If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there (Psalm 139:8 KJV)
Our calling in Christianity is closely related to God’s presence and glory. In fact, God has called you to be a man or woman of His presence. The Christian life or Church service is empty, futile, and boring without that presence! I will briefly share two fundamental revelations that will help you understand the presence of God.
First, God is a person, spirit, and Creator of everything else. As a person, He has a being, but He is outside of time and space as spirit. However, angels are also spirits, and God is not merely one of the spirits out there in the spirit world. So how does God’s presence differ from human or angelic presence? He is the Creator of humans and angels. Before He made heaven, His dwelling place amongst the angels, He lived in His eternal dwelling place(Isa. 57:15). His presence is outside of heaven and earth; therefore, Solomon said even the heavens of heavens could not contain Him( 2 Chron. 2:6)! It also means God’s presence is higher than heaven itself!
Since God is outside of His creation in heaven and earth, He has to step down from His eternal dwelling into heaven and the earth. This descent of His presence explains why His presence manifests in different ways or degrees. As Creator, His presence is higher than heaven and earth—this is His omnipresence, where He completely fills everything with His entire being in heaven, earth, and even hell( Ps. 139:8). However, His omnipresence is outside of our realm of perception as human beings.
When God steps into the realm of the earth and manifests His presence in any form that humans can perceive with their physical senses, we have typically called it the “manifest presence.” This is God’s presence that is visible or perceptible by the senses, such as cloud, fire, smoke, or light. Since human beings are the most God-like beings in all creation, it is no doubt that the highest expression of His manifest presence is in the form of a man, even in the Old Testament. His manifest presence reached its climax in John 1:14 when God Himself did not only appear as a man but became a Man! Jesus was God’s presence or Shekina dwelling amongst the people.
More common than the manifest presence of God is the abiding presence. This form of expression of His presence is like the wind that is not seen, but its results are palpable. For example, God was with David, but no one ever saw some heavenly hallow around David’s head or angels walking around with him. However, whenever anyone attempted to hurt David, then they encountered God! The abiding presence is God’s presence with us, without visible outward signs as the manifest presence, but with tangible results as He operates in and through us. This ongoing presence is a treasure in Christianity. God abides in you 24/7 as the Holy Spirit. You need not see Him physically. However, He will show up as the need arises, and you can commune with Him anytime! And as always, He still chooses to manifest His presence to us in different ways in special appearances.
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How is God different from the angels?
Apply the Word
God’s presence dwells and abides in you as the Holy Spirit. Live in the consciousness of His presence.
Thank the Lord for the beautiful blessing of His presence.