God's presence has a thousand and one feelings, bringing joy, peace, and so forth. However, God's presence is more than just a feeling. God's Presence is His commitment to be present for His children! Not only God wants to take us to heaven someday, but He also longs to bring heaven into our daily lives.
God's Presence at Home
“Then Moses said to him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:15-17)
Moses’ heart was so longing toward God's presence that he did not want the Promised Land if God won’t be there with him. Each of us must have an attitude of heart that really desires God personally! In building a relationship with God, we should not do so half-heartedly. In times like this, take the time to develop your heart's capacity to build a personal relationship with our beloved Lord!
These are the nature of God's presence:
In the presence of God, our problems seem to disappear. Yes, our struggle still exists, but the "yoke" of the problem itself has been broken when entering God's presence. That is why we always feel peace after entering His presence.
The presence of God always fills the hearts of those who come before Him with glorious and useful things. That is why our hearts always feel satisfied after bowing down at His feet.
Those who enter God's presence will be filled with His wisdom and guidance. That is why we become wiser after entering His presence.
God's Presence in the Church
“Then Moses said, “Now show me Your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” He said, “you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” Then the LORD said, “There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock. When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My hand and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-23)
In the church, not only we experience God's presence but also His glory. But it is futile for people who only go to church without having desire to build a personal relationship with God in their home. The church is not God's presence, but the church must invite and channel His presence. The church is a place close to God. Nations will flock to come to confess their sins and worship God in His glory.
The functions of the Church are:
1. The church is placement
In the church, people will be found and find the right place to serve God and others. They will be given tasks and learn to lead one another.
2. The church is a sanctuary
The church is a sanctuary for those who are guilty, not so that their sins are covered up, but so that their lives are restored. In the church, we learn to keep each other in the fear of God.
3. The church is a place of revelation
One sermon can be heard by all, but the rhema and application for each individual will be different. God gives a specific revelation for each of His sheep, and there is also a vision and mission that God reveals corporately. For example in the Rose of Sharon Church, with one voice we agree to build 300 local churches by 2030!
Excerpted from Ps. Philip Mantofa’s sermon