7 Levels of the Presence of God
Every person who ever lived sought the presence of God. For many they are not aware of what or who they are seeking, but they most definitely are on a search. God created us to have communion with him. The aching desire inside of every heart to find purpose and love leads people to fill it with many things. There is only one thing that satisfies the longing and that is the presence of God.
Generally speaking the presence of God is why we even exist. If He were not present, we would not be present. A person’s understanding and experience of the presence of God can be wide-ranging. Some deny His presence completely. Others claim His presence is unknowable. Still more think that His presence is far off and unattainable. These different views reflect the state of the observer’s heart. For those of us that believe that God is here and wants to be with us, there are different realities of His presence, as well.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
God is everywhere. Without Him there is nothing. His words spoke everything we see and do not see into existence. The “Christianese” term often associated with this level of God’s presence is omnipresence. You will not find that exact term in the Bible but the concept is clearly there. This is not pantheism which states that God is everything in the universe. Everything in the universe is a result of God, but it is not God. On the other hand, God is definitely anywhere we go. At any time any person can have an encounter with God.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
Every deep interaction with God starts from this encounter. The Holy Spirit draws us in to a relationship with Father through Jesus’ sacrifice. When we make Jesus our Lord and Savior our spirit comes alive. The presence of God is now alive in us through the Holy Spirit. We can now move forward and experience the presence of God for ourselves in a very personal, intimate fashion.
Filled With the Spirit
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Accepting Jesus is a powerful and Holy Spirit influenced occasion, but there is even more of the presence of God to have. Your spirit alive in Christ is amazing. Your spirit filled with the Holy Spirit is even better. Now it is not just about you. It is about the presence of God in you for the sake of others. Jesus clearly stated the power of the Holy Spirit is to be a witness. A witness testifies of what they have seen, heard or experienced. Our powerful encounter with God now becomes an advertisement to the world that God is real and that He wants to be present in the lives of people everywhere.
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
When we come together under the name of Jesus, He has promised that He will be present. This can be two people praying together or a stadium full of worshipers at conference. In these circumstances, we often have a greater sense of the presence of God. The combined faith of two or more results in God showing up and moving in a more powerful way. Once again, He created us to be in communion. We are stronger together as is the presence of God. Revivals and outpourings of the Spirit of God are amplified because of the unity of God’s people seeking Him.
In A Dream or A Vision
Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
You can either come to Jesus or Jesus can come to you. This type of presence of God is not as common as others but interacting with God in a dream or vision is a life-changing event. You could be asleep or awake. Either way it has an eternal impact. Paul went from persecuting Christians to becoming one of the most famous Christians after a single visionary encounter with Jesus. Many unevangelized areas of the world are seeing an increase in dream and vision encounters with Jesus. They too are having “Road-to-Damascus” conversions after Jesus shows up.
In the Body Or Out of the Body
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the bodyor out of the body I do not know, God knows.
2 Corinthians 12:2
The Bible has a few examples of men that either with their body (Enoch, Moses) or in their spirit (Isaiah, John) were transported into the very presence of God. This type of encounter often leaves the person in a state of disarray. For instance Isaiah was a hot mess when this happened to him:
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
Other testimonies of men and women of God who have experienced this level of the presence of God are similar. Intense does not begin to explain their encounter with the Creator of heaven and earth.
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8
While we may or may not experience some of these encounters with God, every one us will face the Lord in death. Hebrews tells us it is appointed that men will die. Those that have been washed in the blood of Jesus have the reward of eternity in the presence of God. The greatest loss for those that reject the love of God is an eternity outside of His presence, the very thing we have all desired to have. Psalm 116:15 reminds us that the death of the Lord’s saints is precious. It is a party when we come home to the place we were created to thrive in — the presence of God.
Every day we get closer to the reality of Jesus living on the Earth again. As that time draws near, the beat of our hearts and the thirst of our spirit for the presence of God grows stronger. Nothing else will do outside of being with our Father. Whenever we can we must go to Him. Constantly seeking His face and His presence will be the only thing that satisfies. May your heart find it’s home in the arms of the Father.
About the Author
Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.