‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ (Jer 29:13)
When we say that we desire God’s Presence, what do we mean? After all, doesn’t the Bible tell us that He is already and always with us?
5 Reasons to Encounter God’s Presence
1. God’s Presence will Transform your Life
For three years prior to this, I had been living with constant depression and daily physical pain. However, I knew that God was calling us, and so I helped pack up our home and set out alongside my husband, with our two young children.
During our move, I had a strong impression that I needed to sit down and write something God was saying to me. Finally obeying, I captured just a single sentence, for three days in a row:
- ‘There is more, much more than you have known. You have yet to drink of My Presence.’
- ‘My Presence is always with you, but you do not always commune with Me.’
- ‘I love those who love Me, and those who diligently seek Me, will find Me.’ (Prov 8:17)
That weekend, visiting a friend’s church, we responded to an altar call to receive a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. I encountered the Presence of God in a way I never had before.
Filled with joy, I was healed of depression and pain, and together we received an empowerment from God that launched us into a new season of ministry.
2. God’s Plan is for Habitation
Jewish teachers coined an expression for the manifest Presence of God: Shekinah. The Hebrew word means ‘dwelling’ or ‘habitation.’ 
Shekinah encapsulates the very intention and desire of the Father; that He would reside with His people. The Bible opens with God walking with Adam and Eve in the garden. Then at last, in the closing pages of Scripture, we read this great declaration:
‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”‘ (Revelation 21:3)
God Within, Among and Upon us
- As individual Believers, we are ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’ (John 14:16, 1 Cor 3:16)
- As the church gathering together, Jesus is among us (Matt 18:20, Rev 2:1)
- As sons and daughters declaring God’s Kingdom to the world, His Spirit is upon us (Luke 24:48-49)
3. Encounter is on the Heart of God
Our Father paid the highest price: the life of His son Jesus, to make this habitation possible—and yet, habitation is not an end in itself. Habitation leads to relationship.
- Two people can live together in the same house, but that does not constitute a relationship.
As it was in Genesis, so it is today. (Gen 3:8-9) Encounter (face-to-face meeting) and communication are two vital building blocks in our relationship with God.
God is awakening within us a realisation that there is more available, more than we have known.
It is not about seeking an experience.
It is not about seeking an event.
It is about seeking encounters with God Himself. It is about relationship.
4. His Presence brings Revelation
The Revelation of God’s Nature:
The activity and manifestation of the Holy Spirit is always an expression of the Father’s nature and Personality. Encountering God’s Presence, we become aware of His holiness, His greatness and power, His love, His generosity, His grace. And we respond accordingly.
The Revelation of God’s Proximity:
When God’s Presence is manifested, there is a revelation of His nearness, His proximity to us. This realisation brings us to a crossroads. Will we step closer in our relationship with God?
Many non-Christians do actually believe in God. However, they consider Him to be remote and far off. When they encounter His Presence they are confronted, not only with His reality, but also with the Person of God Himself. This leads to a crisis of faith, a place of decision.
5. His Presence is the Greatest Witness we have
Miracles happen when those who do not know God encounter His Presence and power.
I have seen non-Christians who receive a personal prophecy come, trembling, to the altar to commit their lives to Jesus. The God that they thought was far off, or non-existent, has suddenly introduced Himself to them. The Father has revealed that He knows them intimately, that He loves them, has a plan to redeem their past and a purpose for their future. (see 1 Corinthians 14:24-25)
How can we Respond to God’s Call to Encounter His Presence?
Last week, I shared 8 ways in which the Holy Spirit’s Presence is evidenced. These include spiritual gifts, Divine communication, healing and miracles, supernatural signs and other manifestations of His Presence.
It is actually possible to enjoy and even celebrate what the Holy Spirit is doing, and yet miss the Presence of God.
We can make ourselves available to partner with the Holy Spirit, to pray, speak and go. We can see miracles take place—and yet miss the fact that the works of the Kingdom reveal the very Presence of the King Himself.
The healing evangelist, Kathryn Kuhlman, understood this. In her meetings, she courted the manifest Presence of God (the Holy Spirit) with worship, ministering His Word and waiting until His Presence filled the auditorium.
And then, miracle after miracle would break out. 
Today, I believe the Spirit is challenging us to desire, acknowledge and honour the Presence of God.
- In our life, home, work, relationships and ministry, to acknowledge His Presence
- When someone is healed, point to God’s Presence
- When God is moving, talk about His Presence with us
- In the use of spiritual gifts, honour His Presence
- In our ministry and church services, acknowledge that His Presence is here
- Earnestly desire and seek, not just His power, but His Presence.
‘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 on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.’ (Ps 27:4)
 See the following reference, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shekhinah
 Ref: Buckingham, J: Daughter of Destiny: The Authorised Biography of Kathryn Kuhlman
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