I was having coffee with a friend a couple years ago, when she said something that really rocked my world… She said, “One of the biggest revelations God has given me is realizing that presence is the greatest gift you can ever give anyone.”
The Greatest Gift
I took that statement and mulled over it for a few days, and it continues to come back to me even to this day. I’ve come to see presence is the greatest gift we can give someone because Presence is the greatest gift God has given us. His Presence–Holy Spirit–is the greatest gift He has ever given us. Even Jesus himself admitted it was better for Him to go so Holy Spirit to could come. He says, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)
The Spirit drives us to Love
Jesus’ presence was undeniably an incredible gift to humanity. I mean, hello! Our salvation comes from Him. But even He knew Holy Spirit was a greater gift, why? Because Jesus is 100% God, but also 100% man. That 100% man part has limitations He chooses to embrace for our good and His purposes. However, Holy Spirit has the capacity to love, convict, encounter and empower every person on the globe at once. He isn’t limited to a single human body. He is our direct line to Jesus and the Father’s heart. He is our direct line to God’s love which fills us with hope, faith, and power. The Spirit drives us to love, to witness, and to obey God out of joy and adoration for Him.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5
“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27
Embrace the Gift
When we embrace the gift of His Presence, incredible fruit is also brought out in our lives–as listed in Galatians 5. So, I’ve explained the goodness of God’s Presence among us, so what about our presence among one another? In a busy, fast-paced and distracted world, it’s obvious genuine presence and attention are among the rarest and most precious generosities. So often I find myself in a room full of peers and 80% of them are scrolling on their phones. Now, I am definitely guilty of this on occasion, but social media has never really been my thing. Nevertheless, in those circumstances, I have actually found myself absentmindedly reaching for my phone because I feel left out not being a part of the scrolling club…. isn’t that sad?
With full attention
It seems half-available attention has become the new standard for “present” people. What if Holy Spirit was only half-available to us? Wouldn’t that totally deconstruct His whole purpose? God is OMNIpresent Holy Spirit. Granted, we are only frail humans and not the omnipresent Lord of the Universe, but God’s full attention towards me has really challenged me to give my full attention to the loved ones He’s placed around me.
The Presence manifests when we’re present.
To be present to a hurting sister–to love when it’s inconvenient–is a MASSIVE calling and duty God has placed on my life as one reflecting His Image. Full-presence is a God characteristic I think the church often overlooks. Which is why I’m writing this to challenge you (and myself) to be more present in life; to be present with others–because it changes things, and it’s the greatest gift we can ever give anyone. It’s rare, but when we’re truly present with people it drastically contrasts with our generations distraction and shines Jesus.
I think that’s an especially good thing to think about in this gift-giving Christmas season. So turn off this screen you’re currently reading, and stop. Look at what and who is around you–and fully engage. I promise you won’t be sorry–because the Presence manifests when we’re present.
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