“Practicing His Presence” – Part 2
My son Ezra Mack continues to develop great eye-hand coordination as well as balance. He’s grown out of the baby stage for sure and into an active and adventurous toddler. Having my office located in the garage of our home presents the challenge of keeping Ezra from venturing into the area. The doorknob no longer creates a hindrance, but is simply turned and the door opened. Ezra will boldly walk in saying, “Hi Dada!” No matter what I’m doing whether it’s praying, studying, on a phone call or doing administration items, Ezra’s brash entrance always puts a smile on my face.
This attitude and confidence reminds me that our fellowship and intimacy with the Father is not about the amount of time or timing in general, it’s about access, or if you will, having an open-door policy with Daddy, as it always produces power and results.
With this idea in mind, I want to bring to light two verses that I believe reveal the same type of attitude that Jesus had with the Father. The first from Mark 1:35 reads, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” The second verse is from Luke 6:12, “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountains to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Time vanishes; it evaporates when one’s heart is truly seeking the audience of One, desiring His attention and counsel. Religion would have you to think that it’s more about the amount of time spent in prayer, praising one’s sacrifice of denying sleep to pursue God. Relationship on the other hand, focuses on what is received and given during the time conversing with the Father. In the above-mentioned verses, Jesus’ time with the Father produced action. In Mark, after praying, Jesus informs His disciples saying, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” In Luke, after prayer, Jesus chooses His twelve disciples and in verse 19 we read, “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.”
As you can see, time in prayer or time in the presence of the Father will always do two things—first, anoint you to say something, and second, empower you to do something. When God called Mandy and me into Martin Ministries International I was filled with joy, but at the same time completely void of how to accomplish the vision. In times of prayer, the Lord began to give me counsel through Exodus 4:12 and 15 which elevated and encouraged my heart. These two verses are preceded by several that tell how God was calling Moses from watching his father-in-law’s sheep to becoming the deliverer and overseer of God’s people.
Excuse after excuse Moses informs God how he is not qualified to accomplish God’s plan. Moses says, “Who am I that you would send me to Pharaoh?” “Suppose they won’t believe or listen to my voice, suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you!’” Then to top it off Moses tries to convince God by saying, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, but am slow of speech and cannot speak very well.” To no avail, Moses’ attempts to divert God’s plan ends with God giving Moses two promises. Exodus 4:12 “Now, therefore, go, (action) and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you will SAY.”
I want to interject this humorous statement made by God when Moses yet again tries to bow out gracefully from the presented job opportunity by saying, “O my Lord, please send another.” The Lord replies, “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well.” Apparently, Aaron was somewhat of a jabber jaw and God knew it. I guess this is where Proverbs 18:16 came from which says, “A man’s gift will make room for him, and bring him before great men.”
At any rate, the Lord continued to strengthen me with Exodus 4:15 which reads, “Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall DO.” God was all about giving Moses the right words to say and the right actions to do that would produce His will.To conclude this thought Jesus seals it in John 5:19 saying, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son of man can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father DO; for whatever He does the Son also does in like manner.” And John 12:49, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me command, what I should SAY and what I should speak.” When your words and your actions are the results of fellowship and intimacy with the Father it is His will that is accomplished producing restoration, healing, provision and liberty in the lives of those you encounter on a daily basis. This is the fruit of practicing the presence of the Father.
I sense in my heart God drawing His people even closer to Himself by the Holy Spirit in a real and powerful way. He understands the demands that lay ahead and the opposition that we will face, so He is calling unto us saying, “Draw near, come close, for I want to give you my secret counsel and impart to you My word and My will for your life. For through this I will show you greater works that you may marvel and that you may have an answer for them that reproach you.”