There are many reasons for wanting to come into the presence of God, but here the emphasis is on our relationship with Him. It is about enjoying His fellowship in the Holy Place, but more importantly, giving Him our love.
Can anything compare with being in the Holy and Majestic presence of the Almighty God? There is nothing in all creation that can compare with this experience. The purpose of this page is to hopefully encourage and help those who have not had, or have seldom had, this amazing experience to find out what it's all about.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
We are talking about coming into the very presence of God, our Heavenly Father, so the first thing that needs to happen is to make sure we've 'cleaned up'. Our Father is Holy and Righteous, so we need to make sure that there are no unresolved issues. I know that relationships with people can get pretty messed up sometimes, but we need to forgive those who need forgiving and ask for forgiveness from those whom we have offended, either intentionally or unintentionally. Often offence can come because our actions or words are misunderstood or misinterpreted. Where possible, this should be sorted out before attempting to come into our Father's presence.
It is sin that seperates us from God, so having cleared the air with other people, we need to clear the air with Him. We are all guilty of sin, whether it be by deed or thought. Saying sorry to our Father is sufficient to clear things up. This is not to be confused with repentance. That is a whole different story.
HOW MUCH TIME?
There are no hard and fast rules. Personally I find an hour too short to enter into His presence and fellowship with Him, but it's a good place to start. Look at the clock and note the time. Choose to give Him a full hour, not one minute less. In that time you can sing, pray, read the Bible, talk to Him, whatever. If you haven't done this sort of thing before it can be really hard to fill the hour, but don't give up! Perseverence is the key to building up a relationship with God that will enable you to really enter into His presence.
If you can't manage it on your own, find someone who knows how to enter into His presence and go there together.
INSTRUCTIONS FROM DAVID
I love Psalm 100.
Look at verse 4. It starts off "Enter His gates with thanksgiving" and goes on to say "and into His courts with praise."
Let's look at it this way, giving thanks gets us into the gates. This is the only way into the courtyard.
In the picture below we see a Tabernacle in a courtyard. The courtyard is where the people and animals are but, in this exercise, we are going to imagine God being in the Tabernacle. This is our destination.
A thankful heart is a real key. Being thankful to our Father in Heaven for being the awesome God that He is. Being thankful that Jesus came and gave His all, that we can know God. Thankful for health, parents, possessions, life, the stars in the night sky, the warmth of the sun, the beauty of nature. The list is endless. If you don't feel thankful, just start thanking Him anyway because He deserves it. As you thank Him your heart will respond.
When someone comes and thanks you for something you've done, don't you feel appreciated? The feelings we experience are the same sort of feelings God has. We have been created in His likeness and share the same sort of feelings that He has. When we thank God, He feels appreciated and He responds to us. This is the beginning of getting close to Him, or if you like, entering the gates.
AND INTO HIS COURTS
Having entered the gates with thanksgiving, we enter His courts. Praise is a natural progression from thanksgiving. It wells up inside of us as a result of having a thankful heart. How awesome is our God who knows our very hearts and loves us so completely! Praise Him who is so full of understanding and grace!
There is much joy to be found in the courts of the Lord. A closeness which warms the very depths of our being, but this is not our final destination!
In the Old Testament times the Tabernacle was the Holy Place that only the High Priest went into once a year to seek forgiveness on behalf of the people. When Jesus died on the cross the veil (door) of the temple (Tabernacle) was ripped on two.
In other words, when Jesus died He paid the price, once and for all for our sin. In so doing He gave as many as believe access to the Tabernacle, or the very presence of God.
It is our love for our Father that takes us into the Holy Place. This is not the place for prayer. It is not the place for making your requests known to the Lord. It is not the place for questions and intercession. It is not a place to get, but rather to give.
It is a place of intimacy. A place where hearts touch and love is shared. A place of mutual appreciation and giving of onesself wholeheatedly to the other. This is a place where we can reach out and touch the very heart of our Heavenly Father, giving Him the love and intimate fellowship He deserves and desires!
How tempting it can be, once in His presence, to ask for the things we want, or to pray for someone else, but to do so is to destroy the moment. This isn't about us or what we want. This is about giving our all to Him. Giving Him our undivided attention, giving Him our love. Let nothing detract from that beautiful intimacy that is so precious and beautiful.
I feel reluctant to mention the rewards that come from spending time with our Father in His Holy Place. It seems, to my mind, to detract from what it's all about. But the fact is that there are rewards for taking the time and making the effort to spend time with Him. The rewards are things like the wonderful Presence of Him who loves us remaining with us. The utter contentment of being loved. These things permeate through our very being, affecting everything we touch and everyone we see.