“The church camps around the sermon; Israel camped around the presence.” – Bill Johnson
A stirring quote from Bethel’s senior leader and yet it reveals an important truth about our priorities. The most important thing to Israel throughout the Old Testament was not their inspiring leaders, fathers or even their most revered scriptures the Torah. The focus of Jewish life was around the presence of God. The activities of leaders, fathers, judges, queens, prophets and kings was centred around God’s presence. God is calling the church back to that priority of presence. It is not to deny the importance of other things but rather to fit them into a proper order.
As believers on this side of the cross we have unprecedented access to God’s presence now and so I thought it would be fun to explore what happens in the presence.
Here is a short biblical study on some of the things that happens in God’s presence:
- We are set apart from the rest of the world – Exodus 33:16
- We radiate God’s glory and goodness to those around us – Moses’ face shone (Exodus 34)
- We find the fullness of Joy – Psalm 16
- People get healed -Acts 5:15, Luke 5:17
- People respond physically and emotionally -Num 20:6, Psalm 16:1
- We find protection – Psalm 31:20
- Our perspective on life circumstances is transformed – Psalm 73:16-17
- God guides his people and reveals his plans – Deut 4:37, 1 Kings 19:11
- God speaks – Exodus 33:11
- World leaders are commissioned – 1 Sam 11:15
- We speak with authority to others – 2 Timothy 4:1
What we need more than anything is more of God’s presence not just more knowledge. We do not need more information but rather in-me-formation. Why not spend some time in His presence today? This list is by no means exhaustive so what other things can you think of that happen in the presence of God?