Pursuing and Encountering God’s Presence
November 10, 2019
- This will be a different type of message. We won’t be looking at one particular text, but rather a number of texts that speak to the reality of God’s presence among His people.
- God is pleased to dwell among His people as we worship Him. But what does it mean for us to experience God’s presence? Is God active as we worship Him? What does that look like today? We seek to answer those questions today.
- In this message, I’m borrowing significantly from Bob Kauflin’s book entitled True Worshipers, specifically chapter 8, entitled True Worshippers Encounter.
I. God’s Intention – To Manifest His Presence to His People
A. God’s presence with Adam and Eve in the garden
- Creation: fellowship unhindered
- Fall: fellowship broken
- Promise of a Redeemer: fellowship restored
B. God’s presence with the twelve tribes of Israel
- Tabernacle / Temple
- The Holy Place and the Most Holy Place
C. Jesus: God’s Temple
- Jesus became the tabernacle in the midst of us.
- God desires to dwell among His people. Now we see the face of God in the face of Christ. His name is Emmanuel, “God with us”
- Access to God’s presence is now open to everyone through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
D. The Church: God’s Temple
- Jesus called His disciples to tell others about Him, and when the HS is sent, (4.) the church now becomes the divine sanctuary of God – each believer indwelt by the Spirit of God
- God no longer dwells in a temple of stone, He dwells in our hearts
- We are His temple
- The church is God’s temple, and everyone who is born again has the Spirit of God dwelling within them (I Cor. 6:19-20)
- When God’s people, who have His Spirit within them, gather together for worship, there God is in the midst of them
II. Expect His Promised Presence
A. God’s Promised Presence
- With Us As Individuals
- We are a temple of the Holy Spirit – God’s presence within us (1 Corinthians 6:19).
- With Us As We Gather for Worship
- “In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).”
- With Us As His Word is Proclaimed
- “My speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).”
- With Us In the Lord’s Supper
- 1 Corinthians 11:27-32
- The living, risen Savior is with us by faith as we are reminded of His work of reconciliation and redemption
B. The Holy Spirit manifests God’s presence
C. Jesus Brings Us Into God’s presence (Eph. 2:18)
D. Worship In Spirit and in Truth
“We must desire to know more of God’s presence in our lives, and pray for a display of unleashed, reforming, revivifying power among us, dreading all steps that aim to domesticate God. But such prayer and hunger must always be tempered with joyful submission to the constraints of biblical discipline.” — DA Carson
III. Pursue God’s Presence
What does a pursuit of God’s presence look like?
A. Desperate Dependence
B. Eager Expectation
C. Humble Responsiveness
IV. Anticipating God Presence in the Future
 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1–4)
 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.  And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21:22–23)
- The main work of the Holy Spirit is to shine the light on Jesus; to make Jesus known to us, to make the restoring work of the gospel known to us
- We want to encounter God – we want to encounter His presence in our lives.
Questions For Discussion / Application:
- Trace the theme of God’s presence throughout Scripture.
- How did God make His presence known to Adam and Eve?
- How did the Fall change their experience of God’s presence?
- How did the Old Testament people of God experience God’s presence?
- In the New Covenant, how does God make His presence known? How does Jesus bring us into God’s presence?
- Where in scripture does God promise to make His presence known to His people?
- What should pursuing God’s presence look like for us?
- Looking at point 3 above — What does “desperate dependence” look like? How do we cultivate an attitude of desperate dependence?
- What does “eager expectation” for the Spirit’s person and work look like?
- What does “humble responsiveness” to the Spirit’s person and work look like?