Understanding His Manifest Presence
Taken from a message by
Walter H. Beuttler
“Can any hide himself in secret places that I
shall not see him? says the Lord. Do not I fill
heaven and earth? says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:24.
The term, “Manifest Presence,” refers to the
presence of the Lord being revealed through one or more of
our five natural senses. As we sit in the presence of the
Lord in expectancy, and persevere in our “waiting upon
the Lord,” we will learn the “secret” of
His Manifest Presence.
Irrespective of how we may “feel,” we are to
base our waiting upon Him on the “fact” that -
“God is present.” We must accept the fact of the
certainty of His presence being with us, as being more real
to us, than any conscious awareness of His presence that we
may feel, though both are essential.
“Where shall I go from Your Spirit? or where
shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up
into heaven, You are there: if I make my bed
in hell, behold, You are there.”
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in
the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall
Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall
“If I say, surely the darkness shall cover
me; even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hides not from You; but
the night shines as the day: the darkness and
the light are both alike to You.” Psalm 139:7-12.
It is only after we have been firmly rooted in the “fact”
of His Presence, that the Lord can give us the “consciousness”
of His presence. Otherwise, we might become over dependent
on Him for His “Conscious Presence.”
When the Lord reveals His Manifest Presence to us, He has
a purpose in mind. As we respond to His presence, He will
begin to reveal Himself to us in one of many ways. It may
be a time in which we fellowship with Him. Or, it may be in
the form of a burden for prayer, intercession, or spiritual
warfare. He may begin to unfold a spiritual truth to us, or
give a special understanding in His Word.
The ability to “understand” what the Lord has
in mind, when He comes and reveals His Manifest Presence to
us, is developed through practice. It is cultivated by our
devotion and obedience to His leadings. We must learn to know
when the Lord comes to us, and when the purpose for which
He came, has been accomplished. We need to be careful not
to offend Him, by not responding to His coming, or by leaving
the place of His presence prematurely.
Leaving His presence prior to His being finished with us
is detrimental to the development of our spiritual sensitivity.
At times, we may not be as careful as we ought, but we should
remember that the Holy Spirit has feelings, and that He can
easily be grieved. He is not intrusive; neither will He force
Himself upon us. The Lord appreciates being appreciated, and
will only come when He feels welcome.
The Spirit will often pray through us in ways we do not understand.
We may not know our need, or the needs of others. But, in
His foreknowledge, the Lord provides for this.
“Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities:
for we know not what we should pray for as
we ought: but the Spirit Itself makes intercession
for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans
Therefore, the Holy Spirit, knowing the will of the Father,
prays through us and gives us a burden that corresponds to
the need to which only He is aware. Often, we may become sad,
happy, full of joy, or expectation, all during this process
of the moving of the Holy Spirit, as He expresses Himself
through us toward the need. At times, He may cause or allow
us to understand, as we continue to wait upon Him. However,
our knowing may only serve to hinder the efficient work of
the Spirit of God in praying through us.
When the Holy Spirit comes to us with a burden, or in a heavy
presence, care must then be exercised in responding. If we
are rightly involved in some activity, such as our employment,
or responsibilities that cannot be postponed, the presence
will subside and then abide with us, until we are free to
come apart and wait upon Him. However, if we do not wish to
respond to His coming, the Lord will be grieved, and we will
loose this special relationship to His Manifest Presence.
We can stop waiting upon Him, when His presence begins to
lift. A song may commence to rise within in worship, or a
peace will be felt, and then, He will withdraw until a future
“And the Lord went His way, as soon as He
had left communing with Abraham: and
Abraham returned to his place.” Genesis 18:33.
Gradually, as we poise our spirit toward the Lord in “absolute
silence,” we will begin to find the “secret place”
that is close to the heart of God. His desire for us is contained
within this “poised spirit,” where words or expression
may only serve to interrupt our communion with God.
As we wait upon Him in this attitude of Spirit, His Manifest
Presence will increasingly become real and meaningful to us.