“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” — Matthew 7:7-8
The Lord desires you greatly. In fact, He wants your fellowship in such an intense way that the Bible tells us that the impulse to seek God begins with Him. God knows that the human heart is not capable of seeking Him, so God gives the human heart strength to do it. We simply don’t have the hunger or desire, but God places that hunger and desire in us.
We are told in Scripture that hunger originates with the Lord Himself: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2).
That is why we are told, “Draw me, we will run after thee” (Song of Solomon 1:4). Until we are drawn by the Lord, we don’t have it in us to seek God. Therefore, the psalmist wrote, “Quicken us, and we will call upon thy name” (Psalm 80:18). He knew he had to be quickened and drawn before he could call upon the Lord.
Hunger is the sign of life in a believer. One of the first symptoms of illness is the loss of appetite. When hunger is gone, a person is increasingly open to more sickness and weakness. Real believers are hungry, and that hunger is placed in the heart by the Lord Himself, drawing you into His presence.
Three Realms of Prayer
When we study the subject of being in God’s presence, we should always go to the source. The Old Testament gives a map for entering into His presence. That map leads us from the outer court to the Holy Place, and then into the Holy of Holies.
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
In this passage, the Lord presents three realms of prayer—the realm of asking, the realm of seeking, and the realm of knocking. Each area has a unique purpose in obtaining direct access to the throne room.
When Moses, under God’s direction, built the Tabernacle in the wilderness, he built it with three distinct areas:
This area was surrounded by a linen fence, and within it stood the altar of sacrifice and the laver.
In this room was found the candlestick, the table of showbread, and the table of incense.
Here was placed the ark of the covenant and the golden censor.
These rooms reveal the three realms of prayer and the presence of God.
The Outer Court: the Realm of Asking
The Lord Jesus tells us, “Every one that asketh receiveth” (Matthew 7:7). Asking is where we begin and results in abiding in Christ. As He said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).
Asking begins in the outer court. This is where we make our requests known to Him: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
Only when we wait in the outer court, overcoming the flesh in this first realm, are we granted the privilege of advancing to the next realm.
The Holy Place: the Realm of Seeking
In the Holy Place, the seeking realm, stood the candlestick on one side and the table of showbread on the other. As the high priest entered and looked toward the veil, he would see the table of incense.
It is here in the Holy Place that the Holy Spirit grants us the power to seek the Lord. In Scripture we read:
Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14)
Seeking the Lord, finding Him, and finding the fullness of your liberty will cause your heart to be filled with His Word. It will cause you to erupt in worship and prepare you for the greatest privilege a Christian will ever know—the knocking world.
The Holy of Holies: the Realm of Knocking
The third realm of prayer and God’s presence, the Holy of Holies, is the place of knocking and partnership with God. God speaks in the Holy of Holies. He does not speak in the outer court or the Holy Place.
The seventh chapter is one of the longest in the book of Numbers. It deals with the day the Tabernacle was fully set up, detailing the offerings. Then in the very last verse of that chapter we read these amazing words:
When Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him. (Numbers 7:89)
Moses had to enter into the Holy of Holies to be in God’s presence and to hear God speak. How glorious that moment must have been! It still is today, for the deepest form of intimacy with the Lord takes place only in the Holy of Holies.
There are no shortcuts. You have to go through the process. You have to come to the outer court and get on your knees, making your requests known to God in the first realm. It is easy to get distracted in the outer court because there is so much activity. The flesh is still in control. You get tired and worn out. You cannot hear God’s voice there, so it gets easy to give up.
The physical realm is the outer court. The soul realm is the Holy Place. But the spiritual realm is the Holy of Holies. It is where the flesh and soul are no longer in control. The silence there is the product of abundance. You understand the meaning of the verse, “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD” (Zephaniah 1:7). A holy hush permeates your soul. A wonderful peace floods over you, sweeping over your spirit, and overwhelms you.
The Calling to Communion
Charles G. Finney, a Presbyterian minister in the 1800s, became an important figure in the Second Great Awakening, so much so that he was called the “Father of Modern Revivalism.” He knew the amazing depths of God’s presence and wrote, “No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart.… These waves came over me, and over me, one after another, until I recollect I cried out, ‘I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.’ I said, ‘Lord, I cannot bear any more,’ yet I had no fear of death.”
Such intense, ecstatic, intimate worship in God’s presence cannot be described with human words: “The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:20).
The Lord is asking us to come daily into the outer court to make our requests known to Him and to receive blessing from His giving, loving hands. He is asking us to come daily into the Holy Place, seeking Him until we find Him. And He wants us to come daily into the Holy of Holies, where we can experience intimate communion with Him.
And that is my prayer for you, my friend!
My Personal Request
As we continue to move through 2013, we have a great need.
God is continuing to open many unprecedented doors to this ministry, but we have no guarantee that these doors will continue to be held open if we do not move forward in faith right now. We cannot delay!
For we know it is “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6)…
For the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ,
scripted by The Hubwell Faith Team