"The presence of God became so real that many who were seated got down on their knees."
Nearly every account of great revival includes comments about the manifest presence of God. The biblical terminology is the outpouring of the Spirit (Ezek. 39:29; Acts 2:17). What is the chief evidence that God has manifested His presence? Namely one: God-consciousness!
There is a difference between God’s omnipresence and His manifest presence. Yes, God is everywhere present. But even though that is an actual fact, many people are not aware of His presence. God is not in their thoughts. But when God manifests His presence, everyone in that vicinity becomes aware of the presence of God. In the New Testament economy the manifestation of God’s presence is spiritual, not physical, but it is just as real as if it were physical. This manifest presence of God makes everyone with a spirit—every human being saved or unsaved—conscious of God.
One of my earlier experiences of God’s manifest presence took place in the Philippines. Mike Redick had invited me to join him for conference ministry at a church in Mindanao. Several days into our time I suggested to Mike that we needed to call for a special prayer meeting. He then suggested we pray for God to move the pastor to call for this prayer meeting without our mentioning it to him. So we prayed. That night at the conclusion of the service, the pastor, who is a shy man, came running up to the platform and said he felt led of God to call for a special prayer meeting to convene at 9:00 that evening.
Perhaps twenty-five or so folks came. Then God came! The presence of God became so real that many who were seated got down on their knees. Those who were already on their knees got down further. Confession and earnest heartcry marked the night. We dismissed at 11:15 and most people did not leave until midnight because they were so enthralled with meeting with God.
Both the pastor and the lead deacon said the next day that they had never been in a prayer meeting like that. They decided to continue meeting each night for prayer. God continued meeting with us. The Spirit was purging as sins were confessed. One night, the presence of God became so real that many of us got down flat on our faces before God. Even though it was a dusty cement floor, you got down and it seemed your shirt buttons were in the way.
This is not weird. It’s just a natural response to a deep consciousness of God—just like people responded to God’s presence in the Bible. If you’ve been in a service where a holy hush comes over the audience, it is the same dynamic, with only a different level of intensity.
The next week the focus turned toward outreach. More souls were saved than had been saved in quite a long time, thirty-two souls coming to Christ the last night. The prayer meetings continued after we left and in the next six months the church saw an amazing harvest of souls.
The Scripture says we should “seek His face [presence] continually.” This is seeking God, not the sensational. God knows what is appropriate for the occasion.
Do you long for and pray for God to manifest His presence?
John Van Gelderen
About This Blog
Hello, I’m John Van Gelderen. I am an evangelist and the president of Revival Focus Ministries, an organization for the cause of revival in hearts, homes, churches, and beyond, and for evangelizing. This blog is focused on experiencing Jesus. I believe in order to really live, you must access and experience the very life of Jesus Christ.