What is the presence of God? Is it His power, His glory or even His blessing? I simply define the presence of God as the very person of God. But this doesn't explain how the presence of God works in our lives. The Bible has given us a great example to explain this question. The explain comes in the form of the Ark of the Covenant.
Exodus 37:1-9King James Version (KJV)
1 And Bezaleel made the ark of (acacia/)shittim wood: two cubits and a half was the length of it, and a cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of it:
2 And he overlaid it with pure gold within and without, and made a crown of gold to it round about.
3 And he cast for it four rings of gold, to be set by the four corners of it; even two rings upon the one side of it, and two rings upon the other side of it.
4 And he made staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold.
5 And he put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, to bear the ark.
6 And he made the mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and one cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
7 And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat;
8 One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
9 And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims.
Acacia / Shittim Tree
The Acacia Tree is know to grow, spout flowers and bear fruit despite the soil or weather. It has the potential of even restoring the fertilization of the soil that it is planted in. * This element represents God's restoration / resurrection power. He is able to bring back to life the dead things in our lives. It speaks of His ability to feed and shelter us through any situation. Finally, it represents God's enduring nature through the heart or through the cold it changes not.
This element represents the glory and the royalty of God. Even though we would like to just look at Him as a friend who sticks closer than a brother or a s a forgiving and loving father. We ought not forget that is the King of kings and He is HOLY. Like perfectly refined gold there is no trace of dirt, corruption or filth in Him
Hebrews 9:4 King James Version (KJV)
Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
So the ark had three items, each of them speaks to God's relationship with man (or the kind of relationship God would like to have with man). Each item spiritual charged with God's presence and love for man, despite man constant failures and even rejection of God.
1. The Ten Commandments
First of this Ten Commandments was a copy of the original Ten Commandments which was written by God. This original copy was broken the day it was given by Moses when he saw that the people of God were in the middle of breaking every one of those laws. They made a golden idle and began to worship it, once idolatry was introduced to the camp all other sins spun out of control among them. All of this happened during Moses' forty days absence on Mt. Sinai. Long story short, God made Moses rewrite the Ten Commandments himself. Basically the Ten Commandments represents the marital document / contract between God and His people. It speaks to the fact that God's word is suppose to be engraved in our beings. It goes beyond just "the dos and don'ts" with God. It speaks to reviving that piece of Himself that injected in Man when we blew the breath of Life into him and later on went dormant or simply dead in Man when Adam sinned.
Let me stick a pin here to discuss a serious issue we have in the body of Christ and that is the "lighting-rod effect". I know it sidetracks us from our subtopic, but trust me it will make sense later. Ok so here we go (a history lesson within a history lesson), Prior to the moment that the ten commandments were written, God told Moses that He would like to talk to them as He talks to Moses. So the people got ready according to the precepts that God had prescribed. So the family now come to the Mt. Sinai and the Presence of God come upon the Mt. Sinai and He (God Almighty) begins to talk to the people. His voice was little thunder and His very presence frighten the people. So they urgently called out to Moses to tell God that they are fine with Moses beginning their mediator or God's mouthpiece to His people.
So from this point on Moses wasn't just a mouthpiece for God, he became a lighting-rod for God's presence among His people. So without Moses' being present and presumed dead, all forms of madness and sinful acts exploded among the people. Now we can read this and think, "Wow, these people were horrible!" But were thing really different from us? Let's look at an example here, lets assume that a "Mega Preacher / Prophet" is coming to our church and when takes the mic he says, "The presence of God is here and God is ready to do a miracle in your life". Now naturally our response would be to scream, shout, weep, etc (I am talking to you, Evangelicals and Pentecostals). But most importantly we get boost of FAITH and with that faith the atmosphere is charged with the "Presence of God".
The issue is not that God's Presence wasn't with us in our other services, it was our lack of faith or expectations that God's Presence is among us to communicate to us and to affect the kind of change that only He can do. Again, the same lighting-rod that Moses was in his day, we have created a lot miniature lighting-rods to channel the Presence of God into our lives in the form of men of God. Don't get me wrong they play an important role, but make no mistake about it they are not designed to be a mediator between you and God. That role belongs to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and He is suppose to live in our hearts.
The reason why it is easier to follow "lighting-rods" (people who draw us into God's Presence) is because they are anointed to do just that - draw us into God's Presence. The problem here is that we get carried away with it and we secretly believe that we can't touch God or have a dynamic interaction with Him without them. This is because it is easier to interact with Man that you can see and touch then a God that is invisible to the naked eye. Here we lose sight of God original plan, which is that God wants to have a special relationship with all of us and wants to talk to all of us for Himself. Therefore the only way to achieve this is for an intimate relationship between us (man and God) to be forged. This is what God had in mind when He brought the His people to Mt. Sinai. We also see this same plan in action as He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the Cross.
2. Golden Jar of Manna
Blog by David Twum-Barimah
A few days ago, a situation was brought to my attention which sparked my desire to record all that God has shown me personally concerning the Spirit of Lust.
This is what I know about the Spirit of Lust so far…
Characteristics of the Spirit of Lust (examples of how this spirit operates can be seen in Biblical characters such as Jezebel, Herodias and Delilah).
Lust is not just about SEX;
1. Lust is Controlling / Dominating and therefore seeks to have POWER over people, by doing this, it reverses the authoritative roles. (Ahab was king of Israel but he was controlled by his wife Jezebel, the queen of Israel - 1 Kings 21:1-15).
2. Lust is Manipulative / Calculating. (Amnon and Jonadab conspire the rape of Tamar 2 Sam. 13:1-14)
3. Lust preys on the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of its victims; therefore, it can be perceptive in order to identify these weaknesses and vulnerabilities with the main purpose of conquering its victims. (Lot’s two daughters preying on their father’s weakness for liquor, in order to get him to have sex with them - Gen. 19:30-38)
4. Lust saps or drains its victims’ strength (Delilah and Samson - Judges 16:4-21).
5. Lust works with a Distracting Spirit in order to catch its victims off guard or simply unaware (Herodias and her daughter working together to have John the Baptist beheaded - Mark 6:6-10).
6. Lust seeks to degrade or demote its victims’ stance (spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, etc.)… (Because of Potiphar’s wife, Joseph was demoted from the head of Potiphar’s household to an inmate - Gen. 39:6-20)
7. Lust seeks to disarm and slowly pull down “the walls of resistance” of its victims. (Potiphar’s wife tried to tempt Joseph into having sex with her “day by day” - Gen. 39:10)
8. Lust is Deceiving, it magnifies the attractive attributes of the one who Operates in Lust and it camouflages their negative attributes. Simply put, it will cause you to only see and hear whatever you need to see and hear in order to get you. (Judah was deceived by his daughter-in-law into having sex and fathering a child through her. It is this sin that introduced the sexual sin into Judah’s family, which is seen in the household of King David - Gen. 38:1-26)
9. Lust is always hungry and selfish (self pleasuring), for it strives on consuming whatever it can find; when it gets what it wants it discards its victims. (Amnon rejects and hates Tamar after raping her 2 Sam. 13:15-18)
Difference between being Oppressed by the Spirit of Lust & Operating in the Spirit of Lust
Oppressed by the Spirit of Lust: It refers to an individual who is bound or is a slave to Lust. Once Lust calls them, they find it hard or almost impossible not to answer. They also have the tendency to be drawn to individuals who Operate in the Spirit of Lust, like two magnets attracting one another. If these two are in any kind of relationship, the one who is oppressed by the Spirit of Lust is usually at the mercy of the one who operates in the Spirit of Lust. Even if the oppressed doesn’t like being a slave, they can sometimes hardly help themselves to get away because their strength has been drained and they have become spiritually and/or emotionally connected to the one who Operates in Lust.
Operating in the Spirit of Lust: It refers to an individual who embodies the Spirit of Lust. Their mode of operation could range from aggressive to passive-aggressive, from extremely obvious and loud to quiet, subtle, patient and calm. They can operate like a hungry Lion looking for prey, or in other cases they operate like a stationary Venus flytrap plant waiting for its prey to be drawn to it. They carry with them the different characteristics of the Spirit of Lust, in order to help fulfill the desires and plans of the Spirit of Lust. For example, when someone is Operating in the Spirit of Lust that person operates like a puppet master manipulating those in their sight into sex or doing their will. For instance, they can make one subtle move towards sex like a simple phone call or by holding hands and the potential victim of Lust responds by making two or three steps towards sex. By the end of it all the victim of Lust thinks/believes that they were just as responsible for the final outcome (sex) as the one who Operates in Lust, when in reality they were simply manipulated and toyed with. In the straightforward case, the one who Operates in Lust, uses their control and dominion over others. In this case they just make it clear what they want and they get it with little or no resistance. They will try to use manipulation and control over whoever is in their sight regardless if the person is in a relationship, married, someone who values their virginity, a long standing Christian or even (in some cases) over a person who is not of the same sexual orientation.
The Venus flytrap method is a strange case, because the one who Operates in Lust does not have to do much. People are naturally drawn to them and eventually entrap themselves. All they know is that there was something luring about the individual and that it just happened.
Please note that the one who Operates in the Spirit of Lust could even present themselves as hurt lost little puppies, when in fact they are able-bodied alpha wolves in their prime. It doesn’t matter how they look physically (tall, short, fat, slim, muscular, pretty, or ugly), once they operate in the Spirit of Lust, that spirit will draw all sorts of individuals to themselves. Doesn’t matter how intelligent, beautiful, or wealthy these victims of Lust are, because the attraction is happening primarily on a spiritual level. Think about the people who fall for those who Operate in Lust, when the relationship or even the act of sex is over, they are left wondering why they even fell for this person to begin with.
You may be thinking; if the attraction is happening on a spiritual level does this mean that Christians, who are spiritual people, are immune… No, in fact we have to remember that the Bible says in James 4:7 “resist the Devil and he shall flee” , but in some cases we have to do like Joseph and simply run in the opposite direction of Lust (Genesis 39:7). From here I will explain to the best of my current knowledge, why some Christians are winning the war against Lust while others aren’t.
How to fight the Spirit of Lust? Our weapons against Lust:
Now it goes without mentioning that as Christians, we ought to have on at all times the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). However, where Lust is concerned, allow me to highlight a few tools/weapons God has made available to us against such a foe.
1. Spiritually Alert & Aware (Discerning) of the operations of Lust (2 Cor. 2:11)
The most common mistake we make with Lust is that we are either underestimating how strong it is, or we are simply blind to its existence or the steps it is taking towards us. Those who Operate in Lust love to see how far they can go with us, how much of our time they can consume, how much of ourselves we are willing to hand over to them. This is because the Spirit Lust dictates it and they enjoy it, because the Spirit of Lust enjoys it (more power and influence over other people’s lives). But if we are aware of its plans and if we are aware as to what is actually happening right now in our lives we will be in a better position to deal with Lust.
I personally believe that self-honesty is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. The Bible lets us know in Lam. 3:40, “Let us examine our ways and test them…” 2 Cor. 13:5 says “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” When we are in the place where our self-honesty is blunt, uncensored and holistic, we can finally measure our situations and our current spiritual and emotional state correctly. Lust wants you distracted and deceived, but if you are openly honest with yourself, you also allow the Holy Ghost space to confirm and speak to you on the matter. Very little self-honesty plus little time to listen God, due to distraction and deception will only lead you down a road that looks and feels comforting and pleasurable, but at the end of the road lays destruction and shame.
3. Remembering and Utilizing your Spiritual Position and Authority - The Dominating Conquering Unshakable Unstoppable Spirit
This part might be a little difficult for some people, because it is more than just knowing who you are in Christ and the authority He has blessed you with. It is about taking ALL of that and using it to DOMINATE over the Spirit of Lust in order to either stopping it in its tracks, casting it out or causing it to flee. Yes, DOMINATE it, do not negotiate with it, tolerating it or try reasoning with it. It is for this reason that Christians, who have a Dominating Conquering Unshakable Unstoppable Spirit are usually best suited to deal with the Spirit of Lust. We see a good example of how these two spirits clash in the Bible (2 Kings Chapters 9-10) the fight between Jehu (The Dominating Conquering Unshakable Unstoppable Spirit) and Jezebel (The Spirit of Lust). When those two spirits clash, the Spirit of Lust will be constantly looking for some area to exercise some form of control or dominion, but do not give it an inch or else it would use that inch to slowly rebuild itself, like a small piece of cancer left behind after a surgery. The approach that Jehu had toward Jezebel and all that was connected to her was simply to destroy it all, (spiritual eradication) in a relentless fashion. So as far as Lust is concerned, we ought not to play with it or entertain it, it needs to cut off from our lives holistically.
The only way the enemy deals a fatal blow to the Dominating Conquering Unshakable Unstoppable Spirit (or the Spirit of Jehu) is by getting it distracted. This distraction can come in several forms, from the need for comfort and companionship, to even pursuing vanity (wealth, fame, popularity, higher positions, etc). These distractions often lead to idolatry (the worship of something or someone other than God). We see this in the lives of both Samson and Jehu. Samson worshipped Delilah and fell as a result (Judges 16:4-21). Jehu worshipped power and wealth, which was the same sin of Jeroboam; they both were rejected kings by God (1 Kings 12:26-33 & 2 Kings 10:29-31).
On the other hand, if a Christian has a Fighting Spirit, they may appear as unshakable in midst of their dealings with the Spirit of Lust. However, the Fighting Spirit can only resist and push back the Spirit of Lust for a season, unless they are constantly being strengthened within God’s presence. We see a good example of this in the fight between Elijah and Jezebel. In 1 Kings Chapter 18, the prophet just finished displaying how awesome his God is and how God can do anything. However, in following chapter (1 Kings 19:1-8) we see Elijah running away from Jezebel (putting a distance from himself and the source of Lust) and in a state of spiritual fatigue and depression. Praise the Lord, that even in this state of being; God restored his strength so he could keep fighting. Remember Lust sits in a position of dominion and control; to overthrow it means to take back dominion and control by dominating and conquering through the power of the Holy Ghost. This is why Elijah was not suited to deal with Jezebel, because his purpose was not to take the throne and the power from Jezebel. Note, the Fighting Spirit doesn’t conquer Lust, it simply survives it. It does not win by knock-out, but it can win by default.
Lastly, the Christian that has an Overly Giving Spirit usually doesn’t fair too well against the Spirit Lust, unless this Christian is walking in a very high level of Wisdom and Discernment. The reason why the Overly Giving Spirit usually fails against Lust is because Lust simples WANTS and TAKES and the Overly Giving Spirit GIVES with no limitations or boundaries. They are very open about their lives (weaknesses and strengths) and trusting, which usually makes them very vulnerable to the manipulations of Lust if they are not careful. Best thing that this Christian can do is to flee and stay as far as possible from Lust, if that is not possible they must call for back up from the Christian brother or sister or better yet, their spiritual Leader, who has the Dominating Conquering Unshakable Unstoppable Spirit to help deal with the situation. I will explain a little further on these last two points next.
4. Call for “Back-Up”, before it is too late
There is strength and comfort in numbers, so being able to call on someone else for help and support in this area is key. However, calling for help only works if you call on people who are spiritually mature and are able to help. By calling someone who doesn’t fit this description would add no value or help to your situation. Calling for help isn’t a difficult decision, but please pray and seek the face of God concerning who to call.
5. Distance and Lack of Response
The Spirit of Lust feeds on attention and communication, so if you don’t give it the time or day, its hold on you will be weakened. The more you give Lust your attention, the more it will try to creep into your life to take hold of you. Whatever you feed, will grow and grow strong, and whatever you neglect and ignore to feed will die. Once you realize that the Spirit of Lust is trying to approach you, like in the case of Joseph (Genesis 39:7) through a particular person, place or thing; by placing a physical distance between yourself and the source of Lust becomes more than necessary. It is never wise to play “Super Christian” with Lust and think that it can’t affect you or that you are 100% immune, because if you spend enough time with it, it will get integrated into your spiritual system and cause you to crash. The Bible also says in 2 Tim. 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." Don’t Walk away, Run away Now!
6. Get Deliverance and Get Dedicated/Rededicated to Christ Now!
If by chance you are Oppressed or Operating in Lust please get deliverance NOW and rededicate/dedicate your life to Christ NOW, before Lust consumes more of your life. In some cases one can neither be currently oppressed or operating in Lust, but you have had (a) Lustful encounter(s). Note that the seed of Lust has been spiritually implanted in you and it is waiting for something else to transpire in order for it to continue to grow into Oppression or Operation. Therefore again, deliverance and dedication to Christ is still necessary in order to deal with the seed of Lust.
In conclusion, we all have to be need to be constantly connected to God and His word. We ought also to be careful of our own actions and thoughts, for the deeds of lust begins with a thought. If this thought is left only and not rebuked in the name of Jesus, than the Spirit of Lust will find room in your heart. As the Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."