I have often heard people say in Church, ‘We are now entering God’s presence’, but is this true? When Jesus said I am with you always, was he joking or mistaken? The pictures above challenge our assumptions about where and in what sort of situations that God is at work. I don’t think Christians have a monopoly on God, he is at work throughout the world and I find it sad if we think his special presence is reserved for our services.
The entering God’s presence concept is used repeatedly in the Old Testament. Humanity cannot get close to a holy God and so God has to live in a temple and the people draw near to the part of the building that contains his holy presence to worship. Only the high priest once a year could enter this most holy place and the rest of us would have to do with getting as close as we can.
When Jesus died on the cross, he took the sin of the world (that separates us from God) on himself. He dealt with it in order to make it possible for us to know God. When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple that separated the most holy place split, God was saying that things have changed, that there is no more separation. If we turn to God by choosing to follow him and receiving his forgiveness then we become temples of the God’s presence, the most holy presence that used to be locked in a room.
So why do so many Christians continue to lie to themselves about coming into God’s presence in Church? Do we think that God is in Church buildings all week shuffling around in his slippers, that he is lonely as he waits for us to come back? It’s simple, if you are a Christian, you cannot come into God’s presence. If you would like to read more on this, you can download this pdf Can a Christian enter God’s presence (727kb).
The most holy God and creator of the universe is with us in our everyday lives. My prayer is that we would include him more that we would choose to call on him for his guidance, inspiration, strength and encouragement as he is willing to lead us through life.