California, the Manifest Presence, and Hot Spots of His Glory – A Word by Steve Porter
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold,
You are there” (Psalms 139:7-8, NKJV).
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him (John 14:21).
We know that God is an abiding presence everywhere at the same time. No matter where we are on Earth, He is there! We cannot hide from His presence. Whether we recognize Him or not, He is always there. It is comforting to know that He stands right beside us. At times, He is unnoticed and unseen, yet He stands in the shadows yearning to reveal Himself to those He adores—those who will take notice and respond to His tender compassion and desire for fellowship.
Once I went through a very dry season that made me feel really discouraged. I was even questioning my calling to preach. I felt that the prophetic voice inside me was being silenced and knew the devil was responsible because he did not want the people to hear the message of intimacy. Satan knows that if people really grasp this message, it will bring a powerful visitation from the Spirit of God and they will never be the same again. It was abundantly clear that Satan would rather keep people in religious bondage than see them free to worship in spirit and truth. Every time I turned around I could feel the enemy doing his best to silence me, and it broke my heart.
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:4).
One day I was driving down the road, late for an appointment when I felt the Spirit of God stirring inside me. I knew He wanted to meet with me so I obeyed, parking my car near a park where I got out to walk across the grounds. As soon as I settled beneath a tree and pulled up my hood over my face, His presence came over me so strongly that I couldn’t contain it. As I broke down in tears, I literally felt the Lord come to stand beside me. I couldn’t see Him with my eyes, but I knew He stood to my right. For some time, I couldn’t move because I was weeping so uncontrollably. After a time, I decided I needed privacy, so I returned to my SUV and lay face forward on the back seat where His presence continued to pour into and over me. I knew He had come to let me know He was with me, that He had a plan for my life, and that somehow He would provide a platform for the burning words He had spoken into my heart. That encounter encouraged me through some rough days ahead.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).
This presence I’m speaking of here is His manifest presence, that occurs when the Lord reveals Himself as a person with a personality and feelings. To experience His manifest presence is to be quickened and renewed with a deep inner contentment that can only be understood through experience. In that moment His previously intangible presence suddenly becomes tangible and all-consuming when He reveals Himself in a very personal way that can’t be ignored or denied. We will taste and see that the Lord is good!
His “abiding presence” is everywhere at the same time. During His “manifest presence”, He reveals Himself in His glory. Did you know the Lord desires to meet with you in a personal way? He desires to hold you in His arms and ravish you with His love. You can sit together, not necessarily talking a lot, but just being together and sharing what you wouldn’t want to share in public or with anybody else. His manifest presence will be revealed to you if you’re desperate for something deeper than a casual relationship.
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One night sometime later, I suddenly woke to what sounded like an audible warning siren. I was jolted out of my sleep, but heard and saw nothing to prove it had really happened. I felt a quickening in my spirit; this was a spiritual warning. I heard this through my “inner ear” though the sound was so loud it woke me. Even now I’m not sure whether it happened in the natural or just the spiritual. I did know it was “the sound of the Lord.” My good friend Joel Killion said it best: “There is a particular ‘sound’ which inherently, yet quietly, vibrates within the subtle stillness of God’s tangible presence.”
“And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a gong in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines” (2 Sam. 5:24, KJV).
This “gong” is the sound of the Lord moving, working His purpose in our midst. This warning was indeed the sound of the Lord at work and was given to me for a special reason.
I heard the Lord say, “There will be hot spots of My glory.” Then He asked me to pray for the West Coast, in particular, California. I have prayed about doing meetings in this state often. I sensed that the Lord wanted to bring hot spots of His glory there. I prayed against the enemy’s plan for that state and trusted God for a powerful breakthrough. California is not alone in this regard; many places will have open heavens where His manifest presence will dwell.
“You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5: 14).
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).
Until that morning, I had never heard the term “hot spots of My glory” though I had once seen a vision of a map with several lights on it and heard the Lord say, “In the end times many will be lighthouses that will reflect My glory.” I could plainly see towns and cities all represented by lights on a grid. At that time, the Spirit will “hover over the face of the deep”, and we will mirror His glory like the stunning reflection of the sun rising over the beautiful US Great Lakes. The first time this occurred, He hovered over the darkness of the deep. (Genesis 1:2) Now that the Son dwells within us, we have the light of God shining through us. He will use His “City on a Hill” to be a “light unto all the world.” We who love and worship Him will be carriers of God’s glory for all the world to see and believe.
Can we experience the same intimate atmosphere we find in the throne room? Does God desire for His manifest presence to invade these hot spots? Yes! God is pouring out His Spirit upon those who are spiritually discontent and hungry. This is the pre-qualification required for a “hot spot.” Within the hearts and minds of those who seek Him passionately and without reservation, He is creating hot spots connected to the throne room. Many hot spots are already forming as we speak. The manifest presence is building. Can you feel it?
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2).
There are deeper dimensions in God that we have not yet entered, places in the spirit we have not yet seen. The manifest presence of the Lord dwells in those who desire to enter the deeper realms of the spirit. A direct connection to the atmosphere of Heaven is being granted to those who fully have committed themselves to loving and serving Him. (John 14:21) He wants us to know He is preparing a place and a people to be that “hot spot” that will reflect His glory and prove that our God is not only alive and well, but relevant to those who live in this day and age.
Lord, I so desire Your manifest presence. Reveal Yourself to me in a personal way today. Father, my heart also desires to see a hot spot of Your glory in my city! Visit our region and transform us; turn our world upside down with your power and might; let us be part of the last greatest harvest the world has ever seen!
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