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The Resting Place: Living Immersed in the Presence of God
by Bill Johnson
Learn More | Meet Bill Johnson
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
- ( John 14:26 NASB)
NO GREATER PRIVILEGE
There is no greater privilege than being a host to God Himself. Neither is there a greater responsibility. Everything about Him is extreme. He is overwhelmingly good, awe-inspiring to the max, and frighteningly wonderful in every possible way. He is powerful yet gentle, both aggressive and subtle, and perfect, while embracing us in the midst of our imperfections. Yet few are aware of the assignment to host Him. Fewer yet have said yes.
The idea of hosting God may sound strange. He owns everything, including our own bodies. And He certainly doesn’t need our permission to go somewhere or do anything. He is God. But He made the earth for humanity and put it under our charge.
If you were renting a home from me, I wouldn’t walk into your home without an invitation, or at least without your permission. You would never see me in your kitchen, taking food from your refrigerator and cooking a meal for myself. Why? Even though it is my house, it is under your charge or stewardship. While there may be landlords who would violate such protocol, God is not one of them.
He planted us here with a purpose. Yet it’s a purpose we can’t accomplish without Him. Our true nature and personality will never come to fullness apart from His manifest Presence. Learning to host Him is at the center of our assignment...
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
- (Ephesians 10-14 NASB)
UNCOVERING THE DEPTHS
One of the Holy Spirit’s primary functions is to discover what lies in the depths of God’s heart for us. He leads us into an understanding by experience to help us realize our inheritance.
- For to us God revealed them through the
Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things,
even the depths of God . . . Now we have
received, not the spirit of the world, but
the Spirit who is from God, so that we may
know the things freely given to us by God,
which things we also speak, not in words
taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual
thoughts with spiritual words.
- (1 Corinthians 2:10, 12-13 NASB)
This inheritance is freely given to us; it is the Holy Spirit who brings us into that land of promise that we might correctly navigate our way through life realizing the height, depth, length, and width of God’s extravagant love for us. He unveils what is ours.
Everything God created was made for His pleasure. He is a God of extravagant joy. He enjoys everything He made. Humanity has a unique place in His creation, though, in that we are the only part of His creation actually made like God. Likeness was made for the purpose of fellowship—intimate communion. Through relationship with God, the finite ones would be grafted into His eternal perfect past and obtain through promise an eternal perfect future. Even the realm of impossibilities could be breached by those created to be like Him. “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). No other part of creation has been given access to that realm. We have been invited in a “place” known only by God.
The heart of God must be celebrated at this point: He longs for partnership. He risked everything to have that one treasure—those who would worship Him, not as robots, not merely out of command, but out of relationship.
INTO ALL TRUTH
The Holy Spirit was given to prepare [the disciples] for revelation at a whole new level. He would take them where Jesus couldn’t. Perhaps this is part of the reason Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go . . .” The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to bear more of the revelation of Jesus than was possible for the original twelve disciples.
- But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes,
He will guide you into all the truth; for He
will not speak on His own initiative, but
whatever He hears, He will speak; and He
will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and
will disclose it to you. All things that the
Father has are Mine; therefore I said that
He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
- (John 16:13-15 NASB)
The Holy Spirit is assigned to take us into all truth. The word “all” here is staggering, and should be. What makes this even more stunning is the realization that truth is to be experienced; the Holy Spirit is therefore leading us into experiencing all truth. He receives all of His instructions from the Father. It was the Holy Spirit upon Jesus that enabled Him to know what the Father was doing and saying. That same gift of the Spirit has been given to us for that same purpose.
One of the assignments of the Holy Spirit is to let us know what is to come. If you read commentaries and various reference materials, you’ll notice most think the promise of knowing what’s coming is all about us being aware of coming calamities. Theologians tend to focus on problems because few truly believe in the glorious church. Everyone from world leaders to musicians, to actors and business leaders, are telling us of the coming calamities. We don’t need the Holy Spirit for that purpose when people without God can do it. Rather, we need Him to see the coming glory! The warnings of difficulties are necessary as they help us keep our priorities straight. But it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give us the mysteries of the kingdom. And there’s no pleasure in speaking of the death and destruction of the unrighteous. It’s still called the good news for a reason.
THE GREATEST SEARCH ENGINE
- Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have
entered into the heart of man The things
which God has prepared for those who love
Him. But God has revealed them to us
through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches
all things, yes, the deep things of God.
- (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
The Holy Spirit searches for things that have never been heard by human ears or seen by human eyes. He is the greatest search engine in the whole universe. Talk about quick and accurate! He searches the greatest reservoir of information imaginable — the heart of the Father. Psalm 139:18 says God’s thoughts about each one of us outnumber the sands on every seashore on this planet, and according to Jeremiah 29:11 all those thoughts are for your welfare, benefit and blessing. God has been around a long time, and He has had a long time to think about you. He’s been living in the experience of knowing you long before you were ever born. He doesn’t just have a few random thoughts about you here and there. For trillions of years, God has been thinking about you, and the Holy Spirit searches that whole archive and brings incredible treasures to you at precisely the right moment - if you’re listening.
IT’S IN THE BANK
I can die of starvation with a million dollars in the bank. If I don’t make withdrawals from what’s in my account, my wealth is no better than a dream, principle, or fantasy. Everything in our account in Christ is beyond our wildest dreams. We can’t make a withdrawal if we don’t know what exists.
Jesus models the mere beginning of what’s in our account. The promises of His Word give us even greater insight to this superior reality. It’s time to see what Jesus has, so we can see what Jesus gave us.
Here’s the bottom line—He gave us everything that belongs to Him. And the Father gave Him everything! Look at it here in John 16:14–15, speaking of the work of the Holy Spirit—“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” This really is an amazing passage of Scripture, one for which we bear great responsibility.
The Holy Spirit releases what Jesus alones possesses into our accounts through declaration. Every time He speaks to us, He transfers the eternal resources of Jesus to our account, enabling us to complete our assignment: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give—Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 10:8; 28:19–20). Notice it says for the disciples to teach their converts all that Jesus taught them. That must include the instruction to heal the sick, cast out devils, etc. There was never to be a discrepancy between how we live today and His initial standard.
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