HUMILITY DRAWS GOD'S PRESENCE.
A daily devotional moment by Chris Garcia
Romans 8:26–30 (NKJV): Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Acts 10:9–16 (NKJV): The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened.
The Kingdom of God is not like the kingdom of this world. The kingdoms of this world are ruled by the proud, by the haughty. The kingdoms of this world oppress the low. But in the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom oppresses the proud and exults the low or the lowly and so we must approach the Holy Spirit and must approach our fellowship with God, entering in through humility. Recognizing His place and recognizing our place. We must recognize Who He is. So many times I have had moments in my own life that I am not ashamed to express where I have at times been resisted by the Lord. Because of pride in my own soul there have been moments in my life in the areas of my heart where pride had set in and so there is a resisting that comes from the Lord. Why? Because He Himself is not proud. Humility is key. When we go low, He lifts us high. But if we go in high and mighty, He then brings us low.
I want to share a testimony here where I was rebuked one day by the Lord. You see, it is important to see this because the Lord rebukes those whom He loves. If you get rebuked by the Lord, be of good cheer, because you are loved by Him. He loves you. Why? Because He is a Father. He leads you. He wants to bring correction to those He loves. His Word says, “I correct those whom I love.” So I remember one time when I was in Florida, there was a season of very strong and unusual manifestations of God's power in prayer. There are seasons like that in life. We do not live for the power of God. We live for the presence of God. There are moments in which there are seasons of tremendous manifestations of His anointing and power and there are moments in which the waves recede back to draw you deeper into Him.
In this particular season, it was 2015. My daughter was not yet born. I remember going to Saint Augustine, Florida with my Mom, my wife, and my son. There was such a Holy fervor, a holy hunger for the presence of God, that it literally consumed me all night. We are in the hotel room and I am lying down next to my wife who is sound asleep right next to me with my son next to her. On the other side of the room, there is another bed with my Mom sound asleep, knocked out from the busy day we had. I was watching videos on YouTube of various mighty men of God from times past. Watching their sermons and listening to how they flowed in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I remembered that I was watching a man called Hector DeLa Cruz. This little Puerto Rican evangelist who had passed away a while back. As I was watching him flowing in the miraculous, I was just observing, watching him, and how God was using him in these crusades. All of a sudden I closed my eyes, and suddenly, clear as day, I see these two hands before me. It appeared as if it was getting my attention when they shifted from pointing at me to snapping the fingers on both hands and then pointing left. When immediately, I knew what it meant. As soon as the fingers were snapped, I knew what He was saying to me. This is because God knows how to speak our language. When He snapped and pointed I knew exactly in the moment what He was telling me to do. I knew that I needed to get up and go to pray. I needed to get up and go to the bathroom and seek His presence. So I stopped watching the YouTube video, put down my phone, and headed to the bathroom.
As soon as I got up, and because I was obedient to the call, I felt and sensed the anointing of the Holy Spirit so strongly at that moment. I knew that I was obeying God. When you obey God, there is a touch that comes through obedience that is tangible. Not all the time but often. So as soon as I got up, I head into the bathroom, and I drop to my knees. I began to worship and praise God, and all of a sudden, it was so strong. The presence of God was so heavy that it came upon me suddenly and I found myself groaning, weeping, agonizing, and travailing in the Spirit. Romans 8:26 says, “For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” There are times when in prayer that words are no longer necessary and even tongues are no longer necessary. Just the pantings and the groaning of the Spirit's heart through your being. I was overtaken by such travail that a holy fear of God came over me at that moment. It was like I was sitting beside myself watching myself say things. The only way I can describe it is that I was taken into a space of ecstasy. Is that a biblical thing? You better believe it is. In the book of Acts 10:9-10, the scripture says, “As Peter was standing on the roof fasting, he fell into a trance. And he saw a sheet come down from heaven and God began to speak to him.” The word trance means ecstasy it means to be beside yourself. To come out of your mind. People that think that manifestations of the Spirit are demonic are very ignorant of the fact that there are many descriptions in Greek and in the descriptions of the Greek in the New Testament. It literally means to stand beside yourself, to be overcome. In my experience, that is exactly how it felt as I was standing beside myself. It was as if I fell into this divine presence of ecstasy. It was like I was standing and watching myself. At that moment, it was the most powerful expression of the presence and power of God. All of a sudden in that moment, out of my mouth came these words. Now to clarify, I am sharing this for a reason I am not saying this to boast. I am saying this because it has to do with humility as I share this profound and humbling experience. I was standing beside myself watching as I was on my knees and I was worshiping by the bathtub. I heard my mouth open and say something that was not me.
Out of my mouth, I said “I Am, that I Am. I Am that I Am. I Am that I Am" repeated and then "I Am the Lord your God.” The words from the Lord stated, “Let Me lead you, let Me guide you. I Am, the Great I Am.” It just came out of my mouth. As I was hearing myself say this I could not believe that God was using my vessel to speak to me. It was such a powerful experience in the power and presence of God. I did not know what to do, so my only response was to weep and praise.
Now listen carefully, when you are in the Spirit like that, you can almost hear thoughts. It is like a oneness with God and you begin to hear thoughts that are not yours. They are coming from other people. At the same time, when the Lord was doing this through me, it was like these currents of tongues and prophecies were coming out of my mouth that I heard in my spirit. I could sense that my mom was hearing me and speaking “Oh wow, Chris is in the deep presence. My son is in something deep. Oh wow a strong presence with God.” When I heard this my, spirit became proud. Spiritual pride came in for a split second. All of a sudden the power of the Glory of God lifted away from me. I then looked up and said, “Oh Lord what happened?”
He spoke to me just as clearly as I have ever heard the Holy Spirit speak to me before. He said to me, “Repent. For I do not share my Glory with no man. All flesh is nothing.” When I heard that rebuke coming from God's presence, it taught me a great lesson at that moment. He taught me a powerful lesson. He said “Repent, for you are just a man. I do not share my glory with no man. You are flesh.” I heard it with such authority, that fear came upon my soul. God is gentle, kind, and gracious. But most of all He is Holy. You see, fire warms you or it can consume you. Fire is pleasant while you are near but can be dangerous when you get too close. Our God is a consuming fire. Immediately when I heard this from the Spirit, my response was to drop to my face on the floor. All I could do is ask for forgiveness. I fell on my face and begged for forgiveness. I said, “Heavenly Father, I am but a worm. I am just a man. Please forgive me.” God is so gracious, as soon as I recognized my pride and repented. The Spirit fell on me a second time even more stronger than the first. I began to speak in other tongues and other languages even more than ever before. From that point, the Lord gave me a message for my mom and the Lord brought a deep healing for her that I will not get into here. The reason I have shared this is to show how God resists the proud. He showed me that day that pride offends the Holy Spirit.
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