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-- © GodSpeak International 2004 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

Author: Rodney Hogue <RodHogue@aol.com>
Editor: Teresa Seputis
Transcribed by: Lucy Deliganis

Prayer-School MiniTraining Series

God's Presence and Enemy Resistance

by Rodney Hogue

Lesson 5

Holiness And God's Presence

What does God do to increase His presence with us? Matthew, Chapter 5 says, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." The greater the purity and holiness that is your life, the greater your capacity to see God. It is no wonder when we look at the Lord's agenda for the church, it is an agenda of purity.

The Lord said this through the Apostle Paul in Ephesians, chapter 5, "He did this to present her (the church) to Himself as a glorious church, without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault." The Lord says here that He is preparing the church in such a way that she shall be pure. The church will be holy and without spot or wrinkle. Right now when we look at the condition of the church, we can see very clearly that that does not represent what the church is today. When we look at this passage, we usually attribute this passage, and rightly so, to the second coming of Jesus as He is preparing the church for that day.

But there is another motive in this. Not only is the motive that the Lord is preparing the church for the day that we go to be with Him, but this is God's desire for us all the time. We are to be holy because He is holy - it tells us in 1 Peter. We are to live a life of holiness and purity.

Holiness attracts the presence of God. This is what the Lord is doing for His church. And if that is the case, then God is going to do what it takes to get you holy.

It says this in Hebrews, chapter 12. "His Voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised saying 'yet, once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.'" In this expression "yet, once more" denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken as created things in order that those things that cannot be shaken may remain. "Therefore, since we receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire."

What is God doing? He is shaking loose what can be shaken. The things of this earth, flesh, and things that are not of God. Those things can be shaken. What can't be shaken? Well, it says that the kingdom of God in verse 28.

When I go visit my in-laws in the winter, we spend time picking up the pecans. It is very interesting when you pick up pecans. Oftentimes, there are a few on the ground, but to get them on the ground, one has to shake the tree. What we do is that someone will climb the tree and grab hold of a limb. This person will just shake and shake the limb. And all of a sudden, you can hear the pecans hitting the ground. Hundreds of pecans begin to fall out. The ones that are usually good are those that are falling.

In fact, they sell pecan tree shakers. You put this thing on the tree and it vibrates. That is the picture that comes to my mind. We are like this tree and God is on us and basically just shaking us violently. He is shaking the limbs of our life and what is happening is that everything that is not of Him begins to fall off. What is of Him will remain.

A lot of times we hold on to those things very tightly. But if you are shaken long enough, it will fall off. How tightly you hang on to that thing will determine how rapidly God is going to shake you, how long He shakes you, and the intensity of that shaking.

If you are stubborn and really hanging on to it, just sit back because you are in for a wild, wild ride. Whatever it takes to shake that thing loose, I guarantee that God will bring you through it. Now if you learn the principle of letting go quickly, it is to your advantage.

My wife and I went to a "Home and Garden Show." There was a guy there that was making chain saw sculptors. He had some beautiful things, mostly bears. The object he was beginning to work on looked like a big, old lump of wood. But all he had to do was cut away everything that 'did not look like a bear'.

This is like what God does with us. He cuts away everything from our lives that does not look like Him. What looks like Him will remain.

So if you have ever prayed this kind of prayer - "Lord, I want all that You want me to have. I want to become all You want me to become. I want to live my life to its greatest potential." God just may answer that prayer. He delights in that kind of prayer. But yes, you might starting hearing the chain-saw. When you hear the roar that is what He will start doing. Cutting away the things that are not of Him. Getting rid of the areas that hinder our experiencing His presence. So He shakes us in order to get rid of the garbage. Those things that we do not need.

John 15:2 says, "He cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit." He will prune the branches that do bear fruit. So even the areas that you have been blessed in and God seems to anoint, He will prune and cut back those areas. He will do that so you can produce more. God is in the business of cutting and pruning.

He is in the business of refining. 1 Peter Chapter 1:6,7 says, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

So your faith is going to go through the fire. It is going to be tested. It is going to be refined. That means things are going to heat up in your life. God will expose what is in your life that is not if Him in order to burn it off. For gold to be refined, it has to be heated at extremely high temperatures. It has to melt it.

God is after purity in our life. He is going to bring us to a place of going through some refining so that we will be pure. He does this so we will experience the full measure of His presence. He will burn off what hinders His presence.

So the truth is that we are going to get shaken. We just need to respond appropriately to that shaking. That means to simply return to the Lord and ask Him what He is trying to remove from our life. What kind of hindrance is there? I have to run this race and remove the sin that easily entangles me. What is getting in my way?

So, our first response is to simply receive what God is doing. Ask the Lord to heal you, cleanse you, and purify you.

At this time, it is good to bow your head before the Father. Ask yourself what it is that God is trying to cut off from your life. What has God been laying an ax to in your life? Have you been resisting the Lord in an area?

Say, "Lord - I just turn it over to You now." Even those things that have been a distraction to you that hinder your spending time with Him. You may not characterize them as sin, but ask the Father what they are. Where is God shaking you?

Lord, give us a life that draws Your presence so that we will be like Moses and not even know it. So that everywhere we go, Your presence will be noticeable. Lord, let us step back and take no credit for ourselves and we will give You all the glory. Teach us to be a people that carry Your presence. Amen.

-- © GodSpeak International 2004 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from owner-prayer-school@godspeak.o rg --

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