The Presence Filled Life
why being WITH God is better than working FOR Him
Dr. John and Pamela Jackson © 2014
I love Pastor Rick Warren and Saddleback Church. Pastor Rick and Saddleback have shaped my life in many wonderful ways and the fruit of their impact has been really good. I loved the Purpose Driven Life long before it became an international bestseller. Our church in Nevada was a pilot site (1 of only 300 in the country) for 40 Days of Purpose before it became a huge global campaign success. Much of my ministry leadership for over 25 years was purposeful, strategic and successful in many respects.
But a nagging dis-ease continually gnawed at my soul during those years. It was not until 2006 that I began to understand a basic truth about my life as a follower of Jesus. Back then, the truth would come slowly and progressively over time. Even now I continue to grapple with the reality of how deeply embedded the subtle deception is in my spirit. This truth would unmask me more than once:
I loved the purposes of God more than His presence. I led the people of God to fulfill His purposes but not to enjoy His presence.
There, I said it. The purposes of God gave me focus, gave me energy, made me part of a crusade. I liked overcoming, I liked building, I liked being strategic, and I liked galvanizing others. I did not like sitting still, I did not like listening, I did not like waiting, and I still do not. Bible passages like John 15 where “abiding” is described were easy to glide right by. When reading Matthew 25 and hearing about sheep and goats with those described as sheep “doing what I commanded”, I could easily hear that teaching. But when Mary is affirmed for “choosing the better part” by sitting at the feet of Jesus while her sister Martha worked herself to a frenzy, I was embarrassed by relating more to Martha than Mary.
During this period of discovery, I also began to understand something more about the nature of my relationship with God: I related to God as an orphan and not a son. As the discovery of my orphan spirit was made clear to me, I began to understand two formulas:
Purpose over Presence=Performance
Presence before Purpose=Power
Thankfully, God was working way upstream for me. In 2006 my wife Pam and I went through our most intense spiritual experience ever (a ministry called Restoring the Foundations which we will explain later on), and in 2007 Pam received a special calling to a ministry of presence with the Lord. Through these experiences and a host of others, we began to move to the front edge of life in the presence of God.
Today we are walking every day as sons and daughters of the King of Kings. Our hope is that we can share some of what we have learned and are learning. We are digging our own well together personally and as a couple. Our hope is that you will experience the Presence Filled Life. It is our firm belief that living the presence-filled life is the most purposeful and pleasing invitation you will ever receive from the Father.