IN HIS PRESENCE
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1.Thessalonians 5,16- 18)
In this book, we want to look at scriptures and biographies. How did people live their lives in the presence of the LORD? What can we learn from their lives, and how can each of us live in just such a close relationship with our Father in Heaven?
Many believers know those verses very well. The words show us GOD’s will and desire for our life. If we look into our own lives or into the body of Christ, many do not live in their full destiny. There is a great difference between what GOD has for us and how we handle our daily life. Do you agree with me? How do we get to this place, GOD has made for us in this noisy world, where everywhere there is a new message to read, something new to hear or speak about?
Have a look at the first words. “Always be joyful.” This is not a suggestion; this is a command. Do you know why? Joy is a great power that motivates us to endure, to break through things, to climb with GOD on every mountain and over every obstacle and circumstance that comes our way. There are many verses in scripture about joy. In Nehemiah 8,10, the Israelites had to work hard to build up their city again and to fight against the enemies who wanted to kill them and burn their city down. Amid all this trouble, where discouragement tried to weaken the people, Nehemiah stood up. He stood up against all depression and confusion. He said something very important:
Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength! (Nehemiah 8,10)
We see that there is no excuse for bad thoughts and the fact that too often the enemy can steal our joy. Perhaps you think, oh, you do not know the things I am confronted with. You are right, and for this reason, I want to share my testimony with you.
I am not the kind of person, that denies problems. For the last eight years, I have been a single Mom of two wonderful kids. Now they are eleven and thirteen. When I left the marriage we had built together, I had a job with less income. Night after night nightmares were robbing my peace and sleep. Questions were torturing my mind. Where would the money come from to pay the bills and debts off? How can I be a good mom and work full-time? How can I get a better job and use my gifts? And as a Christian believer, there is always the question, what does GOD want me to do for his Kingdom?
There were times when I had 10 € per week, to buy our food. All the money I earned went to pay off the apartment, car, bills, debts, and school. And there was emotional torture, to be single for some people is cool; for me, it was torture for a long time.
The DECISION is YOURS
In all this, I had to make the decision that circumstances are circumstances, but I have to set my eyes on the LORD. Robbing joy and peace is the beloved game of the enemy. He will never stop this game unless we decide to leave the circle and no longer give him the chance to hold us back from our heavenly blessings. This acknowledgment is important for our life with GOD.
And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away. - And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 10,38 and 11,6)
Do you want to please GOD? Do you want to come into his holy presence? The decision is yours. GOD has done everything for you, he gave JESUS for you. JESUS said, “It is done.” There is nothing we can do further to accomplish what he did. It has to be our heart’s desire to please GOD and honor what he did for us. No matter how sad your situation is, he has a way for you and a plan for your life. Never give up seeking his face and presence.
It is a pleasure for GOD when we worship him in our darkest hours as King David did. You know for sure that his life was not perfect although it is written that he was a man who pleased GOD.
Let us look deeper into the verses in Nehemiah 8. What did he say in all the negativity around him? Go, celebrate! Wow, we must understand with our heart and not with our mind that joy is a great power; how much more is the joy of the LORD a very great power!
In GOD´s presence, we get distance from our circumstances and sorrows. They are not gone, but we get another perspective on them. When we lift our eyes to GOD, and seek his face, we step into the heavenly realm.
Our prayer time should always start with telling GOD how much we love him, and how thankful we are for what he did for us. Tell GOD what He is for you--your thoughts and emotions about him. This gives you the possibility to see how strong your relationship is. The more you can tell him what he means to you, the better you know him.
Our Soul sometimes lies very well, and we think we live so close to GOD. The most important thing in our life with GOD is to be honest, with ourselves and with GOD. As in our daily life, we trust those who are honest with us. It is the same with GOD. We are made in his image. If you want GOD to trust you, start today to be honest with him.
A tax collector came to the temple and prayed a simple prayer.
But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.” I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Luke 18,13-14)
JESUS makes it clear, what the Father honors is a prayer from a pure and honest heart, just the truth. GOD knows everything about us; he is not interested in rituals or long stories. He wants us to share with him what is on our heart. So be honest with him and tell him the truth; it is unnecessary to brighten up your words when you talk to him.
Why do I say talk and not pray? I want to show you that it is easy to pray, and it is not a stupid, boring waste of time. In the second part of the book, we will look at people who lived their lives so normally with GOD.
This is the perspective for every believer in JESUS Christ. Our relationship with GOD has to become a close friendship, a Father-Child relationship, that is so familiar that you can share everything with him. This is the point when GOD starts to share his thoughts and plans with you, and this is the point where heavenly intercession begins.
GOD is not interested in special rules and man-made rituals, he only wants you to be honest with him. What GOD makes angry is a religious spirit. JESUS always confronted people who had a heart of stone but a lot of rules and scripture phrases in their minds. Do you understand why he was so angry about this? He is still angry about people who act in this way!
Those people behave as if they obey GOD, as if they believe in his word, as if they love GOD. In their hearts is no love of GOD; otherwise, JESUS wouldn´t have called them whitewashed tombs. People who have only the laws and rules in their mind, give a view of GOD how he never described himself in his word. For this reason, JESUS was so angry with them. Many people search for a loving Father in heaven but get instead a hard and lawful Father.
JESUS said that if we do not gather together the harvest, we destroy it. So many people were destroyed and couldn´t come to JESUS because others represented a Father that doesn´t exist.
When I came to JESUS, I always prayed that I would know him as he really is. It is still my greatest heart’s desire to know more and more about how GOD really is. The more you get this desire for your own, the more GOD will open up secrets to you. He will take you to heaven and show you what is necessary for you.
Another aspect is that some people think they could sell GOD´s spoken word. I want to tell you, this desire is witchcraft and has nothing to do with GOD and the Holy Spirit. You can´t produce a prophetic word, GOD is sovereign. It belongs to him when he gives you a word, a picture, a dream, or a vision. When he gives it, it is always to bring you or the person you are speaking to nearer to the heart of GOD. There is never rejection, discouragement, or something evil in it. GOD speaks to his children in a way that they understand him. When you want to pray for others, always start with honoring GOD as JESUS taught us.
TEACHING about PRAYER and FASTING
When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. (Matthew 6,9-13)
This is so important because we always have our own opinion on how things should work out. If we focus on JESUS and the Father and let the Holy Spirit guide us, we go in the Spirit to a higher place. As I mentioned, you start then praying in the heavenly realm because you do not pray what you feel or think.
In 1 Samuel 16,8, it is written that man only looks with his eyes, but the LORD always looks into the hearts. We can only see things with our physical eyes; this is how we make our decisions most of the time. We judge situations and things on how they look instead of seeking the Father and asking him to give us his view above all.
GOD likes to bring us to a higher place where he can share everything with us. It depends on us if we are ready to be silent and wait for him. I want to encourage you to seek him and his presence with all your heart; it will refresh your prayer life if you know him well, and it will bring you closer to his will and your destiny.
Dear FATHER in HEAVEN,
I come into your presence and lay down all my desires and questions and sorrows and what is torturing and blowing up my mind. I pray that your Holy Spirit will guide me into the Holy of Holies and that I will know you better and better. You are the only one who is worthy of all praise and honor. Today I make the decision to stay and rest in joy. I will celebrate your goodness no matter what circumstances tell me. I pray that you cleanse my heart with the blood of JESUS so that I can hear and see with my spiritual eyes and ears what is on your heart. JESUS, let me feel what your heart is beating for, I want to know you more and more.
JESUS, in your Mighty Name, Amen.