Years ago I heard the story of a young man who attended a Bible conference where he heard a great man of God speak of his deep experience with the Lord. The speaker talked of coming to a place where he was overwhelmed by the beauty and glory of Christ; he could do nothing but bow in absolute surrender to Him.
After the service the young man approached the speaker and earnestly asked, “Can you take me to that place where you encountered the Lord in such a life-changing way?” The man of God said, “Yes, follow me.” They left the building and walked out into the countryside nearby. Soon they came to a beautiful, peaceful meadow. The young man spoke, “Is this the place where you met God? It’s such a peaceful setting.” The older saint said, “No, this is not the place.” They had walked a while longer, deeper into the countryside when they came to a high, majestic overlook. The young man stopped the elder and said, “Surely, this magnificent place is where you met the Lord. How could any place be more perfect than this?” The older man said, “We must keep moving; we haven’t arrived at the place yet.”
As they continued to walk, the young man grew more and more burdened. His heart was so hungry for God. They came to a small clearing in the woods and he could go no farther. Dropping to his knees, the young man knelt over an old stump. He cried out to his companion, “I cannot go on. I must meet God here and now!” The old saint smiled gently and said, “This, my young friend, is the place.”
The journey into the reviving presence of the Lord is described in James 4:8-10: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
God promises in His Word that if we humbly come near to Him with genuine repentance (hands washed and hearts purified) and true remorse for our sin (grieve, mourn and wail), the Lord will come near to us and lift us up. When the Lord presses in near to us like this He lifts us to a higher plain of communion with Himself. It is a wondrous thing, indeed.
Do you realize that you are as close to God today as you want to be? God stands ready to come near to you and to lift you up. His Spirit illuminates the face of His glorious Son, calling us near. He waits only for you to draw near.
Is this the place? Is now the time?