Living in God’s Presence

Many people are too busy to hear the call of God’s Spirit within them to abide alone in His presence and to come and rest a little while. We fill our days and nights with chores and activities, and then sit in front of the TV or radio if we have a moment to spare! We also have texting, instant messages, and social media to keep us occupied; sometimes, even after we turn off the light and go to bed!

God’s Spirit is calling us to cease from our labors and to enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 4:1-10). God captivates us and draws us closer to Him with each passing day. He calls us to wait on Him and to luxuriate in His holiness, love, peace and joy. In our spirit, we experience the delights of fellowshipping with the Spirit of the King of Kings. We focus only on God and tune out the world around us.

Our desire for intimacy with God increases daily. In our quiet times, He reveals to us the truths of His Word and the answers to our questions. We choose to make our self available to service in any area, which God highlights for us to do. We live in more and more victory over sin and more peace in our soul (Isaiah 26:3). The angel of the Lord camps all around us to protect and care for us (Psalm 34:7).

The divine nature of Christ replaces the carnal nature of our humanity (2 Peter 1:4). We are more spiritually minded and we care less about the aspects of this world. We sit at Jesus’ feet and soak up His presence, even if we sit in companionable silence. We eventually physically leave this place of solitude, but we remain there spiritually through each moment of the day.

Father God, remind us that we can come to the place where we live in Your presence and never leave. We can carpool the children, give our boss 100% of our effort, provide for our family and nurture our mate as we dwell under the shadow of Your wings. We can view life’s disappointments, heartbreaks and successes from Your eyes and react to life’s stresses with Your character rather than our human nature.

Thought for the Day:
We continually remain in God’s presence each moment of the day and walk in His Spirit to accomplish the works, which He calls us to perform. – Ephesians 2:10

Trials are not Punitive

Some people think that if someone is going through a prolonged illness, time out of work, heart-wrenching grief or a trial of some sort, that God is trying to teach them something; and that once they learn it, they will be freed from the trial. Those in the trial beat themselves up by thinking they need to pray more, read their Bible more or make some attempt to appease God’s wrath.

This causes people to doubt their connection to the Lord and gives them hours of unrest and soul searching. Trials are not only times of correction and repentance, but also of renewal and sweet fellowship with our Father God. God is jealous and enjoys having us all to Himself. We find our self lost in the presence of God. We surrender all control to Him.

During times of trial, we have an abundance of time to spend with God. When we think back on those days of horrid illness, stress or persecution, we smile; not because we are masochists and love pain, but because our normal schedule is totally interrupted and we have free time. We are isolated from the world and able to spend that sweet time of oneness with the Lord.

Often, the Lord will give us a “holiday” through a trial, during which we can spend focused time worshipping the Beloved of our soul. During trials, do not trust in your own efforts or expect generosity from family, church and friends. Instead, wait with your whole soul – your mind, will and emotions – and put complete hope in the Lord and His Word.

Father God, You hear our voice in the morning, as we lay our requests before you and wait expectantly on You (Psalm 5:3). You love to spend all of Your time with each one of us. The next time we are without work, isolated by sickness or find our self alone through the death of a loved one or the devastation of divorce, we will take this time to spend entirely with You. When we do, we always find our self irrevocably changed in spirit, soul and body.

Thought for the Day:
We walk in the ways of the Lord and wait for Him, because His name and fame are the desires of our heart. – Isaiah 26:8

The Power of the Trinity

The only way to have the power of God’s Spirit in our life is to spend time with God all throughout the day. Seek Him first before you make any decision and He will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). Serving God from our own self-effort is useless. God already planned works for us to do before we were ever born, and He wants us to function in them (Ephesians 2:10).

Sin breaks our fellowship with God. We do not have the spiritual support or power of the Trinity when we sin. If we attempt to use our flesh to perfect our flesh, we will certainly spin our wheels and end up frustrated. Every sin is from the flesh and widens the gap between God and us, because it grieves His Spirit.

God’s Spirit is in the transforming business. The church at Pentecost started by the unction of the Holy Spirit and that is the only way we can function today too. We must be Spirit-led. The Spirit deals with one area of our life at a time. Negative emotions are a red flag to alert us to something wrong in our life. Take that negative emotion to God and ask Him to show you the real underlying cause of it.

We may have a need that we can meet for our self. There is nothing wrong with this. Maybe we need to repent of sin, or ask for God’s healing if we are sick in body or soul, or change our focus about the issue or to realize that we are clinging to the flesh or serving an idol in our life. As we humble our self before the mighty hand of God, He will exalt us in His due time (James 4:10).

Father God, our human nature takes the path of least resistance. We do not want to do hard things. We want life handed to us and for everything to work out perfectly without any effort on our part. Life never works out perfectly. Our only hope of success is to draw near to You and submit to the working of Your Spirit within us. You give us both the desire and the power to serve You (Philippians 2:12-12).

Thought for the Day:
If we wait upon the Holy Spirit to come with His omnipotent will and anointed power, we will see great things happen by His hand in our own lives and in the life of our churches.

Long-Range Dividends

There are times in our life when Christians might pursue the lusts of the flesh and step outside of their fellowship of God. They eat the bread of idleness and wickedness (Proverbs 31:27, 4:17). Then they reap the bread of affliction and adversity (1 Kings 22:27; Isaiah 30:20). As a result, they end up eating the bitter bread of the tears and sorrows of the mourner (Psalm 80:5, 127:2; Hosea 9:4). There are consequences of our sins, even as Believers.

Sin robs us, and it always inflicts negative, long-range dividends on us. God promises to chastize those whom He loves. We can rejoice when this happens, because it proves that we are sons and not without God’s Spirit within us (Hebrews 12:7). Actually, we learn to forgive others because He first forgave us. Jesus taught His disciples to forgive seven times seventy (Matthew 18:21-23). This is not a limiting number, but shows the limitless love and forgiveness God has for us.

When we come to Christ through salvation, we no longer live life our way, because we are now dead and hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We are dead and burried with Him, but also raised in Him to a whole new life (Romans 6:4). Jesus took our sin nature and nailed it to the cross, paying the penalty of our sins for us. Now, Christ lives through us and we express His righteousness in our lives (Romans 3:14). We no longer live for our self, but for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Jesus is the source of our spiritual life. Christ in us unites us with the Kingdom of God, which gives us light and love, even in the darkest trial we may traverse in this world (1 Chronicles 16:34). The will of God should set the course for our life and determine the choices we make (Ephesians 2:10). We live in union with the Father, Son and Spirit (John 10:30). Christ in us is our hope of living in glory with God both now and throughout eternity (Colossians 1:27).

Lord Jesus, the entire world was created through You (Ephesians 3:9), and only in Jesus does anything exist. You hold everything together (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17). This proves that You are not far from any one of us; especially if we live, move and have our existence in You (Acts 17:27-28). We learn to love, because You first loved us enough to suffer and die for us (1 John 4:19). You died, but You live again both in heaven and in all of Your Saints. This is the most convincing evidence that You are our God.

Thought for the Day:
When we love the basest person on earth; we are, in fact, loving Christ. – Matthew 25:31-46