Join us on our new podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
For years, my heart longed for more than just a temporary visitation of God's presence in a church service or private prayer time. Momentary encounters were not enough. I wanted visitation to become habitation.
In time, God began to answer my heart's cry, and I learned that when we prepare a place for His glory in our hearts He will show up at the most unexpected moments. This is because God longs to fill us with His Spirit on a continual basis. He wants us to live in His glory.
Scripture bears out this truth. Jesus told His Father: "The glory which You gave Me I have given them" (John 17:22). The apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians about "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27).
He encouraged the Ephesians to "be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18). And he exhorted the Galatians, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25).
As we learn to walk in the Spirit we develop a continual awareness of God's presence. After all, we are the house of God and His glory has taken up residence in us. We just need to train our spirits to be in constant communion with the Holy Spirit.
One night I ran out to the supermarket to pick up some things. As I was walking through the parking lot I was praying and worshipping in the Spirit.
Suddenly I became aware of God's presence with me. I thought we were going to have a revival meeting right in the frozen foods aisle. I was caught up in His glory buying ice cream!
This is the place God desires us to live. Not in the supermarket, of course, but in His glory 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where we are physically or what we are doing. It's the place where our spirits are in unbroken fellowship with God.
How can you dwell in that place? The daily choices we make determine how much of God's presence we live in.
During my 20-year journey of walking with the Lord I have found that He often brings me back to one simple truth: Find out what pleases His heart and pursue that with all my heart.
On my desk is a stone plaque that reads, "The man who walks with God always gets to his destination." I read this every morning when I wake up. It is a constant reminder to make the right choices during my day so that I will walk with God and achieve the destination He has set for me. I know that as long as I am walking with Him, nothing will be able to block the flow of His blessing in my life.
I have often found that it is the small, seemingly insignificant choices we make that can have the greatest impact on our spiritual lives. Small choices lead to big choices.
We guard the habitation of God's glory in our lives by making the right choices. We choose what conversations we listen to, what words we speak, what attitudes we have toward others, what thoughts we meditate on, what people we hang around, what we look at, what we tolerate in our hearts of the spirit of the world.
We make the choice to have an attitude of worship, to resist temptation and to pray in the Spirit at all times. And most of all, we choose what boundaries we establish in our lives.
Just as God called Moses to set up boundaries around the base of the mountain to keep wild beasts from breaking through into the glory, so we need to set godly boundaries in our lives to protect God's presence (see Ex. 19:23). We need to know what things grieve His heart and make the decision to avoid those things at all cost.
Setting up godly boundaries will not only help you to walk in the Spirit but will also guard the place of God's habitation in your life. You will move from momentary visitations to a lifelong habitation as you prepare a place for His glory in your heart and consistently make godly choices. In the process, the Holy Spirit will help you to walk with Him and will become your closest friend.
Matt Sorger is a prophetic revivalist who ministers internationally through conferences, healing revival services and miracle crusades. His passion is to see people transformed through the preaching of God's Word and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Find out more at mattsorger.com.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!