"One thing I have desired from the Lord, that I will …behold the beauty of the Lord”, Ps.27:4

The reason why many hearts and souls do not praise God is that God Himself is hidden to their eyes and experience. We hear songs of praise which are empty words robbed of its main beauty: the genuine presence of God Himself. Once people behold God as He is, something must happen inside them – either good or bad. It is then that “a tree will be made good or bad”, Mat.12:33, as Jesus commanded it to be made. “Behold the Lamb…” should always become the only words coming from people who wish to bring praise to erupt from everyone else. They should not say “Let’s praise the Lord”, but rather let’s “Behold the Lamb of God”.

Temples are there for the presence of God. People go there to get acquainted with Him mainly. Nevertheless, it sets a pattern on people once they have beheld God as He is for real, a pattern of ways which will stay on with people even after God is gone from there; and if that happens they might never be noticing it because they are bound to rules and ways to praise, being blinded by those while in sin and God is gone all that time. When God is present, they might sing and bow down as happened when Salomon dedicated the temple to God, He appearing to them. It is said that the presence of God was for real and people bowed down and worshipped because of that being a reality. But once God is gone from there, the bowing and the worshipping will stay on and people will go on as if God is not hurt away from their midst, mainly because sin keeps them busy and happy; and because they do all that, they seem to believe easily they have the blessing of God upon sinful living. Once God is withdrawn because people sin or sinned, they will carry on going to the temple and their praise and worship will never be a direct consequence from whatever they behold any longer. If people dare to sin in the presence of God, they will dare to believe God is with them while in sin.

It is a shame on God’s people that they seek to praise Him instead of seeking to behold Him as He is. They should wonder at all times why they should be praising God, they should be questioning why so many people bowed down once upon a time, being taken to their knees without force, and for what reason songs erupted from their willing hearts. Most people sing God’s songs being in a strange land of sin and they never seem to need to inquire after facts such as these and why it happens, Ps.137:4. One should always refuse to sing to God without His presence, mainly because it sets a pattern which will always lie unto us.

Because people got used to visit the temples where God has been real for once, they learned certain ways which passed on to the generations after them. Those, however, maintained the ways and forgot those ways have not been learned before, but rather spontaneously born from beholding a real God. Instead of keeping the ways, they should keep the presence, and do all to keep the Presence of that Lamb who brings that praise about from them all in unison. “I will behold the Lord in His beauty” should always be the main aim of all such who wish to be found praising Him at all times sincerely and honestly.

But, for this to be good unto men, for that presence to cause a joy and not a shame and a trembling earthquake in the hearts of men, there should be a nature in man according to God’s, which will prevent them to be angry and agnostic against a real God once He emerges to their eyes and experience as He is. John the Baptist came beforehand so the Lord would not smite the earth with a curse at His coming. He prepared the hearts of men to receive Him as He is, since He can’t be as people imagine Him to be. We read: “That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways”, Luk.1:74-76. “And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make a ready people whose hearts have been turned to the Lord”, Luk.1:17. (Some translations say “to make a willing people towards God, a well-disposed people for God”. It means that their disposition should be made alike, as God’s, to be able to accept and receive Him as He is once He comes for real. The claim against His people is that, “He came to His own, and His own received Him not”, John 1:11).

People only perceive as far as they are able to experience or to recall from an experience of some kind. If they are able to experience God, they will be able to act and react upon it. The nature people may have is what will determine if they will match and melt up with the presence of God once it has been made real and once it is unfeigned. Most preachers do not experience God for real, not even after having been forgiven. There is a huge gap and difference between experiencing the peace of God and experiencing the God of peace. And to experience the God of peace you must have peace. Any soul which has fully dealt with sin one by one, in confession as well as in forsaking it for good, is made ready to experience God after peace has been brought about; one may never say such is experiencing God then. “For this I will still have to be enquired by the house of Israel, to do it for them”, Ez.36:37.

The reason for us to be praising God should be only because the nature we have in ourselves has seen and found its eternal match and kinsman for real, the thirst having been quenched and fully satisfied. Once a redeemed soul has found and seen its redeemer, and sees because it has found Him, it will exalt Him more the way it should, even much better than it did once finding that peace during the act of redemption. It costs a certain kind of soul to abide in God as He is (not as He is when presented in words to our imagination alone, however truthful and faithful that description may be made). Let the presence of God be able to determine which direction our souls and minds will take, alone. As we read, “Let my judgment go out from Your presence”, Ps.17:2. “As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied”, Ps.17:15. A righteous face will behold a righteous God and be made glad by that. Then will praise towards God never be a formality or a duty alone – it shall be the true, unfeigned exclamation of a soul. And so will be the soul’s rejection of a Living God. People nowadays are not rejecting God – they are rejecting Christians, merely. God is rejecting them Himself.

The promise is to have Him as Emanuel all along. May it be so happen that you praise Him when He comes. It will depend on the nature you have. People feel at home with such as are alike unto them. May you be as God already, when He comes. Amen.

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José Mateus