The Presence of God; February 15, 2019


John 8:29 “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”

Nothing can separate us from the love of God, (Romans 8:35-39) but we can certainly lose the awareness of His presence. Paul warns us not to grieve (Ephesians 4:30) or quench (1 Thessalonians 5:19) the Holy Spirit. Willfully doing things that violate the Father’s will will certainly do that. Because Jesus never violated the Father’s will, it was doubly horrifying for Him when the Father withdrew from Him when He was on the cross. (Matthew 27:47) At that point, the Father withdrew not because of Jesus’ sins, but because of ours, which He bore for us. The awareness of God’s presence is precious indeed. That He makes it available to us is a miracle of the highest order. The awareness of God’s presence has carried believers through countless crises down through the centuries, because when we have that clear awareness, we know that leaving this earth is simply getting closer to Him, and that is our heart’s desire. It can even make us feel conflicted about sticking around! (Philippians 1:23) However, the point is to be active in doing what God desires of us, because not only does that open us up to the awareness of His presence, it is also the path of satisfaction and fulfillment in this life.

I have had moments when I was more aware of God than I was of myself, but they haven’t been consistent. I don’t think these bodies are designed to handle that over extended periods. That’s why it’s good that we get new bodies in the resurrection! That said, nothing can match the “peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7) that God makes available to all who walk in obedient faith. That I could deal with having constantly! Lots of things in this world draw me away from that, but I know it’s always available to me, and I know how to return. That is a blessing indeed!

Father, all sorts of things are working to try to stir me up and make me anxious. Help me stand firm against each one, in full obedience to You. There is much to be done before we leave for the US three weeks from today. Help me do each thing in turn, not running from anything but being fully submitted to You, so that the peace and assurance of Your presence may indeed guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus my Lord, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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