Seeking the Presence of the LORD?

What is the divine prescription for the LORD's presence increasing in the life of His people?

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Seeking His Presence? Beware of the many methods created and cloaked as Christian which are nothing more than an attempt to conjure up God’s presence out of a self-serving agenda. Contemplative prayer and soaking come to mind as Satan’s counterfeits.
Simply put, contemplative prayer or centering prayer, is a way of praying that is not according to the biblical prescription. Contemplative prayers and soakers are simply rebels who refuse to obey Jesus so they want Jesus to just continue to dump His Holy Spirit on their rebellious hearts.

JESUS told you to die, not to run around seeking His presence in contemplative prayer or soaking meetings – with other self-serving flakes, counterfeits. He’ll decide that how much of His holy presence He puts on individuals – according to their personal obedience. He alone decides how much of His presence He chooses to put in our lives.

Psalms 16 is prophetic of Jesus who rendered perfect obedience to His Father: “For thou wilt not leave my (Jesus’) soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalms 16:10-11)The “presence” of the LORD and “fulness of joy” He alone can give, only comes with the true disciple who is truly walking with Christ. We see this throughout Scripture.

“In his presence” sure is “fulness of joy” and He requires our obedience to bring us into His presence (Psalms 16:11).

“For he whom God hath sent (Christ) speaketh the words of God (fully obedient): for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” John 3:34

As seen in the above verse, where Christ is our example, the LORD’s presence in our lives is contingent upon our abiding in Him, obeying Him (John 14:21-23, etc.). Seeking His presence without obeying Him, truly worshiping HIM, reveals a self-serving nature. We don’t seek the joy or His presence – We seek His face (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

IF you truly want more of the presence of the LORD, no need to mindlessly sit soaking or meditating. Get up and obey and then and only then will He graciously grant you greater anointing and reward!

We are to immerse yourself in His Word – Joshua 1:8 not mindless meditation which is new age paganism.

Many today want God to do more for them, they want more of His presence and to “soak” and yet, they’ve not obeyed Him and His simplest instructions. Not going to happen.

YOU can pray till you are blue in the face and God will not hear if you will not repent and literally obey Him: Proverbs 28:9 says: “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law (Word), even his prayer shall be abomination.”

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

Of course we should seek and ask Him to be anointed and full of His Spirit in order to DO His work, and yet, such comes from laying down our lives – which He then raises upward by His presence.

“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:10-12

The resurrection presence, life, glory, and power of Jesus fills and raises up the truly obedient – those who resign themselves to the crucified life.

Nancy Cote notes: “This movement is growing by leaps and bounds because this generation loves signs and wonders and what their itching ears want more than Sola Scripture of solid doctrine. Dying to self and picking up their cross and preaching of The Cross that is foolishness to them.” 

Yet, Jesus’ presence does not come to us just because WE want it to. Isn’t a preoccupation with seeking His presence while not obeying Him cloaked pride? There are conditions to be met – obedience and truly worshiping HIM are essential. This is in contrast to seeking His presence for our self-serving purposes. Remember how the disciples wanted to sit at His right and and His left?

“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.” Matthew 20:20-23

When you die – lay down your life – He will reciprocate with His resurrection life (2 Corinthians 4:10-12). That’s His promise but you must die to experience this, not try to control things yourself which is further evidence that you are not dying to self. He’s in control, not you.

Fact: Jesus says that to those who OBEY Him – live by faith – will be granted His presence, not those who selfishly seek to soak or conjure up His presence through their own merit or works for their own self–serving purposes.

Seeking His presence is paramount to seeking signs instead of the Savior Himself. What did Jesus say of the sign seekers?

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:” Matthew 12:38-39

Seeking His Presence or Simply Obeying Christ?

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:21-23
 

Today, so many who vainly believe they are Christ’s, are being misled into self-seeking experiences they are told are of God. Quite a contrast with New Testament disciples of Jesus we read about in the 27 book canon. The honest student of Scripture and follower of Jesus knows that a walk of faith, a denial of self (the cross), soundly grounded in the Word, is the walk of a true New Testament believer.

“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Acts 5:32

It seems that today, many people claiming to know Jesus, seek to do anything except soberly and soundly follow Him, denying self, taking up the cross, and abiding in Him.

According to Jesus, in the end, at the Judgment, those who loved and obeyed Him will be received into glory and remain with Him eternally. In contrast, those who revel in the experiential, not being rooted in Christ, will be terminated into the bowels of eternal damnation (Matthew 7:21-23).

Contemplative Prayer Exposed

What is called “contemplative prayer” is of catholic (diabolical) origins. Nothing spiritually good comes out of Rome.

Contemplative prayer (also known as repetitive prayer, centering prayer or breath prayer) teaches it’s prey to empty their mind. The Bible tells us repeatedly to fill our minds with God’s Word. That’s the primary way to hear from God!

WHAT don’t we get about this? Prayer is answered through Christ’s perfect sacrifice on the cross, His merit alone and not by our own merit by meditating, getting quiet, emptying our minds, or muttering a sentence or word over and over! That is antichrist mysticism and not only not taught but condemned in Scripture. Jesus says: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:7)

The spirit of antichrist is behind this – they seek to replace Christ with something, ANYthing else!

There is a heresy circulating in many churches today called Contemplative Prayer, or Centering Prayer. It’s being taught in seminaries and “Christian” books. The following is taken from centeringprayer. com… my words in RED:

“Centering Prayer is a METHOD OF PRAYER, which prepares us to receive the gift of God’s presence (not Jesus but centering prepares us to pray), traditionally called contemplative prayer. It consists of responding to the Spirit of Christ by consenting to God’s presence and action within (we consent to Christ not His presence). It furthers the development of contemplative prayer by quieting our faculties to cooperate with the gift of God’s presence…(again, there is an idolatry of His presence and not Himself)

Centering Prayer (Jesus never taught this) is drawn from ancient prayer practices of the Christian contemplative heritage (catholic lunacy), notably the Fathers and Mothers of the Desert (more catholic jezebel heresy), Lectio Divina, (praying the scriptures), The Cloud of Unknowing, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila…(total roman catholic paganism). It was distilled into a simple METHOD OF PRAYER in the 1970’s by three Trappist monks (antichrist catholics), Fr. William Meninger, Fr. Basil Pennington and Abbot Thomas Keating at the Trappist Abbey, St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts (all catholic devils).

Christian Contemplative Prayer (no such thing) is the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions, whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, thinking, feeling and choosing; even closer than consciousness itself. The root of all prayer is interior silence (WHAT???? Total heresy). Though we think of prayer as thoughts or feelings expressed in words, this is only one expression. Contemplative Prayer is a prayer of silence, an experience of God’s presence as the ground in which our being is rooted, the Source from whom our life emerges at every moment (no Scripture at all!). [emphasis added]”

The catholic church is spiritual Babylon. It is antichrist.

Any teaching or leader with catholic roots is demonic.

Doesn’t this all sound like the same old feel-good yoga/meditation lie from Satan ….. to get people to empty themselves so he can possess/fill them?

Contemplative prayer is to empty your mind and forego all reasoning. But the Bible says, the LORD invites us to “Come now, let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1:18) It’s the practice of chanting a mantra to God in order to get your prayers answered and to put yourself into a trance. In other words, Jesus Christ and His perfect sacrifice on the cross was not enough to give the believer access to God the Father and have Him answer prayer. Jesus taught that He alone is the Mediator and only through Him will the Father answer prayer:

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

Disciple doesn’t get prayers answered, only Jesus does. Do you know Him? Are you born again?

“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:23-24

While it’s important to understand the importance of discipline, our prayers aren’t answered because we are disciplined but rather because we are resting in Christ alone! Jesus Christ alone shed His sinless blood on that cross one time in order to give you access to God!

Answered Prayer? WHY?

Clearly contemplative prayer and centering are mysticism, they are antichrist. They are experience based spirituality that despise the only way God made to Himself. It is not truth based Christianity. Satan! Run for your life!

Other than obeying Jesus by waiting in Jerusalem on Pentecost to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, do we see the LORD’s apostles or anyone in the New Testament (especially) waiting or seeking the presence of God? No. We see Jesus’ earliest and true followers truly worshiping Him and not self. We see them seeking Him in prayer and obeying Him – leaving it up to God as to how He was going to empower and anoint them and manifest His presence in their lives. Did Jesus ever once instruct us to seek His presence? No. He told us to obey Him and promised He’d manifest Himself to us as we did (John 14:23). Contemplative prayer, soaking, etc. is the vain attempt of cross-less, self-serving counterfeits to control God instead of truly repenting in full surrender and allowing Him to reign supreme in their lives!

With the only exception of obeying Jesus by waiting in Jerusalem – not to soak but to be baptized with the Spirit – in that upper room, we don’t see in the New Testament, people waiting around to experience the presence of God. Jesus taught that as you go forward in obedience to Him, the Father would manifest Himself to your life. Yet today, we have hoards of dupes who’ve never once led a single soul to Jesus, who are being corralled by God-less wolves into rooms to “soak” and to seek the presence of the LORD. These are self-worshiping counterfeits who’ve never truly repented and therefore have but a mere “form of godliness, denying the power (authority)” of Christ to reign in their personal lives (2 Timothy 3:1-7). Be sure that Satan himself is manifesting himself and calling it the LORD. Also, you will never see a soul winner among these people – not one! Bad fruit!

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23

“But how do I obey God?” Read His Word and do it! Think simplicity and practicality!

The same goes for increased revelation of Christ’s kingdom – one must obey what he knows in order to be granted more. Jesus says:

“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” John 7:16-18

There’s always been the wheat and the tares (true and false) among professing believers. Listen to how Ezekiel puts this:

“Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. 31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. 32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.” Ezekiel 33:30-32

Ezekiel 33:31 really nails it – “And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, BUT THEY WILL NOT DO THEM: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.” …. For example, look all around us at the church world: People gather in buildings, many times seeking more of the presence of Christ, while they’ve refused to render sheer obedience what Jesus already long ago saved and anointed them to do. Fruitless. Instead of truly coming to repentance, laying down their lives, and obeying the Word of God, they want Him to add His holy presence to their rebellious hearts. Not going to happen. He told us that we only find Him (His presence) when we seek Him with a whole heart (2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 29:11-14). God will not pour His Holy Spirit on rebellious hearts.

“He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30 …. God will not increase His presence in our lives unless we become willing and obedient in decreasing.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

MANY today who claim to know Jesus, want God to anoint them yet they do not want to obey Him. They refuse! The LORD sees the intents and motives of every heart and He is not going to anoint rebellion!

“IF IF IF ye be willing ANDDD obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20  But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 1:19-20

The LORD requires not only willingness but also obedience!

GOD’s presence will not increase in our lives if we haven’t been obedient with the simple things He’s commanded us to do. “IF you love me, keep my commandments … If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:15, 23) Jesus told us that He only gives more to those who utilize/obediently steward what He already gave them. Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-20)

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

PRAYER: Father, in the name of Jesus, please forgive my self-idolatry. Please forgive my sin of self-worship and self seeking. This moment, right now if never before, I repent, I truly turn back to You and ask You to break me to the innermost part of my being. By Your grace, please grant that I would truly be one with You and truly live an abiding fellowship with You – as you define it. In the name of Jesus, please fill me with Your Holy Ghost afresh and use me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Author of several enlightening and influential books on subjects ranging from false prophets, end times, the original lie of Satan to mankind, evangelism, last day / end times victory, and the daily walk of an authentic disciple. Todd’s books can be found on BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and on SafeGuardYourSoul.com. His websites include SafeGuardYourSoul.com, GreatCommissionAdventure.com. A former Marine, contracted to NASA, youth pastor, TV show host, Bible College class president, and member of numerous churches throughout the south, by the saving grace of Jesus Christ Todd has and continues to learn to set aside all that involves the philosophies and whims of mere men to follow the King of the kingdom as a simple servant. His sincerity and ability to speak on a variety of topics from a broad and edifying perspective, and with a humble candor, is refreshing. Todd has an obvious understanding that he is nothing without Jesus and yet, by the working of divine grace, his Gospel tracts, articles, Moments with Our Master email devotional, and books have taught, encouraged, and inspired thousands. Todd Tomasella is the author of several Christian, non-fiction books, hundreds of articles, devotionals, audios, tracts, videos, Bible school curriculum, and study guides. No matter the format utilized, the divine mandate is simply getting people into God's Word for themselves (Nehemiah 8:8; Habakkuk 2:2; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17). Let’s Grow Together! Sign up here to begin receiving the Moments with Our Master email devotional that is sure to help you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:2; 3:18). It’s sent out for the edification and equipping of the body of Christ. Sign Up HERE: info@safeguardyoursoul.com