Updated: Aug 14
The Lord is There
The presence of God is certainly special and the most valuable thing in life. God has always desired for man to know Him and walk in the blessings of His presence in holiness and love. Adam and Eve enjoyed the presence of God until sin and death entered. Mankind has had a great need for God’s presence ever since. Death, in its simplest terms, is separation. God never intended man to be alone or live apart from Him, and yet it wasn’t long after sin entered that Cain killed his brother and “left the presence of the LORD” (Genesis 4:16). Separation from God brings loneliness, fear, despair and hopelessness. Only God can heal the type of inner loneliness and separation in the human heart that comes from sin.
The good news of the gospel is that Christ died, has risen, and can bring us back into the family and household of God. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ erases our sins and allows us to once again enjoy the fullness of His presence. The presence of God is referred to in scripture in several ways: omnipresence, inner presence, corporate presence, and manifest presence. The omnipresence of God leads to His inner presence. His inner presence is multiplied in power through His corporate presence which ushers in His manifest presence. The different expressions of the presence of God influence our ability to receive from Him and God wants us to experience them all.
The Omnipresence of God
The Bible is full of scriptures that refer to the omnipresence of God. The omnipresence of God refers to God being everywhere at the same time. The Apostle Paul encouraged those in Athens to seek the Lord though He is not far from each of us in Acts 17:27.
“Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill the heavens and the earth? declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24)
All things have their origin story in the omnipresence of God. The Spirit of God was present at creation hovering over the waters waiting for the Word of God to enter the earth as it says in Genesis 1:2. Today, just as then, the omnipresent Spirit of God is hovering over every human heart waiting for the gospel to be preached and received in order to create in them the light of His inner presence.
The Inner Presence of God
The inner presence of God lies within the new heart, new spirit, and Holy Spirit within the born again believer. In order to experience the inner presence of God, we must be born again. John chapter 17 speaks of union with God through Jesus Christ that enables us to not only experience His presence but to intimately know God the Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent. Jesus defines this as eternal life. The gift of eternal life sets us free from loneliness and separation from God.
The inner presence of God produces much in the lives of those who receive Him and little in those who don’t. God’s inner presence brings a consciousness of being near to God. When we’re near to God the fruits of salvation may be enjoyed. The inner presence of God produces in the life of the believer true and lasting peace, guidance, provision, victory, righteousness, healing and reinstates man’s God given authority with delegated power in the Holy Spirit. The inner presence of God is Christ in us and, at its core, eternal life.
The Corporate Presence of God
While the omnipresence of the Lord is everywhere and His inner presence lies within the born again believer, there is a special presence and anointing when believers gather together in Jesus name. This is known as the corporate presence of God and bears fruitful times of intimacy, fellowship, and unity with God and other believers. The anointing of His corporate presence will never be experienced individually. Jesus said, where two or three are gathered together in His name, He would be there among them and if they ask anything, it would be done for them (Matthew 18). There is great power in agreement; more so than in one alone. The corporate presence of God, in the midst of a congregation, stirs the fires of revival and leads to His manifest presence. In Acts chapter two on the day of Pentecost, 120 disciples tarried ten days in one accord, in one place, praying and waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This kind of unity amongst believers releases the corporate anointing of the Spirit. If we fail to recognize the corporate presence of God, we usually don’t see the manifest presence of God.
The Manifest Presence of God
The manifest presence of God is the Holy Spirit made visible to the senses. In Exodus chapter 13 in the Old Testament, God’s presence was manifest as a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night as He led the children of Israel through the wilderness. When the Lord met with Moses in the tabernacle, all the people would come out of their tents to watch the manifest presence of God descend as a cloud and stand at the door of the tabernacle to talk with Moses. Moses valued God’s manifest presence so much that he told the Lord, if He wasn’t going up with them in their midst to the Promised Land, then he wasn’t going (Exodus 33).
The manifest presence of God can be experienced in different ways, at different times, and in different locations. Such was the case when the Holy Spirit was present to heal in a certain house, on a certain day, when a paralytic man was let down through the roof in Luke 5:17-26. In the manifest presence of God it’s easier to receive from God due to the anointing of His presence. Multitudes are miraculously set free and healed simultaneously in times like these. The manifest presence of God is typically seen as the gifts of the Spirit in operation (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). We can also experience His awe inspiring manifest presence in our praise such as in Psalms 22:3. Other times the manifest presence of God was heard as an audible voice, seen as flaming tongues of fire and heard as the sound of a rushing mighty wind.
The Potential of His Presence
The presence of God is expressed in different ways and God wants us to experience them all. We must learn to recognize the potential of the presence of God remembering His omnipresence leads us into His inner presence, His inner presence is multiplied in power through His corporate presence which ushers in the awe inspiring, tangible, manifest presence of the love of God with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Jesus said in John chapter three, the Spirit is like the wind. Just as you can’t see the wind but can see the effect of it, so it is with the presence of God. You can’t see the Spirit but you can see the manifestation of the Spirit.