Practicing His Presence
By Gary Amirault
In my search to get closer to the One who gave Himself a ransom for me and my friends (the whole world), I have read many books by those who have also been captured by our Father's expression of His Love for us, His Son. Sometimes they were helpful. Sometimes they made things much worse for me. Reading their methods and trying them with no success only added to my frustrations of knowing there is a place I seek, and yet the place of abiding escapes me. Know what I mean? Many of these books I read had many methods that centered on "feelings". I enjoyed (and still do) those moments of ecstasy of just being consumed by His presence. I longed for those moments to be a 24 hour a day experience. I hoped these books would give me the "right method" of getting there.
There were other writings I read that talked about walking by faith and not by feelings, but most of these were written by people who appeared to me not very spiritually mature. Often these writers expressed that they did not believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit or a second experience referred to by Pentecostals and Charismatics as the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". Since I know the baptism is a valid experience, I discounted these latter books.
Recently, I have received some insight into the faith walk that does not discount the feeling side of things.
"This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." This is a true statement. Each day we live is made by our Father. He was in the day before we entered it. He prepared it for us. He is in each day He made. You don't have to feel that to know that it is true. He is in the day and therefore you are in Him, but without faith it is impossible to see Him in it. One may hear what I am saying, but experiencing it is another matter. The first steps is simply to believe. Each step set aside unbelief, fear and doubt. Just as Jesus came into the world at the "appointed time," so did Judas. We are willing to allow the Creator room to exercise His powers in His "chosen people," but we have put a limit on who or what is chosen . We do not want to see that our enemies are equally "chosen people" and they too "serve" the Father. Jesus called Judas "friend" not the way we sarcastically would say that about someone who betrayed our trust. Jesus sincerely called Judas His friend. Are your enemies friends of our Father?
Knowing the day was prepared by our Father for us is helpful, but very often the cares of this world consume us, and we forget that He is right there with us. That is why continuous prayer is helpful.
I have been told the guidance system of many missiles works in the following manner. The missile goes off and then it checks to see where the target is. It then makes a correction toward the target. Some time later, it will make another reading and adjust it's course. The path toward the target would look like a zigzag line ultimately hitting the target. The more readings it would take, the less off the target center each zig or zag would be. So more readings equals less off course. More prayers equals more assurance of being in our Father's will (target). A prayer that expects an answer acknowledges that He exists in that moment and that He can move in your life in that moment. Most of us have very zigzaggy paths. Fortunately, we have a very big target and eventually His Word will come forth and direct each one into His perfect purpose.
In summary, believe He made this day for you, He is in the day, He is in your "friends" or "enemies" and this can and will work to your ultimate good (this is very difficult to believe). Be assured that Jesus will have ultimate victory in your life and the life of your supposed "enemies" who will one day be seen as your "friends".
There is another way of "practicing His Presence." I can tell you what it is like, but I can't tell you how to get there.
In the early part of my walk with Jesus, I spent three days on this earth in perfect love. This world was perfect and beautiful. It was absolutely impossible for me to hate anything, it seemed that hate and fear totally dissappeared off this planet. I felt like I was a little boy sitting on the shoulders of Jesus. I saw the way He saw, and I heard that way He hears. Jesus hears with His heart. He cuts right through the appearances of things and goes right to the core. His eyes see everything with Faith, that is, He sees the end of the matter and that end is perfect and good. To Him the words "friend" and "enemy" are the same words. His Father created both of them to work a wonderful purpose that angels desire to look into.
As that little boy on Jesus' shoulder, "I" didn't walk nor talk, I just saw, heard, and experienced paradise here on earth. This world was perfect. All my former enemies just disappeared. May our Friend Jesus invite us on to His shoulders and give us rest from our labors that we might be healed from fear and unbelief. It is finished. It is good. Trust and believe.