Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Looking For The Presence Of God

on August 20, 2012

Looking For The Presence Of God

Memory Verse: James 4:8

Life Application : If we draw close to God He will draw close to us.


Luke 2:41-46  NKJV     “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother  did not know it, but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.”

     Under the law men were required to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. The people who lived outside of Jerusalem had to make the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The Scriptures tell us that every year Joseph and Mary, along with Jesus, went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.

After they finished what the law required, Joseph and Mary gathered their things and headed back home. When they had traveled for one day, they began to look for Jesus. They did not find Him with their relatives or acquaintances that were traveling the same way as them.

Is it possible that since Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem three times a year, year after year, that they had gotten into a routine? If you’ve been to many family gatherings, you will notice that the children always want to ride home with someone other than their parents. Maybe this was true of Jesus also. Maybe it was so routine that His parents assumed He was traveling back with His friends or cousins.

In the natural realm, they had allowed someone else to be responsible for Jesus so many times that when they did not see Him they assumed He was still with their group. They had allowed someone else to be responsible to carry the presence of the Lord. Instead of following along with the people making the journey back home, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem.

According to the Bible, years later, Jerusalem was the place where Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to fill the believers.

Acts 1: 4-5  NKJV     “And being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

     Jesus could have sent the believers anywhere to wait on the infilling of the Holy Spirit, but He chose Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a place of worship under the law. Many of the people that worshipped God in Jerusalem had a revelation of God, but not an intimate relationship with Him. When  revelation and relationship (intimacy) come together mighty things happen.

Acts 2:1-4  NKJV    “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

     It was in Jerusalem that the early believers ministered unto the Lord for many days, and as a result God filled the room where they were with His presence. The people in the upper room were baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. They weren’t just speaking anything-they were praising and worshipping God. They were giving glory to God.

Acts 2:11  NKJV    “Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

     The Holy Spirit will help us worship God in spirit and in truth, just like He helped the early believers. The presence of God brings power and results. After Peter was baptized with the Holy Spirit, he stood up and spoke to the crowd. Because of the anointing upon him and the words that he spoke,  many believed.

Acts 2:41  NKJV    “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

     After the people believed, the Bible tells us, that they fellowshipped in the breaking of bread and in prayers.

Acts 2:42  NKJV    “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

     This verse does not mean that they sat around eating all their meals together. The early church shared times of corporate worship and prayer as well as communion (breaking of bread). Communion is a very intimate time between you and God, even when taken together as a group.

The are times in our lives that we might be like Joseph and Mary. We happily travel along the path we choose assuming that Jesus is with us. Once down the road we begin to “look” for the presence of Jesus, but He is no where to be found. Only then do we begin to seek His presence.

Luke 2:46  NKJV    “Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.”

     When Joseph and Mary discovered that Jesus was not with them, they began to  look for Him. They returned to Jerusalem, the last place that they had seen Him. Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the temple, a place of worship. When they became desperate for Him they found Him.

Matthew 7:7  NKJV    “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

James 4:8 NKJV     “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

     All across the world, many people are traveling along assuming that the presence of the Lord is with them. They have a form of godliness, but no power.

2 Timothy 3:1-5  NKJV    “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

Matthew 23:25-28  NKJV    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but the inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

     Like the early church, we need to rediscover what worshipping God in Spirit and in truth is.

John 4:23-24  NKJV    “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

     God doesn’t just want you to know who He is, He wants an intimate relationship with you too. Many people know the name of God, but few know Him intimately.

Matthew 7:13-14  NKJV    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

     We need to allow our revelation and our relationship to come together- we need to “Return To Jerusalem”. Just like Joseph and Mary, when we become desperate for the presence of God we will find Him, in a place of worship.


1. According to the second chapter of Luke, why were Jesus and His family in Jerusalem?

2. How long (how many days) had Joseph and Mary traveled before they realized that Jesus was not with them?

3. As a group name some reasons why Mary and Joseph might not have realized Jesus wasn’t with them.

4. One definition of assume is to suppose something or to accept that something is true without checking or confirming it.  Have you every assumed something only to later find out that you were wrong?

5. What were the believers instructed to wait for?

6. What did Jesus tell His followers that they would be baptized in?

7. The people that worshiped in Jerusalem did not have what with God?

8. When Jesus’ followers were gathered together they heard what?

9. When the followers were filled with the Holy Spirit what happened?

10. What were the people in the upper room doing when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit?

11. One definition of minister is to give something to someone. How can you personally “minister” to God?

12. The Holy Spirit filled Peter with boldness and as a result how many people were saved that day?

13. What does communion mean to you?

14. Jesus does not leave us, we leave Him. As a group, discuss and list some ways that we leave Jesus.

15. Who is 2 Timothy 23:25-28  talking about?

16. According to Matthew 7:13-14, how must we worship God?

17. When we really become desperate for God, will we find Him?

18. Has there ever been a time in your life that you were truly desperate for God and His presence?

19. Write a prayer asking God  to draw you closer to Him.


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