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 honored 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 center 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. [1] 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 favor
  • 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 about 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 [2]

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 center 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?’


[1] 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.

[2] 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!’)

For insights on Intimacy with the Holy Spirit and Prayer, I warmly invite you to join me at the Enliven School of Prophetic Prayer (a self-paced online course).

Related Posts:

Hunger for God: 6 Ways You Can Stir it Up

An Open Heaven Is Your Inheritance

How to Host God’s Presence

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

in the David McCracken Ministries family

12 thoughts on “How to Host God’s Presence (and 5 Breakthroughs that Result)”

  1. Thank you so much Helen, I Absolutely Love this topic.

    A poem I wrote while reflecting on Psalm 23 and Isaiah 61:1-3. The Oil mentioned in my poem is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

    I find the Beautiful Sweet Holy Presence of GOD brings such a Healing and Refreshing for my soul. It’s like FATHER GOD is Pouring Out HIS Precious Pure Holy Oil from Heavens Throne Room, to Refresh, Refill and Restore in me the Comfort, Peace, Joy and Strength of the Holy Spirit.

    My Soul finds Rest in JESUS
    HE is my Resting Place
    HE Renews my Strength, as I Seek HIS Face

    River of Life, Come and Touch my Heart
    Flow like Oil from Heavens Throne Room, and Begin to Impart
    Healing and Salvation, Refreshing my Heart
    Renewing my Joy, Strength, Hope and Restoration

    Like Oil from Heaven, Flow Everywhere
    Releasing the Peace of GOD in the Air

    The Peace of HIS Presence is Raining in my Soul
    The Presence of GOD is making me Whole
    Healing Waters are Flowing in me
    Saturating my Heart to See
    HIS Glorious, Powerful Majesty

    The Joy of HIS Presence is Bubbling Up, deep within my Heart
    The Joy of Heaven is in the Air
    The Joy of Heaven is Bubbling Everywhere

    Holy Spirit Raining Showers of Heaven in me
    Opens Up my Eyes to See

    Showers of GOD Pouring Out HIS Glory, HIS Goodness, HIS Mercy and Grace
    Showers of GOD Raining Healing, Salvation, Joy and Restoration
    Showers of GOD Healing Hope, to every Nation

    The Love of JESUS my Saviour, Flooding Over my Soul
    Showers of HIS Love, Joy and Peace making me Whole

    Poem by Irene Kyriacou

  2. Thanks so much Irene, I love your poems! On Sunday after I preached the above message, someone gave me a poem inspired by my sermon, it was also on the river of life . 🙂
    And the gift of the poem prompted me to ask for them on the blog.
    Love Father’s creativity expressed in His people!

  3. Helen, thank you so much for preaching and sharing your God given gifts and messages at Central Christian Church in Seymour on Sunday. Your message really reached my heart, leaving me very encouraged and uplifted. I know I was not the only one positively impacted by what you and Malcolm shared.
    Thank you so much for telling me about your blog, I look forward to reading the things you share.
    God bless,

    1. Thank you Sally, I was delighted to meet you and you were a blessing to me as well. I love what God is doing in your church. 🙂

  4. Thanks for another insightful post Helen!

    I’m struggling a bit with this teaching… not because I don’t believe it but I just haven’t been seeing its fulfilment? I ache for God’s presence and he IS here, and yet I seem to have emptiness in so many areas. I seek him for who he is and not these “fringe benefits” of being his host, yet you seem to be saying that it’s right to want those things in addition to wanting him. What do I do then with my experience of not having the abundance that Obed-Edom did?

    BTW thanks for your kind words re my blog. It took me a while to see them! Please note new website address and come back to visit! :o)

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I understand the struggle. Whilst I can identify with Obed Edom on one hand (by faith and entering into, if not in fullness) I can also identify with David in this story… The hearing of it by remote, the desire not yet fulfilled, the seeking after. Also, he did get ‘burned’ and hurt. Perhaps you can identify more with David, and if so, that’s a good thing. Could you relate to this? if so, Consider the outcomes for him, and I pray you receive encouragement today.
      (Will check your blog again 🙂

  5. Hi Helen,
    Awesome article, again! I love how you stir up the fire within me. I was led to this article after reading Regional Visitation. Really got me thinking – keep writing – it is bearing much fruit, more than what you know. And this year, I see that your ministry will explode internationally. Thanks for your ministry. Love you guys. I write to you from India, in Asia and I run two ministries here. Your words have always inspired and encouraged me, at the right time.

  6. Dear Joy, thanks for leaving the note I am delighted to hear from you. May your ministries in India continue to grow and bear rich fruit for His Kingdom.
    Keep the fire burning!

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