As the New Year has begun, I believe the Holy Spirit is calling us to new levels of intimacy with Him. A fresh hunger for the word of God and His presence is stirring the hearts of His people with Holy fire and zeal. But we must recognize the glory of this time we are living in and understand that this is also a call to holiness that only comes through the knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3).
So many people get a taste of God’s presence, either in their own quiet time with Him or in a worship service, and think that’s what it means to have an encounter with God’s love. That’s a good start, but our intimacy with Him is meant to be so much more. God actually wants to give you such an overwhelming revelation of His heart toward you that your eyes are filled with His glory—that you would be perfectly content never leaving His presence again.
God recently gave me a vision of a big, beautiful tent. People came to this tent and received magnificent gifts from God and were amazed by how awesome this event was. But I could hear a challenge in the midst of this event for it to be more than that. God wanted people who in their hearts would say, “I’m not even going back out. I’m going to live here in His presence.” (Photo via Wikipedia)
God gives us that choice. We can have the presence of God as an event that happens every now and then, perhaps even every day during our time with Him. Or we can abandon all and just go with Him. And that’s what He wants—not to be an event in our lives but to be our continuous covering. When He says His banner over us is love, He means all the time. He wants us to be continually aware of His presence.
God Wants to Host Us!
Years ago I was in a worship service when God spoke to me about this. I realized that churches talk about hosting God’s presence, and that can be a lovely experience. We say, “We’re going to have a worship service at this particular time,” and then we gather together and invite God in. He comes in and touches people, and it’s beautiful. But God spoke to me that day and said, “Katherine, I don’t want to be hosted. I want to host you.”
Do you see the difference? If I host people in my home, I set an appointed time and they come over. Perhaps we have morning tea, and I go to my cupboard and bring out whatever I’ve got to serve them. But I’m in charge because it’s my house and they are the invited guests. I’m in control of the visit. And that’s what we do at our churches and, in many ways, in our own time with the Lord. We invite Him in but maintain control of the visit. We set an hour for this and ten minutes for that, and we’ll have a lovely time. And the Lord very often meets us on those terms.
But He would prefer to be the host. He wants a whole new mentality, a new wineskin for living in our presence. He says, “I don’t want you to have Me come as an event in your life, or even again and again as many events. I want you to live in My presence.” This is what it means to abide in Him. In Him, we live and move and have our being.
I believe that in this new year, the Holy Spirit is inviting us into such continuous fellowship with His Holy Spirit that people will be convicted and healed even as we walk into a room, our dreams will be filled with Him and His voice, and our waking hours will be more fruitful than we have ever imagined. Lift up your eyes, the King is talking to you!