Thin Places

The Role of the Priest and Sharing the Glory of God

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Psalm 139:7-9

God, the creator of time and space, is unlimited with respect to location. God is omnipresent, as a result our spiritual proximity to God is near and abiding.  As a priest in your mission field, your role is to seek and share God’s presence; and his omnipresence gives us many avenues to explore His Glory.  In Psalm 139, David was aware of God’s presence and his heart was delighted in God’s glory. 

While looking out the window of an airplane, I often marvel at the beauty of God's creation and am reminded of the truth of Psalm 139.  When I am in God’s creation, and I connect my experience with God’s Word, I experience God’s comfort and guidance on my life.  I call these places and times thin places; these thin places are where the eternal and unseen realm of God begins to press into my daily life.  A special thin place for me is while scuba diving.  When I am diving, the world slows down, and I am forced to take my time and appreciate the extraordinary beauty of God’s undersea masterpiece.  I will recite the opening verse of Psalm 139 and thank God for the glory I am able to explore.  Another thin place that I recently experienced was walking around a new Church plant, The Avenue, on the University of Minnesota campus.  My wife and I were doing a prayer walk around the area and I was stuck by the variety of people called from all the nations to the campus.  Everyone person I walked by was made in the image of God and had an eternal destiny.  I felt God move my heart with compassion for the city and prayed for each person to know the joy of the Gospel of the Kingdom. 

Seeking the Glory of God
We are called to seek the Glory of God and pursue him throughout our life. As we experience God’s presence in the thin places of our life, we can share God’s glory with those in our Mission Field. How can we increase our perception of these thin places? I think Scripture gives us a clue when it often uses sensory imagery to describe our encounters with God. We can use our senses to seek God throughout our day. Psalm 34:8 encourages us to:

“... taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

My encounters with God are often in nature. I love to walk along the tree covered roads near my home.  When the wind begins to whistle through the trees, I think of David’s encounter with God as he was tracking the Philistines in 1 Chronicles 14.  In verse 14, David asked God if now the time was to attack:

And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.”

When I hear the wind in the trees in my neighborhood, I think of God and his angels marching before me and wonder how is he preparing a way for me today?  So this daily activity of walking around my neighborhood has become a consistent thin place in my life. If I happen to be walking with a friend, I will share this story and then ask them how God is preparing a way for their life?  As a Priest, it is our honor to share God’s presence with those in our life. Encountering a thin place, with someone else, provides an opportunity to share God's presence in our daily walk.

How about you?  Where do you feel God’s presence in your daily walk?  How can you seek out additional thin places to experience God’s presence throughout your day? I believe this is a skill we, as Priests, must develop.  Once you have been in a thin place with God, look to share the experience and help shepherd another person into the presence of the LORD.

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