The Manifest Presence of God - Part 12
Walter Beuttler

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.

"To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne." Revelation 3:20-21

One day as I sat before the Lord, He drew my attention to the above passage of Scripture. As I held this before the Lord, I began to see something on a higher level than I had before realized.

The Lord made known to me the "method" of His approach, in order to lead us into a feast with Him. The key to this is the word, "attention ." If I came to your house, I would not casually open the door, walk in and say, "Hi, where is the refrigerator?" Rather, I would first knock on the door to get your attention. After you responded to my knock, all else would follow. So also, in Revelation 3:20, the Lord knocks to attract our attention.

This knock may come in a number of different ways. For example, while on a trans-Pacific flight, I was thinking about some problems I would face when I returned home, when suddenly I felt a tug at my spirit, as something seeking attention.

Through experience, I recognized this as the presence of the Lord, seeking to come and commune with me. I immediately stopped what I was doing, and turned aside into His presence, where we communed together. I can testify that these times of fellowship with the Lord have been profoundly satisfying and wonderful.

One time when I was in Australia, the pastor asked if I would return during the Christmas season for their ministers' seminar. He said that he also invited another minister and would arrange the tickets. I then told him I would come if he would promise not to place us on the same flight. If the Lord requested my attention while this minister was sitting next to me, I would need to become totally unresponsive to him, and he might feel hurt. Therefore, I always seek to avoid this possibility; but if I must, I choose not to hurt the Lord.

The Lord often quickens within me a chorus, "When He calls I will answer." This is the Lord telling me that He is about to knock on the door of my heart. Therefore, I am very careful about what I do, so I can remain sensitive to hear and respond to His voice.

At times, this presence of the Lord may lead into a prolonged time of worship and communion with Him. Or, it may turn into intercession, which requires a turning inward to allow the burden to have its full outworking. It is important that we arrange our time so we can rightly respond, as the Lord may require.

While on a Pan-Am flight from New York to Datkar, I was sitting alone by a window. A lady across the isle asked if I would change my seat and eat with her. But a short time before, I had felt this chorus rise up within, "When He calls, I will answer." I had to tell her that I could not do this. Another man agreed and they talked all evening. I would have missed a very special time of communion with the Lord, during which He prepared me for the ministry that was before me.

The Lord may knock through a " check of the spirit." This is an indication to stop whatever is being done and turn inward to listen for His voice. This has happened at home and my wife will say, "Why are you so quiet?" When I respond that I have something working in me, she immediately knows what I mean.

The Lord often speaks through alarm, or conviction, in a way that quickly arrests our attention. One year I had planned a stop in Baghdad to rest. I thought that while there, I would take a bus to the ancient city of Babylon. I woke in the morning with a presence and felt something alarming about it. I sat up in bed, and felt very uneasy in my spirit.

I said to the Lord, "What is wrong? " Suddenly before me stood the word "Baghdad." He never explained, but I knew at once that I was to remove that stop from my trip. Had I not obeyed, I might have become involved in some danger.

There is a price tag that is attached to this kind of walk. There have been times when I was with someone for dinner or visiting with them, and all of a sudden there came that nudge from the Lord, seeking my attention and I would have to excuse myself, and remove to a quiet place in order to respond.

I was visiting a family while teaching at a camp meeting. They had set out a very special meal for me. As we began to eat, suddenly that special nudge came in my spirit and I knew what it meant. As graciously as I possibly could, I excused myself and turned aside into the presence of the Lord. Later when I returned, the table was cleared and the food put away. I was never invited again.

There are times when the Lord asks that which is difficult for us.

While ministering in France, at the end of a service, a woman who may have been past ninety years of age, pushed a French coin into my hand. She said, " You have helped me and I want to do something for you." I knew she could not afford to give this coin, but I received it. The Lord had taught me long ago, "I will command the ravens to sustain thee ." The ravens are God's ordinary nobodies.

The Lord had said to Elijah, "I have commanded a widow woman to sustain you." Elijah said to this woman, "What do you have?" She responded that she had some meal and a little flour and was going to make a pancake for herself and for her son, and then they would starve.

Elijah then said, "First make me a cake." I would like to ask Elijah, "How did you feel when you asked that poor widow woman to give you her last cake, knowing the consequence?" He was walking in obedience, therefore the Lord provided for the woman.

If I had refused to take that woman's coin, I would have deprived her of one of her greatest blessings from the Lord. But on my part, it took a humiliating experience. I had extra money with me, and this poor lady was giving me a small coin. Your obedience will kill you, but only then can the Lord raise you up.

There are those who do not understand my walk with the Lord. There is a price that must be paid, as friends may be lost. But I had made the determination that I would at all cost obey the Lord. It is not easy to keep such a commitment. The Lord may put our obedience to the test. We may be tempted to give in due to pressure from others, knowing that they do not understand.

In the Lord's time and way, He will vindicate us. In the meantime, the communion we have with Him cannot be compared to anything we might otherwise have.