Tuesday, March 14, 2023

What's Needed to Experience the Shekinah of God


My consistent experience with my Redeemer church family [we're in year 31 here!] is of the rich, thick, loving presence of God, within and among us. I am often so moved during our corporate worship experiences that tears come. I close my eyes during these times, only to open them to see someone who has been set free from addiction dancing in front of me. 

I think - life can't get better than this. I love seeing people set free from bondage to the powers of darkness. For me, our church is not only called "Redeemer," but God's Spirit is redemptively active in us.

How can I explain this presence-of-God culture? I think it's because many in our church family have a deep prayer life, and practice the presence of God as a lifestyle. God and the intimate knowledge of Him is their great passion, as evidenced by their loving acts of obedience to the Spirit. We have many hearts that are aflame for Christ. This hugely influences our worship environment.

Richard Foster writes:

"Thomas Kelly notes that for a group to experience the Shekinah of God there needs to be some individuals who are already "gathered deep in the spirit of worship.... In them, and from them, begins the work of worship. The spiritual devotion of a few persons ... is needed to kindle the rest, to help those others who enter the service with tangled, harried, distraught thoughts to be melted and quieted and released and made pliant, ready for the work of God and His Real Presence.""(Richard J. Foster,  Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer, Kindle Locations 342-345)