Friday, December 30, 2011

The Holy of Holies: Our Eternal Dwelling Place

If the bible says "For He raised us with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms" (Eph 2:6 NLT) yet we are not experiencing this reality through the medium of our senses, can we then conclude that we in fact do not have a stake in the eternal realm?

Thoughts like these along with others have been swirling around in my mind as Holy Spirit has been schooling me on 'the presence of God.' I have come to realize that we live in a world that is a playground for the senses, so much so that it seems as if it's easy to neglect the most important 'sense' and component of our Christianity, that being Faith. If our eyes do not perceive it, it does not exist. If our ears cannot distinguish it, it is not real. If our hands cannot reach out and touch it, it isn't truly there.

"We live by faith and not by sight" is a verse that has been playing over in my mind for weeks and the more I meditate upon it, the more I realize that the best things in this Christian walk cannot be seen but must be perceived through the lenses of Faith. I hear it time and time again amongst believers how distant they feel from God during certain seasons or how they wish they could just draw near to Him and feel Him as they once have in the past. Could it be that we are searching for Him where he isn't instead of believing where we are (Seated in heavenly places. In the holy of holies. Hidden in him)?

Practicing the presence is a 'discipline' if you will, that Holy Spirit has been little by little showing me the ropes on. The constant and continual awareness of His presence by faith is what I want my every day to be based upon. He is always there, regardless of whether I perceive him or not. I am always in heavenly places regardless of whether I 'feel' it or not. We are always together, in the holy of holies, caught up in a each other's loving embrace, regardless of whether I deem this to be true or not.
I have been learning that my quiet times and blissful moments in the secret place need not differ from when I am taking out the trash, reading a novel or even fast asleep. The awareness of his presence is as simple as the shifting of your gaze and 'looking' to that which is unseen as Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 4:18. Ancient mystic and author of "The Practice of the Presence of God" (A book I read on Tuesday) Brother Lawrence captured the essence of what a life in the presence was designed to be. This father of the faith knew God in the mundane just as well as he knew him in the secret place. He refused to let there be a distinction between the prayer closet and the workplace. God is in everything and so by faith he chose to see him in everything. Simple, yet profound.

I once carried around the theology that entertained the thought of it being possible to move in and out of God's presence at will, because my 5 senses seemed to support this idea. The thought of the presence being a continual state of being, an eternal habitation was slightly more elusive because my sensory perception could not grasp it, and so I dismissed it. He is bringing me back to a place of realizing that I don't have the ability to turn what Jesus accomplished on the cross on and off whenever I please. His work is an eternal work. He became as are so we could become as he is. Constant, continual abiding in the Holy of Holies, by faith.

God is as much in Heaven as he is upon the Earth, for we know that all things are held together by the word of his power. In science it is a known fact that tiny vibrations hold all particles of matter together. Could the very words of God spoken at the dawn of creation be the glue that holds it all together? Of course. As much as we are upon the earth, caught up in the realm of the senses, so we are positioned in a world, God's presence, that transcends this. Knowing him every millisecond of every day is as easy as taking a breath because it's no longer a place we are working to enter, but a place we live in and live from.

Exerts from "The Practice of the Presence of God" which I adore:

I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the

{written about Brother Lawrence}
His very countenance was edifying; such
a sweet and calm devotion appearing in it, as could not but affect the beholders. And it was
observed, that in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen, he still preserved his recollection
and heavenly-mindedness. He was never hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in its
season, with an even uninterrupted composure and tranquillity of spirit. “The time of
business,” said he, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and
clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things,
I possess GOD in as great tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.”

And I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself
by a simple attention, and a general fond regard to GOD, which I may call an actual presence
of GOD; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with
GOD, which often causes in me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes also outwardly,
so great that I am forced to use means to moderate them, and prevent their appearance to

There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual
conversation with GOD: those only can comprehend it who practise and experience it; yet
I do not advise you to do it from that motive; it is not pleasure which we ought to seek in
this exercise; but let us do it from a principle of love, and because GOD would have us.

He is always near you and with
you; leave Him not alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone, who came to
visit you: why then must GOD be neglected? Do not then forget Him, but think on Him
often, adore Him continually, live and die with Him; this is the glorious employment of a
Christian; in a word, this is our profession, if we do not know it we must learn it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jessica. Lovely article. I too have been trying to connect with the reality of being seated with Christ as I believe that there is truth there that few of us find. The question came to me "how can I be in Christ and at the same time, Christ be in me?". I got a simple answer. " At the Fathers right hand I an in Christ, on earth Christ is in me. I also believe its not a matter of faith so tater as realised truth: our spirit man is now seated with Christ, whereas our soul and body is on earth. Now how we live by the spirit is another question. Our spirit language is not English but a "tongue", pure spirit language. So we need to spend more time in heaven than we do on earth. In John 3 Jesus indicates that he lived in a dual reality "the son of man, who came down from heaven who is in heaven" So where do we go from here. That is my quest. Blessings.