Getting Back God’s Presence and Manifestation
Ever since I was a child I have been addicted to getting understanding. I nearly drove my mother crazy with all my questions many of which she answered and many which she could not answer. When I became a Christian I discovered that Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice and they follow me.” Man did I get questions answered and miracles abundantly. It was a long time before I discovered I had an addiction to understanding like some people crave drugs. I only wanted to hear from God and know that the information or help I was requesting would be dumped on my lap. All this stopped earlier this spring after many decades of experiencing God to a degree that only compares with the biblical stories. I found myself in an overcast hole that seemed to be soundproof from the nurturing voice of the Master. My conundrum got worse and worse for a long time. Except for my ministry God seemed to be hiding, could that be?
Photo credit and thanks to: A.D. Chellino Studios
If it wasn’t for a sermon I heard from an anointed minister, I might still be sour faced and wearing my garment of heaviness. I seemed to think God had said that we need to get complete understanding of God, but of course He did not say that. It is written in Mark 12:30, “Thou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
There will be times when you don’t understand what God is doing because He is silent. He chooses when to manifest Himself and His presence and when to hide Himself. Job said in 23:8-10, “Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: On the left hand, where He does work, but I cannot behold him: He hidest Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him: But He knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Isaiah 45:15 says, “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” John 14:21-23 says, “He that hath my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. Judas said unto him, not Iscariot, Lord how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.”
Let me assure you that if the Father God and Jesus Christ make their abode with you after they come unto you, you will be very much aware of that. You may not be able to see the wind but you can tell where it blows from what it moves. So then, God the Father and God the Son manifests themselves to us. God both manifests Himself and hides Himself. When He is silent you can be in a pit like I was but when you understand you don’t need to understand God necessarily at the exact moment, but just love Him in return for His love, your burdens will be easy. You can rest in the Lord and cast your burdens upon Him trusting in His love. If He is silent it is because it is the right time for Him to be silent and it has nothing to do with anything else that you need to know about unless He has already told you what that is. Let me give you an example of this.
In the parable of the prodigal son we see he was right about having some entitlement to his inheritance but his timing to ask for it was off and he wasted it all. God may be silent in our troubles because we could not, at the present, understand what He needed to communicate to us, or because the timing was all wrong. If God is silent it is for a reason; if He hides it is because we aren’t ready for the reason or we are being matured and the best way to show His love for us is by withholding the information until our development is completed.
According to this minister, the phrase, “I’m playing this by ear” came from potters of another day, who would place their ear against the fiery furnace (kiln) and listen to when the pots began to make a singing sound. That sound indicated they were finished and had matured in the firing process and could be removed from the furnace. The minister said they actually sang and that God will leave us in His furnace until we are matured and reach the completion that He desires for us. The sooner we sing the sooner the God that hides Himself, also manifests Himself. As soon as this happens, Isaiah 61:3 says God is waiting, “To appoint unto them (us) that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”
What can we do when we’re in the pit? The bible says we could rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice or we could “enter in to His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise,” for the bible says He inhabits the praises of His people. God cannot inhabit something for long without you knowing it. That is my experience. Paul and Silas were beaten and cast into prison for preaching in Jesus name. When they were inquired of as to how they would conduct themselves, they said, “It is better to obey God than men.” Following that in Acts 16:25-26, “At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken and immediately all the doors were opened…”
1John 2:20 says, “But you have an unction from the Holy One and you know all things.” This is our inheritance but it does not mean you can tell somebody how to get from Uruguay to Santa Monica the fastest way. It means that we have the mind of Christ activated by the Holy Spirit, when He chooses. If we have the Holy Spirit, of course, we know all things but we might not be able to draw on all of them if God is hiding Himself. Yes, understanding is an important factor but not one we can always rely upon, love never fails. Again, loving God is the most important thing since He already loved us enough to send His only begotten Son to accomplish our salvation.
I love this example God gave me. Some little insects called lightening bugs or fireflies live on the ground and are hard to detect. They blend in with their habitat until you witness them some dark night when they light up the area the size of a bushel and fill the blackened atmosphere. Their brilliance is unmistakable and their flashes will get your attention. You may never actually see the fireflies because of their coloration and size, but you cannot help but notice their illumination.
The bible says in 1Timothy 6:15-16, “Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.” This God, who has lived forever, dwells in unapproachable light. This word light can also mean revelation. God knows far more than we do if that’s any secret. He knows many things we could not even comprehend and cannot approach. Like the prodigal son we would be much better off if we waited till the appointed time, the appropriate time to hear it. Until I saw this revelation I hated that song, “Further along We’ll Know all about it.” In some cases you may be with the Lord before you know all about it. That isn’t so bad and, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) Just think when we see Him we shall be like Him. (1John 3:2) The God who manifests Himself will also manifest His sons.