So spoke Fr. Mikail Atef, with whom we spent a short time recently. “The Holy Spirit is not a visitor,” he said. “He seeks a place of rest. That is why tongues of fire (the fire of the Holy Spirit) rested on those who welcomed Him at Pentecost.”
Speaking very directly to the Church today, he lamented the fact that so many Christians, including charismatic and evangelical Christians, seek “times,” or “events,” or “happenings,” when the Spirit descends with power and visible effects. Others seek to contain God’s Spirit in their programs and good things they are seeking to do “for the Lord.” (“For the Lord”? Perhaps we should ask if it often is not for ourselves, to maintain our fragile spirituality, or to keep our churches lively.)
All Christians are called by God to become “carriers of the Divine Presence.” We do indeed seek God’s presence, but we need to remember that just as the tribe of Levi was chosen to carry the Ark of the Covenant, so today we are chosen by God to become His dwelling place. (Ephesians 2:22) God has carried us all on eagles’ wings (Exodus 19), especially during difficult times; but we also have been chosen and called to carry His presence to the world.
The great prayer of those who belong to the community of the holy fire is to be holy, in all our thoughts, words and actions. We cannot expect anything glorious without becoming holy people.
Prayer is the key. Waiting prayer. We in Pneuma Springs (www.ywam-aiim.org) are committed to making 24/7 prayer the foundation, together with the Word of God, of all that we do for the world. Let us not only seek God’s presence; let us also carry God’s presence to the world.
Brothers and sisters of the community of the holy fire! Let’s join together, as carriers of the Divine Presence, to see God’s glory manifest.