Two men are standing on a hillside looking out over the sunset, beautiful, beautiful sunset or sunrise. One man is blind, I say looking, but not looking, he’s only staring with blind eyes. The other man can see. And the blind man says, “Tell me what you see.” And he describes it the best he can describe it but he can’t make it too clear. There is a presence there but not a manifest presence…If the manifest presence of God were in this church, we’d be so happy we couldn’t contain ourselves. Only rarely does anybody ever say “Amen” here…You’re too conservative? Don’t pull that on me, you’re too cold!...The manifest presence brethren, it’s the manifest presence.
I have a prayer, and I carry it on me and pray it often, “Lord God, when I preach, make Thyself so present that people know you’re present. And I’ve had a few people tell me down the years, “When I walked in, I felt a presence." A man came into our church…and said to me, “I’d like to talk to you.” I said, “Well, alright.” He said, “What is there here?” He said, “I, I sense something, when I came in I sensed it, and during the service I sensed it.” Well what could I tell him? I said, “Well, there’s only one explanation, God’s here." This preacher went away saying, that must be it, God’s in this place. This is what we want my brethren, this is it. Are you with me in this? Amen?
Now to realize the presence, to have a felt presence, a manifest presence, we must be morally worthy, by right conduct, a clean heart, clean thoughts; we must be spiritually prepared, with holy desire and faith, receptivity. Jacob and Esau were brethren. God appeared to Jacob but He couldn’t appear to Esau. Why? Because Jacob was better than Esau? No. Because Jacob was receptive and Esau wasn’t. Jacob had the divine touch, somehow, and Esau didn’t have it. So, “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.” That stands for the theologians to wonder about. But we know that Jacob was receptive. Jacob wanted to talk to God, Esau didn’t.
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