Jim Maxim

The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord.

—1 Kings 8:11 (nlt)

Do you know what touches me so much about this verse? I see these Old Testament priests as a representation of you and me today.

I see men and women who are called by God to worship Him, serve Him, and take care of His people. I’m sure that most of these priests had tender hearts for God, and they probably stayed very busy in their daily services to Him.

I’m sure that you are a lot like that. I’m sure you have been ded- icated in your service to the Lord. Yet, deep down you know there is something more, a deeper awareness of who God is or who He can be in your life, a deeper longing in your soul that you know God has placed there. In some ways, our desire for God will never be completely satisfied while we live on this earth. But He wants us to search for a closer relationship with Him until we finally see Him face to face.

The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord.                                                              (1 Kings 8:11 nlt)

This verse is a beautiful example of how God wants so much more in our relationship with Him. God is always with us, but some days, He just stops us in our tracks to allow us to experience Him in a new way that completely drenches us with Himself. God permits us to feel Him more, love Him more, understand Him more, and on and on.

I cannot describe all that happens when a liquid sea, an overpow- ering wave of God’s love, washes over you and doesn’t stop until you are completely undone, bowing at His feet in awe. Nothing in this world can come close to the experience of God’s presence dwelling with you personally. The Holy Spirit Himself fills the room and you don’t want to move because of the indwelling of His holiness resting upon every fiber of your being. You know the only right thing to do is to receive this gift and respond to Him by saying, “You are holy, holy, holy,” just as the heavenly creatures cry before God’s throne in heaven. (See Revelation 4:8.)

Experiencing the presence of God is unusual and supernatural because He is the God of all creation!

I realize that some people may be concerned that this is a little out there or weird. You know, the definition of weird includes words like unnatural, supernatural, mysterious, and unusual. Well, experiencing the presence of God is unusual and supernatural because He is the God of all creation! It doesn’t mean we don’t still lead our productive lives. Remember, I’m a Christian who happens to be called to the business world. I have a plan; I seek guidance from attorneys, financial experts, and marketing professionals; I use the best technology; and I employ

Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome 31

the most talented people I can find. But I also welcome the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit in every area of my life. Remember, Jesus said to His disciples, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

God sent the Holy Spirit to be with us always as believers. Shouldn’t our lives as Christians—pilgrims in the world and chil- dren of the Most High God—experience God’s presence like this? Shouldn’t we be able to have such intimate times with our heavenly Father? The presence of the Holy Spirit will make us more aware that we have been redeemed and that our lives are truly “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

What would one of our church services look like today if God’s presence were to fill the sanctuary as it did with the priests in the temple? Would we welcome Him, the Holy Spirit? Would we even know what to do if this happened? Would we be willing to stop every- thing and wait upon Him to see what He wanted to do? (See Psalm 27:14.)

Maybe you have forgotten about the true power of God that comes from the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jesus reassures us, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my wit- nesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Maybe you once relied upon God’s power, but some- how you have slowly shifted to your power, your ego, and your effort. Maybe you plan every detail of your life and ministry without going to God for His guidance and infilling. There must be a time in your walk with God when you honestly realize that unless it’s God’s power and not yours, it will never last.

Well, you can start all over again right now. At this moment, Christ can baptize you afresh with the Holy Spirit, flow through you once again, and use you to change lives like He really wants to do.

Jesus longs to use people who are fully surrendered to His love and His power. Jesus will cleanse you and forgive you, and He can make it all new for you again. Just ask Him right now to forgive you and guide you, and He will fill you to overflowing. Out of your innermost being will flow “rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Go ahead and ask Him right now.

Earlier, I promised you that if you stayed with us for twenty-one days that your life would be changed for God’s glory and your produc- tivity, peace, and contentment. How can I make this promise? Because right now, we are going to experience God’s holy, life-changing pres- ence together. Today, right now, you are going to experience His super- natural love.

Today will be an extended time of prayer, so let’s go together to Him and call upon His Holy and majestic name. Let’s seek His won- derful face before we seek His all-powerful hand.

Excerpted from “21 Days of Deeper Prayer: Discover an Extraordinary Life in God” by Jim Maxim with Daniel Henderson, © 2020 by Jim Maxim. Published by Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.whitakerhouse.com.

Free audio prayers found here: www.acts413.net/deeperprayer