Hinder OR Host…

For the past couple of years God has been speaking to me about how I handle the presence of God. Mostly in my secret moments alone, that no one sees. But then how I reflect that in public ministry.

Each day I seek hard after His presence in Prayer, Worship, Word, and in Fellowship with others. Asking the question, “How do I host His presence in a way that doesn’t hinder His work or grieve His Spirit?”

Have you ever asked that before?

It seems the older I get and deeper in relationship to Jesus I go, the more I realize, without His presence in my life—-I am useless.

Moses understood this. He declared, “Unless your presence goes with us, we won’t move!” ( Ex 33) He had discovered the key to distinction, intimacy, and purpose. It was His presence. It was His manifest presence. A fire by night and a cloud by day.

I simply have no desire to do life or ministry in my own power and my own strength anymore.

You see, I’ve seen my works and I’ve seen His. His are sooooo……..much better.

His works are lasting.

His fruit remains.

His work does the impossible.

His work changes me and changes others.

His work, is what I was created for.

His work enables me to live free and overcome my own selfishness.

But my works…. Well…

My work leaves empty spaces.

My work doesn’t last.

My work does damage to the people I love.

My works DON’T work!

I have been on a journey of putting my works aside and seeking to not move until He instructs. Let me tell you, It’s hard.

I’m always in a hurry. I want instant results. I want smoke and lights. I want to check the box of what I’ve accomplished. I want credit. It’s sad. Really sad.

But, His way…….Well, it’s slow. Timing is essential and always perfect. It requires trust. It’s always a way that is impossible, unless He comes through. It’s uncomfortable. People notice Him, not me. Relationships have to be held loosely. I don’t get to control. I am required to love, no matter the situation. His preference wins. His way always seems the hardest – but, I have found, it always brings the greatest joy.

His way, requires I live what I preach. It leaves no room for hypocrisy and double standards. It convicts. It puts me last and others first.

It’s actually what I was created to live, walk, and be.- but, it kills my flesh.

So, I have been praying, “Lord teach me to host your presence and not hinder it.”

Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

But, In the last two months during prayer, I sensed the Lord speak, “I don’t want to be hosted – I want to be catered to.”

What?!! For two years I have been trying to get out of the way and create an atmosphere for the presence of God to move and in a quiet moment I realize – I was doing it all wrong!

Remember this story in John 12

She came in unexpected. Known more for her sins than her righteous deeds. A minority in the room, yet every move she made dominated the atmosphere.

The sneers.

The unbelief.

The disgust.

Why would He let her get so close? Why would He allow this woman to anoint his feet, with perfume and tears?

The worship.

The sacrifice.

The vulnerability.

The cost.

She wasn’t there for her, but Him. To honor Him. To worship Him. To show His worth.

You know the story, right? Martha was present. She was serving. Trying to get everything right and make everyone happy. Busy hosting.

But Mary…

She wasn’t hosting…

She was catering.

You see it’s never been about us creating an atmosphere for Him to move; but rather, for us to cater to His presence in the room and our lives.

A staff member asked me, “Peggy, what’s the difference in hosting verses catering?” I answered, “It’s simple. When I host someone in my home, I bring out the best dishes, I clean, and I create an atmosphere to impress. I put out my best, so they will enjoy being with me. BUT TO CATER… well, catering has nothing to do with me, but EVERYTHING to do with the one who is coming.”

If I want to be a person who Cater’s to the presence of God then I must stop doing it my way, and seek the details of His way.

I must change my preferences to His.

My likings to His.

My atmosphere to His.

My environment to His.

Isn’t this what Jesus taught when He said, “I do not do my will, but only what the Father desires.” And “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.”

How about you?

Are you still trying to prove He should come by your eloquent hosting or are you living to please Him in every way and every area?

Lord, help me to cater to Your presence in every area of my life. Your way, Your will, Your wants. Teach me to want what you want and to walk where you walk. May Your Will be the desire of my heart in every area. Amen.

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