The senior pastor of the largest church in the world, Dr. David Yonggi Cho. In the 1980’s there were 750,000 people in his church.
When traveling and speaking to churches in America, Cho always brought with him several people. One of Dr. Cho’s lead businessman said, “I have important matters to discuss with you. First and foremost, do not speak to Dr. Cho during the car ride to the meeting. He doesn’t like talking before he ministers.” This was not the only instruction, but it was the top priority on the list.
Dr. Cho climbed in the front seat of the car that evening. The presence of God filled the car. It was overwhelming. God’s majesty and love were very real and apparent.
Tears streamed down the faces of those in the car only minutes after Cho got in. Halfway to the auditorium, stopped at a traffic light no one could stand it any longer. Reverently we spoke to the passenger, “Dr. Cho, the presence of God is in this car.” He looked and said, “Yes, I know.”
I pondered the hours he spent each day with the Lord. It was obvious why the presence of God was so strong on his life. He truly pursued adherence to the words of Jesus.
We’re emphatically told:
Pursue…holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 ESV
Did you grasp the directness of this statement? The absence of holiness results in not seeing the Lord! That deserves my full attention; how about you?
Here’s the bottom line: only those who walk in holiness can see God—can enter His presence. Jesus couldn’t have made it any clearer when He said,
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me…I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
John 14:19, 21
To manifest doesn’t just mean “to see” but also carries all of what being with Him entails. To manifest means to bring from the unseen into the seen realm, from the unheard into the heard, and from the unknown into the known. It’s when God makes Himself known to our minds and senses. He gives intimate understanding, knowledge, and insight into Himself and His ways. Even though His manifest presence is accessible to every child of God, only those who obey His words (walk in true holiness) experience this privilege.
Holiness. Will you recoil and quickly change the subject at the mention of the word? Or will you pursue it and allow yourself to be transformed in His presence?