One day last week I was in hot pursuit of God's presence, praying in the spirit, singing songs to him and doing all the things that had been working like a charm to get me into the throne room for days, when all of the sudden, I felt God just completely withdraw His presence from me. I spent the next hour or two begging Him to come back, asking what I did wrong and repenting for everything under the sun. I didn't feel God's presence again for several days. During the previous days, while in God's presence, I had begun to feel like "hey I'm kinda getting the hang of this thing" and started thinking of how I could get others to the throne, with me, using the same things that had been working for me. As a worship leader, that is my job/goal, to get people into the presence of God.
Today, (in light of my experience last week) I was praying and pondering the presence of God, rethinking how to get there, and how then to bring others there also, as I have often done. I thought about what He requires before He will manifest His presence, or worded more correctly, what is required of us before we can "tune in" to His presence. Then God showed me something remarkable. He said there is NO exact or right way, and if there was, He'd change it. If something worked for you yesterday or last week, He would change it today or next week.
And that's when He began to unfold this whole concept for me. He does not allow us to methodize the path to Him. Although there are things we should do and things we should not do, (i.e. we should come with our hearts prepared to be in the presence of a king, we should come with a sacrifice/offering) there is no exact method, no certain steps that will usher us into His presence. Why? Because as the creator of all man kind, He is intimately familiar with the nature of man. It is human nature to formulize everything into a system of steps that give us the result we are looking for and generally with the least amount of effort possible on our part.
If He let us, we would relegate Him to some celestial vending machine where we could get what we wanted any time WE so chose as long as we put in the correct "change" so to speak. We would in effect, create another dead, dried up, lifeless religious ritual which would only usurp the very thing He died to restore... a true, genuine, open and honest relationship.
So, what is the answer then? Hunger. The word says (matt 5:6) "Blessed is he who hungers and thirsts after righteousness". Search for it as a missing treasure. I will be found of those who seek me.
He's looking for those who are truly hungry for more of Him, those who are desperate for deeper and more intimate experience, and those who will lay on their face cry out for a fresh encounter. If dead, dried up religious rituals had been enough to satisfy God's desire for relationship, He would have never had to send His Son to die.