One of the hardest things to put into words is what it is like to feel the presence of God. It’s life altering. For me it is something that has never left…from the first time I ever felt it. Not to say that it doesn’t come and go…because it does. But I am aware of it. Through the Holy Spirit, God has given me assurance and validity…and comfort and peace and joy….and conviction.
People…often look at me and ask “What is wrong with you?”
Garrett and I were having this conversation last night after spending most of our Sunday at the church. Being in the presence of God fills me with an indescribable joy that usually lasts for hours if not all day. People that didn’t understand it, or have never experienced it, often look at me and ask, “What is wrong with you?” But nothing has ever been wrong. In fact it’s quite the opposite.
So, as Garrett was watching a little football and I was looking through my phone, I decided to pick up my bible which had been sitting next to me for an hour. Having no idea what to read, I was hoping for something “deep”. So I said a short prayer that God would show me something. I started reading John chapter 1. I was highlighting everything that mentioned Jesus being a part of Creation and being WITH GOD before he was ever on earth. We continued reading until I reached John 1:29 that read, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (KJV). Now, I have read this verse LOADS of times…but this time I saw it differently. I saw it from John the Baptist’s eyes.
Have you ever considered what it might have been like to physically stand in the presence of Jesus?
Still envisioning this in my mind, I looked at Garrett and said, “Have you ever considered what it might have been like to be John….standing in that muddy river….when you look up and see Jesus, the SON OF GOD, slipping and sliding down the river bank toward you? Can you imagine the ‘awe’ that you would feel? To look up and KNOW that this is the Messiah?” I’m sure he could see the happy tears in my eyes (which I was actually trying to suppress). Garrett thought for a minute and kind of smiled at me. Then his face changed to thoughtfulness and he said, “How did John KNOW that it was Jesus? Up to this point, John had never met him or seen him, right?” I nodded and said, “I would imagine, as faithful as John was, that he could just FEEL it.”
Now, three verses later John says that God told him that “upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (John 1:33)…..which answered our original question. However, the comment I made about “feeling” His presence seemed to provoke another thought from Garrett.
He asked us to put ourselves in their shoes…
He reminded me of the comments by a staff pastor at the church from earlier. The pastor had mentioned the scary and uncomfortable feeling some people get when they visit a church for the first time…or come from a different Christian background than what is expressed at our church. He asked us to put ourselves in their shoes and imagine what they are thinking and feeling. Garrett said there must be a lot of that from Christian to Christian… depending on your upbringing or church background….or lack of any Christian background.
Yes, I can imagine that.
It might also shed a little light on the funny looks and questions I get when I say I “FEEL” God. How can anyone understand the overwhelming desire to cry out to Him, the sense of calm that settles over your entire body from the inside out, or the joy and love that feels like it’s radiating from your very existence if they have never felt the presence of God? Or the power of the Holy Spirit?
Have you ever heard a person quote the scripture “My cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:5)? I used to hear it a lot as a kid. The overflowing cup is representative of the many blessings and provisions given to us by God. Until now, I had never considered it as a way of describing the joy in my heart when God moves. It’s like a neverending wave of love that just continues to flow. It’s still impossible for someone to fully understand it if they have not yet experienced it….but it sounds appealing, right?
The “feeling” really isn’t a feeling at all. It’s the Holy Spirit stirring in us.
I don’t want anyone to confuse human feelings with the “feeling” that I speak of. This isn’t something that’s fleeting…or even something that is of this earth. It’s divine. And you know it’s divine when its there. I usually feel it when reading my bible or talking to God…while I am SEEKING Him. Or I feel it when I’m in fellowship with other Christians who are also reaching out to God. The “feeling” really isn’t a feeling at all. It’s the Holy Spirit stirring in us.
The LIVING Spirit was a gift (Acts 1:1-9)….a blessing and a promise that stays with us, to guide us until the day that Christ returns. It’s something that I am incredibly grateful for. Devote yourselves to SEEKING God. Make it your passion. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him to guide and direct your everyday life. I pray that you find fulfillment in your lives through Jesus and that by His will you experience the Holy Spirit moving within you as well.