Something that I falsely believed as a younger Christian was that I needed to call down God’s presence from the sky. I would pray more fervently, asking God to show me His glory, His presence, and manifest himself around me. I would sing praises, lift my hands, and shout, wanting God to just come down upon me and fill me with Himself. I called to the sky, looking for an answer, and one never came.
God didn’t answer my prayer. Why? Didn’t God love me? Didn’t God see all that I did, how much time I prayed and waited for Him? Didn’t God know that I desired Him?
Why wouldn’t God answer me?
Over the course of time God showed me why: Because His presence is always with me.
This is sort of a cliche in the Christian world, that God is with us. However, we really do forget this simple truth. We ignore it and then do exactly what I was doing, trying to call down God from the sky, as though I was a prophet of Baal who could get his attention by slitting my wrists.
The truth for a Christian is far simpler: God dwells in you. He is always with you. The fact that I prayed for more of God’s “presence” demonstrated my disbelief in Christ. It demonstrated that I truly didn’t believe God that He will be with me. It demonstrated that I didn’t understand what it meant that the Holy Spirit lives inside me. And this simple truth doesn’t stagger us Christians. We say it and move along.
I mean, who else can say, “Yea, the maker of the heavens and the earth, who formed the planets and the stars, and holds everything in His power, dwells within me.” I pray God will cause us to humble ourselves at the fact He would choose us to dwell in.
When I began to meditate upon this truth I knew that I was praying, singing, and sitting silent for hours for all the wrong reasons. I was doing this because I believed that God didn’t give me enough, and how sinful is that? How sinful is it to tell God He didn’t give me enough?
I was literally, telling God, that it wasn’t enough that He dwelt within me. It wasn’t enough that Christ died for me. And it wasn’t enough that God kept pointing me by His Word to His glory that was revealed in Jesus Christ. I wanted more.
I did what I know many Christians do. They read the passages where Moses asks to see God’s glory, and they then take that and pray and ask God for Him to show them His glory. But we ignore what this passage was demonstrating. Moses knew that He didn’t see God’s glory in the cloud, or on the stone tablets, or on top of the mountain. Moses didn’t see God’s glory in the tornado of fire that protected them, or in the cloud that went with them.
No, Moses knew God’s glory was going to come in Jesus Christ. Moses knew that Jesus Christ was the glory of God. This is why Moses in Deutreonomy speaks of another prophet God was going to raise up after him. Moses knew that Jesus would come, sooner or later. And that is the glory Moses wanted to see. But he believed God, and knew that God would fulfill His promise, and Moses would see His glory.
How many of us Christians take for granted the glory of God revealed in the Word of God in the character and person of Jesus? Paul knew of this and spoke of this. Which is why Paul, while in prison, wanted the books to read more and know more of Christ.
It is time for Christians to stop trying to call God down from the sky when He already has come in Jesus Christ, and has left us Scripture to meditate upon, and has given us the Holy Spirit.
I no longer pray to see God’s glory, but to know Christ more. The Holy Spirit’s role is to point us to Christ and teach us the love of Christ. He guides us in all truth, and we know that truth is Jesus Christ, for Jesus said he was the truth, the way, and the life.
The Truth is a person, and that person is Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit gave us His Word for us to meditate, and He guides us to meditate upon His Word.
As I have stopped praying to know God’s presence, and started praying to know Jesus Christ more, I have been broken far more times than I ever did when praying for His presence. I cry much easier now at the wonderful work of Jesus Christ, and I am angered by Christians who try to prevent brothers and sisters from turning to the true source of hope, Jesus Christ.
I plead to all my fellow believers, to stop praying for God to show His glory to you, because He has demonstrated it in the person of Jesus Christ. Pray instead, that you would know Christ. I call for Christians to repent of their unbelief, and continue to rest on Christ.
We live lives of continual repentance. Jesus Christ is sweeter to me today that yesterday.
Taste and see that the Lord is good, for Jesus Christ has revealed the Lord to us, and has given us the Holy Spirit, who goes with His people everywhere because He dwells within them.