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It’s All About Presence #1

   Small rise In 1977, I received Jesus Christ and was filled with the Holy Spirit.  The experience was like going from a 2d experience to 3d. In 2d, I was relating to life from the place of self – the reality I perceived physically, mentally and emotionally. Now alive in the Spirit, it was like putting on 3d glasses and seeing the world in a whole new dimension –the life of the spiritual realm. God is life and His presence gives Kingdom reality right where we live. It is by walking in the light of His glory that made the whole world so alive. With a newfound joy, I loved life with a passion.

   I was well aware of the Holy Spirit in me whose presence shined so brightly, it seemed like I was walking in the midst of a great light. The Father’s love shined in my heart like rays emanating from the Sun that filled my entire being with life. Seeing angels and sensing the realm of the Kingdom was naturally supernatural. Being born again of the Spirit was truly that – the life of the Spirit that infused my entire being with the light, life and love of His glory. Hearing His voice and being led by the Spirit was natural. As I read the Bible, the words lifted of the pages as the Holy Spirit personally revealed their truths to my heart that enlightened my mind with His understanding. There truly is life in His Words when we hear His voice.

    Once during a time of worship I lifted up my hand in praise towards heaven when my heavenly Father reached down and took my hand. In that moment I was flooded with the joy of His love. I heard Him say, “Welcome home Son.” I knew in that eternal moment of time, that heaven was not only my home but also the place of my dwelling here on earth. It was His presence in me that connected me as a Son of God, to the Kingdom reality of heaven that marked the life of the Spirit. This experience revealed to me that God is love. But also salvation is not just a pass to heaven when we die, but the pathway that enables us live as citizens of heaven now!

   Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Who has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear son (Col. 1:12-13).   

     Soon I joined a small Pentecostal Church. Over the years I served on the pastor’s board, tithed faithfully and attended as many Church events and activities as possible. I was taught to submit to authority and to follow the principles of the Word. To insure God’s blessing and favor one simply needed to follow the principles contained in the Bible. The pastor soon became my voice and as far as being led by the Spirit, it was to be judged by him. It took me 13 years to learn that following principles became a safe way of living rather than having my life and walk of faith IN Christ. You can have all of your doctrines correct and be completely obedient to the letter, and still not be walking in the Spirit. Oh, how my heart hungered to hear HIS VOICE, for the Word is a person,

    If so be that you have heard Him, (Christ) and have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, for the truth is in Jesus  (Eph. 4:21).

     How often we unify around Church events and programs rather than around the Lord’s presence to dine at His table. When the Lord did show up during the service, it served to validate the Church’s perception of being “spirit filled.” Regardless, there was an unspoken rule that even in our hunger for the abiding presence of God, the people were to remain silent. No one wanted to offend the pastor or the leadership, or to even recognize the state our own condition. And thus, a mask of pretense shrouded the truth that we were far from walking in our Biblical inheritance to do the “greater works” that Jesus declared we would do. To state otherwise would be an offense and thus to maintain harmony, we embraced the lie of our deception. 

     I had become a “righteous” Christian doing all the right things, but could not remember what it was like to walk in faith much less abide in His presence. Wanting to please God, I submitted to authority and became a member of the silent majority, I felt as if I was in prison. I had somehow become an inmate of a system that did all the right things that was seen as liberty, but in reality was religious bondage. How could something that seemed so right be so wrong?

    Over time, I lost hope and became disillusioned with Church life! One day in desperation I proclaimed with frustration, “God, if nothing changes and this is all there is to life, I don’t want to live for you anymore! I am tired of serving and I am burnt out from giving of my time and talent. People are no closer to fulfilling their dreams and passions than when I first met them 13 years.” In response I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Return to your first love.” And so I did! I knew if I wanted to break out in the Spirit, I had to break out of the prison that held me captive. 

     Suddenly I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the Bible came alive again! In obedience to following His voice with an awakened passion for truth, the Scriptures ripped off the pages as the Holy Spirit led me from truth to truth. Soon, a foundation was laid that continues today. Since then, more than 20 years ago, I have been on a Kingdom adventure and I am alive daily in Christ. Interestingly it was the Holy Spirit that delivered me from “Church Life” to the true spiritual life that brings freedom that is ours in Christ. Thus, 1988 turned out to be my year of Jubilee.

    Please, do not misunderstand me. I am not against the Lord’s Church nor or congregation life. Nor am I suffering from a wounded heart with s spirit of un-forgiveness! But rather in the fear of the Lord, I have a very deep love for God’s people with a passion to see them fulfill their destiny in Christ! The true church is the people of God, the bride of Christ. When the people are filled with His living presence, out of the place of intimacy with God, abundant life flows through its members (Ep. 4: 15-16). The body of Christ is a habitation for His glory,

    In Whom (Christ) all the building is fitly framed together to grow up into a Holy temple in the Lord, In whom you are built together for a habitation of God through His Spirit (Eph.  2:21-23).

   

A New Kingdom Order

    The call today is to return to our first love- the Lord Jesus Christ. Our mandate is to host His presence as a temple for the indwelling Holy Spirit. As we come together, the light of God’s people will join with the light of another. It is the fellowship of His presence that unifies us as one. True unity does not occur by everyone engaging in the same event, project or purpose, or even embracing the same doctrine. True unity comes from abiding in a person – the Lord Jesus Chris who makes us one. It is the light of His presence that unites us in Christ.  This is why the apostle Paul exhorts us to “Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).

   There cannot be true unity or even peace, until we are unified as one around Christ, who is the prince of peace. To maintain the unity of the Spirit means to do all that we can to lead everyone to His presence where we are one, for there is only one body and one Spirit and one God and Father of all who is in His people (Eph. 4:4-6). Our joy and our call is to bring people to the place where they are hosting His presence, where true unity exist between God and mankind that reveals the Kingdom of heaven on earth. This is Kingdom order where Christ rules as the head of His body  – the bride of Christ. 

   But he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17).

   The Church is now in the midst of a great change. A transition is taking place to usher in Kingdom order  where Christ is truly the minister of His sanctuary. It is not a revival or an outpouring of His Spirit that is here, but the call to host His presence that reveals the light of His Kingdom. We are now in an era where God is rewiring our minds with a Kingdom mindset that will enable the power of His life to flow to us and through us. While many are looking for an outpouring or a coming event, the Lord is calling His people to put on the garment of praise and host His glory, for God inhabits the praises of His people. A worshipping army is a foe that the adversary dreads for God’s love can never be defeated.

    The call is for heaven to be revealed on earth. The Kingdom of God comes in His presence for Jesus is our inheritance. He is offering Himself to us for He alone is our purpose. Instead of trying to kill ourselves so Christ can possess us, we simply put on Christ – the free gift of God that we may possess all of Him for He is our inheritance. It is time to put on the armor of light who is Christ (Ro. 13:12).

     Your true identity is not found in your skills, training, or understanding. It does not even lie in your gifts, anointing or popularity. It boils down to this one thing, “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col. 1:17) God loves to be with you. So much so that He gave the gift of the Holy Spirit who lives within. The New Testament Covenant is that God will be your Father who loves to walk in you for you are His garden, the Eden that He is cultivating.

    “As God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people…” (2 Cor. 6:16).

   You are the one that God loves to be with. You may not know who you are; but God knows that you are His. You were created in His image for such a time as this. As the bride of Christ, you are greatly loved and because He is love, you are loved by His eternal love that has no width, height, breadth or depth. In other words, like the universe, His love for you has no end. This is why our call is to be rooted and grounded in Christ and His love. It’s time to walk as a manifest a son/daughter of God that the world know of His great and wondrous love by the light of His presence that shines in us.

    It’s all about presence. God is love and those who abide in love abide in God and God in Him. Love is the very nature of God. It is from this place of intimate passionate love relationship with God that ushers in His presence that enables you to shine with the light of His glory. Quit trying to be like God and simply spend time with God and His Spirit will awaken the nature of heaven that is in you. It is His Spirit that fills our inner man with love and ignites our spirit with the light of His glory.

   Jesus said it is finished; therefore there is nothing more to do but shine on for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen (Is. 60:1).

                                             In His heart and love ,

                                                                     Roy Roden

 

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