The Presence is a Person
Prophet Elisee Yao / 11 Aug 2019
The presence of God is not an atmosphere; the glory is an atmosphere, but the Presence is a person. We can carry the glory, but we don’t ‘carry’ the Presence; we WALK WITH the Presence. When Jesus walked with His disciples He was physically present among them. Later, Jesus told them that He was going to go away and that He would give them “another advocate to help you and be with you forever…for He lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17, NIV). The Presence is a person and His name is the Holy Spirit. He carries God’s divine presence, and walks with us.
We can carry the glory, but we WALK WITH the Presence.
A long distance relationship is neither easy nor good for the heart. Continuous physical distance has the ability to extinguish the fire of love. Not being in the presence of the one you love allows opportunities for others to walk in, distract you, and draw your gaze off of your partner. Any healthy relationship is entertained by, and highly dependent on, the presence of both people. This is why Jesus came back in the form of the Holy Spirit to be with us. He is with us every day, and desires to be in a close, intimate relationship with each one of us.
When the Presence goes with you, He attracts favour. A clear example is Joseph (Gen 39:2). Because God was with Joseph, he prospered in everything that he did. Likewise, when the apostles preached they were favoured, the Holy Spirit was with them all the time, confirming their words with signs and wonders (Mark 16:20). When the Holy Spirit is with you, He is your partner. The Lord was with the apostles, just like the Presence is with us!
The Presence is not the same as the anointing, however. The anointing is God’s ability (empowerment) in you to do His work, while the Presence is God Himself doing the work without you. Jesus was anointed, but the miracles of Jesus did not happen because of His anointing but because the Presence of God was with Him (Acts 10:38). Many of us are seeking the anointing instead of the Presence, not understanding that the anointing is limited. The Devil can oppose you at the level of anointing, but He will not be able to oppose you at the level of the Presence.
When you operate from the anointing only, and not with the Presence, you can slumber. The wise virgins had extra oil, but the Bible says that they all fell asleep: both the wise and unwise virgins (Matt 25:5). How is this possible? The anointing doesn’t talk to you or relate to you, it is upon you for the benefit of other people. The wise virgins slept because there was no communication yet.
The Presence of the Bridegroom changes everything.
The oil (anointing) is powerful, but the oil cannot save. Samson, for example, was anointed but it did not save him from death. Many perish because they might have the anointing but no relationship with the Presence Himself, therefore, God doesn’t know them. The presence of someone has the ability to keep you awake. Like when you have to drive through the night, taking someone with you on the trip is safer than travelling alone because the presence of that person prevents you from falling asleep at the wheel. Just like the Presence of the Bridegroom woke the slumbering virgins, so His presence will help keep you awake when He sees you slumbering! The Presence of the Bridegroom changes everything. When the midnight cry announced the arrival of the Bridegroom (Matt 25), all woke up (just like they all fell asleep). Yet, the ones lacking oil could not maintain the relationship. The oil (anointing) sustains you.
Remember: the Presence is with you (for your benefit), the glory is around you (the tangible manifestation of God Himself), and the anointing is upon/given to you (for the benefit of others).
Entertaining and Attracting the Presence
If we move without the Presence, we have nothing, so we first need to come to a place of awareness. There is a marked difference between those who know how to discern when Abba is there, and those who don’t perceive Him at all. And so many of us battle because of a lack of consciousness; we don’t enter His Presence with consciousness. When you know that someone is with you, you are careful not to do certain things. It’s when you believe that you are alone, that you do whatever you want to. When you become conscious of the presence of God, there is a change in mind, attitude, and behaviour because the Presence urges you to step away from things that don’t glorify Him, and move into that which does. You start to change because the fear of the Lord comes upon you, knowing that you are in the very presence of God Almighty!
If we move without the Presence, we have nothing
To fellowship with the Presence, you need to have a place called ‘there’. Jesus often went ‘there’ to pray, and He stayed on His knees until the will of God was made clear to Him. Go ‘there’! The only problem is that no one can go to your Gethsemane for you. Jesus tried this; He tried to take His disciples with Him and they all fell asleep. Gethsemane is a private experience. No one can go ‘there’ with you, and if they try, they will slumber. The Presence is also distracted when there are a lot of people around you, so if you are not alone, the Presence won’t come to you. We all need to make a habit of going ‘there’ alone to pray.
This is why another key ingredient is prayer. Prayer is the closest place to heaven in your life. Consider why a baby is so attached to breastmilk. It is because suckling is the closest the baby can get to the womb. When you are not praying, you are not talking to Him, and it is like you are disconnected from the womb: you are not suckling on the bosom of God. This is not just any kind of prayer though, but prayer for the purpose of deep fellowship. If you don’t have this fellowship with the Lord, you easily become a vessel in other people’s hands instead of a vessel in God’s. We don’t pray because we want the Presence, we pray because we are in the Presence. Prayer is made in His Presence.
To fellowship with the Presence, you need to have a place called 'there'.
So we entertain the presence on the altar of prayer. The enemy doesn’t want you to pray because he knows that when you spend time in prayer, you are filled with the presence of heaven and you start to change. Prayerlessness is a sign of backsliding. When prayer stops, you become lustful, irritable, and hopeless. The reason why there are so many frustrated Christians in churches today is because they are not praying, they are complaining; there is a vast difference. When you enter that place of prayer and intimacy, God becomes real to you: He becomes your friend, your partner, your EVERYTHING. And it is in this place of prayer that the flesh is slain.
You need to allow the me in you to die, so that the He in you can live, because the Presence is attracted by those who live a sacrificial life. The Presence does not come with the anointing or prayers asking for ‘His presence to go with you’; the Presence comes with choices, dedication, and a lifestyle of separation unto Him. The Presence shows up when you decide to make a covenant with your eyes unto the Lord, to keep looking ahead and not from side to side; when you offer your mind to God, and your mind is renewed; when you dedicate your heart to Him, and when you decide to follow the Lord rather than the ways of the world. Your whole being becomes saturated with the Presence when you surrender all to Him, because the Presence only comes when there is sacrifice.
You need to allow the me in you to die, so that the He in you can live.
A pure heart of worship is very appealing to heaven. Since worship attracts the Presence, the church needs to restore the tabernacle of David. When you lay everything down before the Lord as a sacrifice, and start to worship, the Presence arrives. When your lifestyle is one of worship and sacrifice you reach a point where life is not about you anymore, it’s all about Him. A point where God can ask you to do anything and you don’t question Him. This is what Paul meant when he said, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20, NIV). All of Him, none of me…
Be challenged to set up an altar of worship before the Lord in your secret place, so that when you come out of ‘there’ you are transformed into a living sacrifice. Be like Jacob who had a real encounter with the Presence and came out physically altered: bending at the hip. The body depends on the hips for balance and support. Being with the Presence makes you weak in yourself. All of a sudden, you need to lean on something (or Someone) stronger for support so that you can walk on. Like Jacob, we need to get to a place of full reliance on His Presence in our daily walk with Him; where we cannot move properly without leaning on Him constantly. We have to lay it all down and seek the Presence to such an extent that our walk becomes visibly different to those around us. When your lifestyle becomes an altar of sacrificial worship to God, you carry the glory and the presence of worship with you wherever you go.
Go ‘there’, practice a keen awareness of Him, and pray without ceasing, so that wherever you go, you go with the Presence of God.