slot behind the wall to start the waterfall.” We found a coin and put it in the slot.
To our amazement, hidden floodgates opened and out came a massive downpour of water.
THAT WHICH I HAD THOUGHT WAS THE WATERFALL WAS IN REALITY ONLY A TRICKLE.
I came away thinking, “How like our experience of God. We become so accustomed to the measure we have known of His Presence and power, that we believe it is all that is available to us.”
Little do we know that beyond our experience is a vast supply that our Father is waiting for us to plug into.
The River of God
I long to have a lifestyle where people around me are being impacted by the Spirit’s power:
- Where my home life honours God
- Where my family, neighbours and workmates are being drawn to faith in Jesus
- Where regular answers to prayer for healing and freedom demonstrate the mercy of a loving Father
- Not just on a Sunday or at church meetings, but in the everyday.
Is such a life possible?
In Ezekiel 47, the prophet had a vision of a River that flowed from God’s temple into the surrounding land of Israel.
This River, sourced in God’s Presence and Rule, brought transformation, life and healing wherever it went.
Speaking of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Jesus later said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38)
This was a picture of the Holy Spirit moving through the life of a Christian—through you and me.
The Half-Lived Christian Life
God purposed that we be both receivers and releasers of His life, living not only for Him but also from Him.
Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Freely you have received, freely give.’ (Matt 10:8)
Our Christian life is supposed to be a continuous rhythm of receiving and releasing, receiving and releasing.
However, many times as Christians we have periods when we give without receiving, or receive without giving. In these times, the flow of the Spirit through our lives becomes restricted or blocked.
I find it helpful to stop regularly and check how I am going in this area.
Am I vitally connected to God? Am I excited about my life with Him and sharing about it with others?
Or is there a blockage somewhere?
Here are two checklists to help reflect on this. You may see a symptom you identify with, or you may be able to add your own.
Signs you are Receiving Without Releasing
- You attend church on Sundays, but people around your daily life are not moved towards God by the life you lead or demonstrate
- You may be bored with your Christian life and feel that you are caught in a rut
- You have received a lot of teaching but when you stop to think about it, you are not putting it into practice
- You long to see the power of God impacting others around you and wonder why it is not taking place
- You may have Christian friendships, but lack meaningful relationships with those who don’t know Jesus
- You may be involved in a ministry, but wonder why it is not as fruitful as it once was.
When we receive but do not give out, we eventually become stale in our Christian experience.
We may believe that receiving more teaching or personal experiences of God’s power will help, but ultimately, we remain dissatisfied.
Signs you are Releasing Without Receiving
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
The purpose of fruit is not for the vine or tree itself, but to be given away—to feed the hungry. However Jesus also taught us that we can only bear fruit when we are connected to and receiving from Him, our Source.
Here are some indicators that you are serving without being replenished:
- You are busy with Christian service, but are often short of time for your private devotional life with God
- You are feeling weary, spiritually and emotionally
- You find yourself going through the motions of living a Christian life or serving God, but it has become more of a duty than a passion
- You wonder where the power of God is
- You find it difficult to stop and receive from God—after all, other people are relying on you
- You do not have a current testimony of answered prayer or of God’s goodness towards you personally.
When we release without receiving, we are giving out of our own resources. Without being re-filled, we inevitably become dry and can ultimately burn out.
I confess this has been my personal downfall. It has always been easier for me to achieve than to receive.
Being replenished spiritually does not come naturally for many—it requires discipline.
Keys to Escaping the Half-Lived Christian Life
Receiving and releasing is the rhythm of the Christian life that God designed us to live.
If you have recognised signs that you need strengthening in one of these areas, here are some keys that may help:
1. Take time to meditate on what living a life of receiving and releasing means for you personally. The first step towards change is to realise that something is missing
2. Pray—talk to Your Father about it. Take time to encounter God and be filled with His Spirit
3. Become dissatisfied with your current lifestyle enough to do something about it. Decide on a specific course of action that will effect a change in your life
4. Find a Christian friend, leader or mentor who you can share with and who can help keep you accountable to lasting change.
If you can identify with the above thoughts, I have included a prayer in the comments at the bottom of the blog. To view the prayer or to share your thoughts on this topic, go to the comments box. If it is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
7 Signs of Spiritual Dryness
7 Ways To Combat Spiritual Dryness
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Publishing