Pastor's Heart

A blog of Lone Hill Church and Dr. Ray Stamps.

Entering Into the Presence of God

     Some people call it a “Quiet Time.” Others refer to it as “Devotions” or “a time in the Word,” or “Prayer Time.” I believe it is important to reframe the time that we spend with the Lord, so that we don’t miss the point of reading the Bible, prayer, and meditation. In many ways, we have to read between the lines of the Bible to see the point I’m making, but experience bears it out. That’s not to say that Scripture doesn’t say it for it does.
Psalm 27 is an example. David pleads for it. 
One thing have I asked of the LORD,
That will I seek after:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
And to inquire in his temple (v. 4).
…You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek” (v. 8).
     The goal of reading our Bibles, of praying, of meditation is for inspiration, encouragement, instruction, being informed of our promises, but as important as these things are, they are secondary. The primary or ultimate reason for these activities is to experience the presence of our Lord and enjoy fellowship with the whole trinity of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible can’t strengthen us; prayer can’t strengthen us; meditation can’t strengthen us. Only our Lord can. Reading, praying, and meditating are simply our means to enter the presence of the Lord. He is the goal! Psalm 28 makes this point.                                      The LORD is my strength and my shield;
In him my heart trusts,
And I am helped;
My heart exults,
And with my song I give thanks to him (v. 7)

My suggestion is simple. Call it what it is, and what it needs to be. By doing so you will frame your time to its proper focus. It is “spending time with the Lord;” it is “entering into His presence;” it is “being with the Lord.” 

     How do we get there? We read our Bibles to hear the Lord speaking to us, chewing on the Word. We pray kneeling before His throne. We ask the Holy Spirit to lift us to heaven’s throne room. We ask the Lord Jesus as our great High Priest to throw open the doors of heaven. There, we kneel before the Father. There, we are surrounded by the Three. There, we find our strength. There we gaze upon the beauty of the LORD. There I am helped.

     I hope each of you have a regular time, place and method of entering into the presence of the Lord. If you don’t, set a time, place, and follow a clear plan, so you know when, where, and how to start. As you meditatively read your Bible, as you pray and talk to the Lord, never lose sight of the focus of that experience. It is to spend time with the Lord, to enter into His presence, to worship the Lord, so you may experience that God may be all in all (1 Cor. 15:28; cf. Col. 3:11). Don’t quit until you are there and tasting the goodness of the Lord.

     This is the moment by moment need we all have, and it is why our Vision Statement highlights this experience of not just entering into the presence of the Lord but living there. That’s what David prayed for in Psalm 27. He didn’t just want to see the Lord; he wanted to pitch his tent in the temple where the presence of God was on earth. He wanted to live in God’s presence.
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To gaze upon the beauty of the LORD

I pray that that is your heart’s desire.

          See You At The Throne,


His Handiwork - Psalm 19:1
The Law and the Gospel


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Sunday, 29 January 2023

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