Perceiving the Presence of God

It is in the interest of God to meet us in different ways. In this, it is necessary that we be finely tuned in our five spiritual senses (Note: taste, see, smell, hear, feel) through the instruction of the Holy Spirit (cf. Hebrews 5:14).
Hebrews 5:14:
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
This directs to a spiritual sensitivity so that we are able to perceive the presence of God.
Since God is Spirit, it is up to us to choose to walk in the garden planted by God, that is, our personal relational realm with Him (cf. John 4:24a i.c.w. Genesis 2:8).
John 4:24a:
24a God is spirit, …
Genesis 2:8:
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
The Garden Planted by God and the First Love
The planting of the garden by God makes it clear that He loves the true relationship with Him, which has a deep rooting in His love, because from it the true spiritual overview takes place and being active in the gifts assigned to us sustains in His presence (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
1 Corinthians 13:1-3:
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
It is the deep rooting in the first love, which carries a three-dimensional geometrical size, in which it is necessary to walk, so that it comes to a greater knowledge in Christ Jesus, which is hidden in Him (cf. Ephesians 3:17-19 i.c.w. Colossians 2:2-3)
Ephesians 3:17-19:
… 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Colossians 2:2-3:
2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Based on the addressing of the church of Christ – the Ekklēsia in the region of Ephesus (cf. Revelation 2:1-7), it is clear that first love is associated with an elevated position.
This is made clear by Jesus’ exhortation to the church of Ephesus, namely to have left the first love and thus to have fallen from an exalted position.
Revelation 2:1a.4-5:
1a ‘To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: …
4 Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken the love you had at first.
5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
This principle of elevated position in first love is also evident from Matthew 5:14-15, where Jesus speaks of a city being on a mountain that cannot be hidden, and kindled light not being placed under a bushel but on a lampstand to help illuminate the particular room.
Matthew 5:14-15:
14 ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
Where the presence of God’s first love is present, the LORD causes His apostolic instruction to come forth for the particular community within the Ekklēsia, in much the same way as it did in Paul’s day when he entered the upper room in Troas with the many lighted lamps and shared his revelation (cf. Acts 20:7-8).
Acts 20:7-12:
7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.
8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.
9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third storey and was picked up dead.
10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms round him. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘He’s alive!’
11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.
12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
The Vineyard and the Cave
The area of the mountain or upper room is like a vineyard, where God demands that we find the room, that is, the cave in the mountain, just as Moses and Elijah experienced (cf. Exodus 33:21; 1 Kings 19:8-9a).
Exodus 33:21:
21 Then the Lord said, ‘There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. …’
1 Kings 19:8-9a:
8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
9a There he went into a cave and spent the night. …
By going up the vineyard, which spirals in a spiritual context, we begin to understand more intensely our God-given spiritual mandate to serve sovereignly in it and live in healthy interpersonal relationships.

The rationale for spiraling upward is found in the fact that Jesus Christ says of Himself that He is the Vine and we are the branches (cf. John 15:5).

John 15:5:
5 ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

The vineyard in this context is a reference to first love, its fruitfulness and joy.
Here it is important that we seek to be enveloped by His love, fruitfulness and joy without controlling them, which is like staying in the cave of the vineyard.
The area of the cave is the area where we are completely ‘naked’ and ‘vulnerable’ in the presence of God, while He envelops us with the presence of His voice, that is, His Word.
This becomes clear from the Hebrew root word ‘’ûr’ for ‘cave’, which means, among other things, a ‘naked’ or ‘uncovered state’ (Note: part excerpt from the Elberfelder Study Bible on the Hebrew word ‘’ûr’ with the word key number: 5899*).
This kind of ‘nakedness’ in the presence of God involves a pure transparency due to the presence of the Word of God (cf. Hebrews 4:12-13).
Hebrews 4:12-13:
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
It is the Bride or the Lamb’s wife who is in the dimension of the Word of God, as this is a golden city shining clearly like crystal, whose foundation is true ‘Shalom – Peace’ (cf. Revelation 21:9-11).
Revelation 21:9-11:
9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
In the form of the ‘little foxes’ (Note: lie produced from a devilish intelligence), the adversary’s intention is to disturb this first love (Greek agąpē) or to produce a false understanding about the ‘love of God’ in order to pervert it.
This is evident from the intention of Lot’s two daughters, who beguiled their father with wine in a cave in order to make him compliant for their purposes (cf. Song of Songs 2:15 i.c.w. Genesis 19:30. 32).
Song of Songs 2:15:
15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.
Genesis 19:30.32:
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. …
32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.’
The first vineyard owner was Noah, who, in addition to his economy as a farmer, entered the status of a vinedresser and first came into the enjoyment as well as the impact of wine (cf. Genesis 9:20-21).
Genesis 9:20-21:
20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard.
21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.
In a prophetic context, this reveals that living in the love of God, its fruitfulness and joy brings forth the willingness to enter into the revelatory dimension of the presence of the Word of God without fear (cf. John 3:21 i.c.w. 1 John 1:5.7).
John 3:21:
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
1 John 1:5.7:
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
This revelatory presence of the Word of God in the form of truth without causing shame is also evident in Zechariah 3. There we are told of the high priest Joshua, who stood before the angel of the LORD with his defiled garments, and Satan accused him because of it. But the LORD intervened because of Joshua’s decision to appear before Him in confidence (cf. Zechariah 3:1-7 i.c.w. Hebrews 4:16).
Zechariah 3:1-7:
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.
2 The Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?’
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.
4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.’
5 Then I said, ‘Put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: “If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
Hebrews 4:16:
16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Going up to the Vineyard
This going up or into the vineyard corresponds to the phase in which God teaches us, as His disciples and people, how to flourish more and become more fruitful, and in what way we can both bear and preserve the treasures of the Kingdom that He entrusts to us for the Kingdom.
Since the vine is an upward-twining plant, it calls us in Christ Jesus to ascend into the ‘spirit realm’ in royal authority in order to bring the treasures of the Kingdom of God to the earth (cf. Matthew 6:10).

Matthew 6:10:
… 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
The spiritual realm of the mountain is where we encounter the movement of the Spirit of God in the form of His breath, which gives us even more life in Him. This behaves similarly to the breath of Christ when He blew on the face of His disciples and instructed them to receive the Holy Spirit (cf. John 20:22).
John 20:22:
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. …’
Moreover, the spiritual level on the mountain resembles the place where, like Elijah, we cooperate with the anointing God has given us and the geographical location of ‘the cave’ to hear the gentle, quiet whisper of God in order to adjust ourselves accordingly in the Spirit (cf. 1 Kings 19:12b-13a).
1 Kings 19:12b-13a:
… 12b And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
13a When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. …
During the powerful divine manifestations in the form of the storm, earthquake, and fire that occurred earlier, Elijah was on the top of the mountain, going into the cave afterward. Hearing the quiet, gentle whispering, he went to the entrance of the cave with the wrapping of God’s holy transparency and applied his anointing (Note: prophet’s mantle) in a new way (cf. 1 Kings 19:11-13a).
1 Kings 19:11-12a:
11 The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
13a When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. …
This is evident from the fact that Elijah’s mantle covered his face, not his body. We can assume that Elijah smelled the odor of the goatskin of his coat, while his ‘five spiritual senses’ were covered by it (cf. 2 Kings 1:8).
2 Kings 1:8:
8 They replied, ‘He had a garment of hair (Note: coat of goat’s hair) and had a leather belt round his waist.’ The king said, ‘That was Elijah the Tishbite.’
The covering can be referred to a new time of the quality of the ‘five spiritual senses’, as this transitioned to Elijah hearing the voice of God coming to him (cf. 1 Kings 19:13b).
1 Kings 19:13b:
… 13b Then a voice said to him, …
The Hebrew word for ‘voice’ used on in 1 Kings 19:13b is ‘qôl’ and means ‘a voice, a sound (from an instrument), a noise caused by any manifestation such as downpouring rain, thunder, waves, footsteps, …’ and it comes from a Hebrew root word meaning ‘to call aloud’. (Note: part excerpt from the Elberfelder Study Bible on the Hebrew word ‘qôl’ with the word key number: 7117).
The Going Along of God in the Wind
When God goes with the wind to meet us, there may be His footsteps in it, which are like His movement to visit us, similar to what Adam experienced in the garden in the region of Eden (cf. Genesis 3:8a).
Genesis 3:8a:
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound (Note: sound; Hebrew ‘qôl’) of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, …
There are times when the LORD does not meet us with His face (cf. Exodus 33:20-23), but with the sound of His footsteps, which is about the sound of His footsteps, which must be rightly spiritually discerned.
Exodus 33:20-23:
20 But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no-one may see me and live.’
21 Then the Lord said, ‘There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.
22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.’
The sound of God’s footsteps can be like the sound of a bull’s hooves (Note: structure of a Cherub), the feet of a man, the paws of a lion, or the movement of the eagle’s wings (cf. Ezekiel 1:7.10; Ezekiel 10:14 i.c.w. Revelation 4:7).
Ezekiel 1:7.10:
7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. …
10 Their faces looked like this: each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.
Ezekiel 10:14:
14 Each of the cherubim had four faces: one face was that of a cherub (Note: bull), the second the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
Revelation 4:7:
7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.
This sound may include the dimension of His priesthood, legislation, kingship, and prophetic direction.
Also during the war in David’s time when he fought with Israel against the Philistines, the LORD appeared with His footsteps in the tops of the ‘baka trees’ (cf. 2 Samuel 5:24).
2 Samuel 5:24:
24 As soon as you hear the sound of marching (Note: Hebrew ‘qôl’) in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.’
The Fine Tuning of the Spiritual Senses
As mentioned before, it is necessary that we allow the Holy Spirit to fine-tune our five spiritual senses so that we are enabled to properly discern the presence of God (cf. Hebrews 5:14).
Hebrews 5:14:
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
It is necessary to stand in spiritual maturity in the righteousness of God in order to be eligible to receive more solid spiritual nourishment, i.e., to be equipped with Spirit-filled messages for this time to share it with saints in order to help them to govern in their respective spheres of authority.
The Father’s concern is to meet us in the time of our tasks or economic development, which is evident from the visitation to Adam in the Garden (cf. Genesis 3:9).
Genesis 3:9:
9 But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’
God came with His footsteps in the wind of the day, which describes, among other things, the period of the sun during the day. It is the phase of the day when we usually go about our tasks or business.
Do we constantly believe that it is God’s interest to meet us because He wants to have a share in the place where we are? He wants to equip us with what we need for the future and longs to cover us and lead us protectively into the future (cf. Genesis 3:21).
Genesis 3:21:
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
For this, it is crucial that we take time for a personal inventory to be or to become aware of where and with whom we currently reside in the spiritual as well as the natural realm.
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,
Daniel Glimm