To soak something means allowing it to become saturated and full of what it is soaking in and to allow the soaking process to remove or lift off anything that shouldn’t be there. Much like soaking a dirty pan rather than scrubbing at it for hours, or soaking in a hot shower to wash off the day. Soaking in God’s presence is much the same as it involves becoming saturated with God, and allowing anything that has become stuck or burdensome within us to be easily and less painfully removed because we take time to “soak” it off.
This essentially is what “soaking” is. When we soak in God’s presence we enter into a place of rest where we wait upon Him, and take time to meet with Him. In the past people may have referred to this as tarrying, where they would spend long hours waiting on God. However many times their waiting on God was more of a form of pleading and begging for God to do something in their lives. The good news however is that we don’t actually need to beg because God invites us to come to Him without toil or pleading and simply get to know Him and to soak in His presence and the atmosphere of heaven. We can be focused on rest and receiving by faith, as opposed to striving and crying out to God.
Here are some thoughts on how to soak:
(A point to remember though is that “soaking” is not about how much we can accomplish by our own efforts. It’s about God’s working and accomplishing things for us and in us.)
1. Wait on God.
Take as much time as you can. (Try to give yourself at least 20 minutes to begin to relax and receive.)
Something happens when we wait on God. Who He is starts to get on us and in us. There is an exchange that takes place when we soak. His strength for our weakness, His healing for our brokenness, and His ability instead of our inadequacy is imparted because we spend time waiting on Him.
The bible says it this way: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
2. Just relax
One of the main barriers to encountering God is that we are simply trying too hard. A top tip is “just relax”. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Literally translated this means, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” The way to know God is through peace and stillness.
3. Sit or lie down. When we lie down in God’s presence it is a statement of surrender and a position of rest. Too often we think we can’t stop and rest because we have to be doing something. But when we stop and relax we get to the point of realising “what can we do anyway to add to what God has already done?”
Psalm 23 is a great description of how God wants us to lie down, to rest and to soak in His presence. “He makes me lie down in green pastures”
4. Restoration and Revelation: This is the fruit of soaking in God’s presence. He loves revealing the secret counsel of His heart; dealing with issues that need to be addressed and bringing wisdom to our situation and needs.
In this we may even find ourselves responding physically or emotionally. We might laugh, cry, or shake as God’s presence and power touches us. The Holy-Spirit may give us a vision or bring a memory to our mind that He wants to heal and restore in us. Often we enter into a deep rest or may fall asleep, but even if we don’t feel anything happening God will still be at work in us if our hearts are open to Him.
I encourage you to get in the habit of learning to soak, for in soaking we find confidence and strength, victory over our problems and a deeper relationship with the One who loves us so much.
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
“For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15-17)
Prayer: Lord help me to learn how to rest and soak in your presence. You never meant for life to be difficult or burndensome, so I’m choosing to take time out to soak today. In Jesus name Amen.