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Monday, September 20, 2010

Do You Fear the Presence of God, or Do You Love the Presence of God?

Sounds like a trick question, but it isn't. The question can also be asked in another way. "Are you a Levite, or are you from the priesthood of Melchizedek?" Another way to ask this question might be, "Can you minister in His Presence, or must you fall in His Presence?"

 When Solomon dedicated the Temple, the Scriptures say that the cloud of glory was so great that it spilled out of the Most Holy Place to the Holy Place, where it was technically not supposed to go. The Levites, who ministered in the Holy Place, were accustomed to the Presence behind the veil. They did not know what to do with the Presence when He did not stay where He was supposed to stay. They were therefore overcome with fear. When the Lord was behind the veil, He was contained. The Levites knew what to expect from Him as long as He stayed there. The Levites could get away from Him by staying in the Holy Place, with eleven layers of curtains separating them from their Lord. But when His glory spilled out into the Holy Place, everything was different. None of the rules seemed to apply anymore. Certainly God was not following the rules He Himself had established. His Presence was no longer limited, or shall I say, no longer controlled?

 Since the Levites were not accustomed to the Presence of God in their sphere, they fell on their faces with fear, unable to do the work of the priesthood. They loved to do the work of God in their own realm, under the control of the five senses and according to very defined rules of engagement. But this was something else altogether. God was moving out of His own parameters. Unlike Melchizedek, the priesthood of the Presence, the priesthood of the Believer, you and I, the Levites could not become accustomed to sensing His movements and changing their plans as the Lord moved among them.

 The Levites were not and are not the priests of the Presence. They didn't know what it was to abide in the Presence of God. Since they did not know Him, they never could have imagined that He wanted only to be close to the ones He loved. This was a most compelling foreshadowing of David's Tabernacle and the tabernacle of the Lord within the hearts of His people under the New Covenant.

 Only Melchizedek, the priest of the Presence, you and I, can stand in the Presence and worship in the Presence. Melchizedek represents the only priesthood that can minister in the Presence of God without fear. In fact, this priesthood ministers in His Presence with joy unspeakable! His Presence brings strength and peace. His Presence brings wisdom and sonship. But here is the best news. Melchizedek is the priesthood of the New Covenant. It is for everyone. There is no one turned away! All may freely enter and experience His manifest Presence moment by moment.

 There will emerge a generation of Melchizedek who minister in His manifest Presence. The world, as we know it now, cannot be won with the charismatic parlor tricks by which the faithful are so easily amused. If the world is going to be won, and it will be won, His Presence will manifest Life through a people who can freely walk in His Presence and minister His Presence to a world now in the grip of the enemy.

 Before Christ, the Melchizedek of God, came, the Levites had to do the work of the Most Holy Place, for He had not yet appeared.

 The Levites did the work of a priesthood that was not their own. No wonder they were filled with fear when they had to enter the Presence. They feared the Presence, for they were not called or anointed to do the work that is required there.

 But Melchizedek loves His manifest Presence. Because Melchizedek was and is the Priest of the Presence, He freely entered the Presence, not out of obligation but out of the sheer joy of experiencing His appearing.

 The fear of death also haunted the Levites who attempted to enter the Most Holy Place. They did not belong there. They were in a dimension of Spirit for which they were not prepared to live. So death was a real fear for them.

 Melchizedek, on the other hand, was not afraid to die because He had already died, and rose from the dead. He belonged in the Presence. He was at home in the Presence. He was and is a friend of the Presence. In fact, Melchizedek, once entering the Presence, never left but took His seat at the right hand of His Father, on the Mercy Seat, where He ever lives to intercede on behalf of you and me, who are also seated there with Him.

 I love His Presence. I covet His Presence. I am part of the company of priests that forms a new royal order of believers under the banner of Melchizedek. But this is nothing special, for the Blood washed everyone and prepared each one of us to be seated with Christ within the veil of the Most Holy Place.

 If you chose "I love His Presence," you are probably living in the Most Holy Place.

Posted via email from donnorisr's posterous

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