Click on this link before, during, or after you read this blog. A few of the lyrics follow the link.
“And if you want it/come and get it/for crying out loud/ ‘Cause there’s love that He has given for you/that is never in doubt/let go of your heart/let go of your head/and feel it now……”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11
Children are known for being really great at asking for things. My kids are no exception. When they were young, at times they needed something, but in their tiredness or frustration they came to me crying, whining or even wailing. It was as if they had already decided that they would not get what they needed. I would look at them, knowing what they wanted, and say, “Here it is! Why are you crying?”
Why is is so hard to believe that we will receive what we have asked of the Lord?
Sometimes when we ask God for something like His manifest Presence in our lives, we are not prepared to receive it. Like my children who at times were crying and agitated, we are running around, distracted but desperate, trying to get ahold of it ourselves. When we ask for God’s Presence maybe we are just not ready for it. I would not give a drink to my child if he were still jumping up and down screaming for it. He needs to be still, expecting, hands open, ready to receive it. And I will probably give him a kiss as well, just so he knows that I am glad to give him what he needs.
I ask for the Presence of the Lord. A lot. But then I go on my way, often forgetting what I have just asked for. But the Lord hasn’t forgotten. He is waiting, watching for the best opportunity to answer my request. He is waiting for the exact moment when I am most likely to receive what He wants to give, and when it will have the most impact on my heart. He wants me to know that this is from Him, and is not something that I made happen or manufactured in my own strength.
I don’t really know when God answers prayer or why. There is no formula for us to follow. But what I am trying to say is that it is okay to ask for his Presence; He certainly wants to give it to us, and He will answer.
There have been a handful of times where I have physically felt His Presence. Once was during a time of much pain and distress. Twice His Presence visited, out of the blue, in the middle of the night. Another time I was minding my own business in church, and I felt an unmistakable warmth next to my ear, like someone tenderly whispering to me. And now that I am thinking of it, other times come to mind. No doubt your own surprise visits from the Lord are coming back to you.
The banner photo at the top of the page is one of my favorite places for me to talk to Him. It is a trail in Arkansas in the village where my family lives; a place that is very green and quiet and cool, and where I can easily get lost for a long time. It makes me think of Adam and Eve walking with God in the Garden (Gen.3:8), or the times that Jesus retreated to a garden to be with His Father (Luke 22:17).
There are places where we ask the Father for what our heart desires. There are places where He answers; but they will not necessarily be the same time and same place.
So when I ask God for His Presence, I understand that He could answer now, but most likely later, at His choosing.
Too often I have been that child, jumping up and down in exasperation, demanding but not expecting. Now when I ask, I feel anticipation more than desperation, security more than fear, and joy more than despair. I know He will answer, I just don’t know when or how. And because of the previous sentence, it doesn’t really matter. When He does surprise me, it alters my soul’s experience; it is something I cannot forget.
“In the company of Jesus there are no experts, there’s only beginners and necessary followers, ’cause in the company of Jesus, nobody knows where they are going.” Jason Upton