The Manifest Presence of God - Part 14
Walter Beuttler

"Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:30-31

Years ago, I always stayed up until past midnight and then slept until late in the morning. The Lord let me know that this was to change, for I was to rise early each morning to meet with Him. The Lord further revealed that there is a deep inner satisfaction to be found in no other way, and a reward that is received when we spend time with Him early in the morning.

"I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me. That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures." Proverbs 8:17,21

Throughout Church history, most all of those who left a mark upon the Lord's people knew the value of rising early in the morning to spend time with the Lord. The Word of God also affirms that the prophets of old rose early.

Although the Lord had made known to me that He desired to meet with me in the early morning hours, I had a very difficult time changing my sleep pattern. I would set the alarm for six o'clock, since I thought this was very early.

When the alarm rang at six o'clock, I would push the button, turn over, and go back to sleep. Then after awhile, I did not even hear it when it rang. Finally I said to the Lord, "This will never do, as I am unable to get up ." I told the Lord that He would have to help me to get up.

The next evening, I asked the Lord to awaken me at six. I did not set the alarm, as I knew this had not worked. The next morning I was awakened out of a deep sleep by a blue jay that made a terrible racket, very close to my window. I got up to look for something to throw at it. Then I looked at the clock and realized that it was exactly 6 AM, and I was out of bed. But I got back in bed and went to sleep.

That night, I apologized to the Lord, asked Him to please wake me up at six the following morning, and that I would get up. At this time, I was staying with an elderly couple that was very nice and exceptionally quiet. The next morning I was awakened by a loud argument between the two, right outside my door. I looked at my clock, and it was exactly 6 AM, but again I went back to sleep.

Once again that night, I asked the Lord's forgiveness and asked Him to wake me up at six o'clock the next morning. I was awakened by an automobile crash that was so loud that I jumped out of bed. I looked out the window, but could not see the cars, so again I went back to bed.

Again, I apologized and told the Lord that I was really ashamed of myself. I prayed, "Lord, I will not ask You to wake me up again at six. Instead, Lord, I ask you to make me get up, and stay up." The next morning, awakened with a terrible stomach pain, I ran for the bathroom. By the time I returned to the bed, I was wide-awake. I looked at my clock and again, it was exactly six o'clock.

Finally, I realized that the Lord was very determined that I was to get up at 6 AM to seek Him. From that time onward, I have always been careful to be in bed early enough in order to be up at six. It is of primary importance that we "promptly respond " when the Lord prompts us to come apart and wait upon Him.

To maintain an abiding walk in the presence of the Lord requires much self-discipline. Some years ago, I was teaching at a camp meeting. My wife was with me that year and we were together in the dining room for breakfast. I had ordered some pancakes and had asked for them to be made in a special way. The waitress seemed very pleased when she set them before me. As I sat looking at them, I felt a strong check in my spirit. My wife said, "You are not supposed to eat this morning." I responded that this was true, and she then said, "Then why are you sitting there, looking at them?" I felt embarrassed because they had been fixed special for me; but I left to go and wait on the Lord.

Being obedient to the Lord is not easy for any of us, but it is very important that we learn the value of "prompt obedience " in order to be available to Him. The Lord said to one of the prophets, "When you go, do not enter into any house, or eat or drink with anyone." The prophet was invited to eat and to rest, but he had to say no.

It is not easy for us to be obedient, knowing that others will not understand. This is the reason the Lord said, "If anyone hears My voice, and opens the door." This means that we may have to make changes in our plans in order to respond and be obedient.

"If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land." Isaiah 1:19

For example, some who have an intercessory ministry may be called by the Lord to come apart to pray while they are still washing the dishes. The temptation would be to hurry and finish, and then pray. If this is done, invariably, there will be no anointing for prayer or intercession. The opportunity would be missed, as there must be an "immediate response."

If any one of us were to go to the home of a friend and knock on their door, and then we noticed that they were ignoring our knock and continuing in whatever they were doing, we would feel hurt and leave. When they would finally respond, we would be gone and probably never again return.

This experience can be seen in the Song of Solomon.

"I sleep, but my heart awakes; it is the voice of my Beloved that knocks, saying, Open to Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My undefiled: For My head is filled with dew, and My locks with the drops of the night.

"I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

"My Beloved put in His hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for Him.

"I rose to open to my Beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

"I opened to my Beloved; but my Beloved had withdrawn Himself, and was gone. My soul failed when He spoke: I sought Him, but I could not find Him; I called Him, but He gave me no answer." Song of Solomon 5:2-6

When the Bridegroom came and knocked on the door to her room, she had already retired, and she made excuses as to why she could not respond. Finally, when she decided to respond, he was gone, and that which was intended was missed.

"I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20b

When we are obedient, not only will a need be met, but our prompt obedience will lead us into a time of intimate communion with the Lord. Because none of us easily come to this level of obedience, if we are sincere and truly desire His presence, there will be a progression in His dealings that will produce within us both the will and the ability to obey.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." Revelation 3:20

This is the Lord's part. He lets us know that He desires our "total attention ," that we might "enter into" and "experience" His manifest presence.

"If anyone" - This is our part. We are given the opportunity to choose to respond, which choice must be above all other things.

" Hears My voice" - If we are serious about personally knowing the Lord and having an ongoing relationship with Him, we must develop the ability to hear, or recognize His voice.

"And opens the door " - The Lord will knock, but we must open the door and invite Him to come within.

"I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with Me." - Once we have invited the Lord to come within, we will find a satisfaction and fulfillment that can be experienced in no other way, as we "commune" with Him.

We can easily see that this is a two way street, which requires an action on each side. Those who are wise will be "prepared " to arise early, "to enter" into His presence.