Luke 9:33-34 NKJV Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. (34) While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.
Some people get nervous in the presence of God. It’s because they don’t know what to expect. Unfortunately that’s because they’ve either never been there or they don’t spend a lot of time in His presence.
Peter didn’t seem to be too phased by being in the presence of Moses, Elijah, or even with Jesus after He was transfigured and His face began to glow. But when another person of the Trinity shows up in a way unfamiliar to him, in the form of an overshadowing cloud instead of the familiar package of a man as they regularly interacted with Jesus the second part of the Trinity in, they freaked out.
The verse says they became fearful as they entered into the cloud of God’s presence. They were fine with Jesus lit up like a lightbulb and even with two old dead prophets showing up, but when the cloud of God’s presence began to overshadow them they became fearful. They had already seen the dead raised and Jesus walking on the water in His ministry, but never had they been enveloped in the presence of God before.
I remember when Valarie and I co-founded FCFTucson.org alongside our pastors Virgil & Judy Stokes. For about the first year, the majority of the people who came were either new Believers or had never been in a church that taught or allowed the Presence of God to move in their midst in any kind of real or tangible way. We’d get to worshipping and when God’s presence would begin to show up and fill that little building, you could just see the looks of shock and “oh my… what now” on their faces as they encountered His presence in a way they had never experienced before. It took a little while of teaching, explaining, and regular exposure for them to get comfortable just being in the Lord’s presence like that. Now not only are they used to it but love and expect God’s presence to show up in our midst in amazing ways.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve experienced God’s presence in this kind of powerful way, you needn’t be afraid. If you have, great keep fearlessly pursuing His presence. If you haven’t, FEAR NOT you’ve got a glorious encounter with the Father just waiting for you to boldly enter in (Hebrews 4:16).