Sunday, July 26, 2009

God's Presence

The Wonder of God’s Presence

by Marc Dupont

Two weekends ago I ministered in a very well known renewal church in the southern part of the US. The building was big and beautiful and the worship was both passionate and, from a technical standpoint, excellent. We experienced authentic moves of the Holy Spirit during both the worship and the ministry times. The pastor informed me several days later they would be videoing several people who experienced significant healings.

Tonight, I have just returned from a welfare type of hotel in an inner city where we had a church service. The city has suffered financial downsizing, decay, and unemployment over the last several years. Two weekends ago I was with hundreds of mainly middle class people who passionately love God and have experienced Gods grace in a myriad of ways. Tonight there were less than fifty people, the majority of whom struggled with very serious issues ranging from severe health problems to poverty level incomes to substance addictions. Instead of a large very accomplished worship team of professional ability tonight the worship was led by an acoustic guitar player who along with a lone female accompanist struggled to maintain the group’s enthusiasm. Except for a couple of the faster songs there was little visible passion in worship and the atmosphere seemed so lackluster in comparison.

However, (and this is a huge however) the Spirit of the Living God showed up tonight just as He had two weeks ago. And although things seemed so different outwardly (with both the building and the people) God was attracted to the worship of the people tonight just as He was two weeks ago. And He performed several healings including an amazing one of a woman who has barely been able to walk for over 10 years. She testified that often when she walked the pain had been excruciating in her legs and back. As well, when she walked she constantly had to look down at her feet because she had lost all sense of feel and could not tell what was happening without watching her feet. All that changed in just a few moments of prayer. She walked for the first time in over 10 years with no pain and with complete feeling restored to her feet. She walked and walked through out the room in amazement.

The faith level and the praises dramatically escalated as people realized what God had just done for her- most of the small church knew her well. At that moment no one, myself included, would have rather been anywhere else in the world than there- where the Holy Spirit was touching lives and giving beauty for ashes and praise replacing strongholds of discouragement (Isaiah 61.3).

I have felt for years that the most under utilized resource in the contemporary church is the Person of the Holy Spirit. By that I do not simply mean that the spiritual gifts are not appreciated and sought after by many. Rather that the awesomeness of who God is and His transforming Presence are too often neither very appreciated or hungered after. Usually the Holy Spirit is simply viewed as the messenger and/or the deliveryman of God. While it is true He does disclose to us the things of Jesus the greater truth is that He is the Presence of God Almighty in our very lives and our very midst as we gather in Jesus’ Name. He is the Immanuel- God with us! And when He shows up with just a bit of His manifest glory it doesn’t matter whether one is in a hot and dilapidated inner city hotel, or a big, beautiful, modern, air conditioned church building, or even a stable. It’s the only place you really want to be- simply because the wonder of Gods Presence changes everything.

For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Psalm 36.9
Marc Dupont 

No comments: