Blog In Audio:
We are living in a time of a lot of unknown things. It can be very challenging to know what is coming next in our world. There is one thing we can be sure of. That one thing is the fact that the presence of God is available to us every day in increasing measures. The increasing measure is discovered in our ability to recognize God’s presence more readily in us, upon us, and with us in all things. As leaders, we must lead others in knowing this reality. Last week I stated that the present season is a season of the space between what was and what is yet to come. In this space between we are not waiting because God is not doing anything. We are a place of God resting and we are resting in Him. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life in this space between.
We will face challenges today, but we must not be distracted from knowing that we are a place of God’s dwelling presence. Christ in us is the hope of glory. That glory is not just the glory that will come in our day of going to heaven. It is also a glory of knowing the eternal life of God today. We are a dwelling place of God by His Spirit in our world today. Because of this we can know true peace. That peace is what will give us the testimony of truth. It is discovered in this place of God’s abiding presence. There is no gap between us and God. He will never leave us or forsake us.
John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
God’s love for us is not just an informational truth. It is a truth of His presence. True peace is not the mere absence of conflict in our lives. It is the manifest presence of God, who loves us, in our lives always. Sometimes we can feel His presence in a very tangible way. At other times we just have an awareness that the One who loves us will never leave us. Is God omnipresent? Or is it God’s love for us and our love for Him what keeps His presence in our lives? Many people quote the psalmist David when he said he could not go anywhere where God would not be found. These verses are not meant to merely to give us an informational view of God’s presence in the earth. I believe that these verses are about God’s intimate connection to King David and David’s connection to God.
Psalms 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell (sheol), behold, You are there.
In these verses the psalmist says He would find God in heaven, and he would find God in hell. Hell in this verse is Sheol, the realm of the dead. Does God live in the realm of the dead? If God lived there, could it be called the realm of the dead? Does God live everywhere or is He an intimate Father who promises never to leave the psalmist? The psalmist knew that wherever he went God would be there, because God never leaves the psalmist. This is why the grave could not hold the psalmist! This is why the grave could not hold Jesus! This is why no manner of death can consume us. Life is more powerful than death because God is life, and He is abiding in our lives. This is truth and this is the testimony of true peace. It is true yesterday, tomorrow, and in every space between!
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I don’t believe that it is sovereignty that makes God who He is. Is He sovereign in His ability? For sure He is! But I believe that there is something that is more powerful than His ability to be sovereign. It is His identity as Father. It is His identity as the Son. It is His nearness to us by His Spirit in us, upon us, and with us in all things. He gives life, breath, and all things to all people when they come to Him to receive all that He gives. This is an action of intimacy and endearment, not mere strength. I don’t believe that God wants us just to know Him as God. He is God, but He wants us to know Him as our Father. It is through a Father/son, Father/daughter relationship that we can receive His divine guidance for life. It is both specific and providential, but it is intimate and real. He loves His children and delights in their course of life in this earth. This is the essence of His abiding presence in our lives. When God rests in our lives and we rest in Him, we can be assured that as it is in heaven it will be in our lives, even in the space between what was and what is yet to come. This is truth and knowing the truth will make us free! Let’s be leaders who know the truth and are not distracted by the reports of how it is in the places apart from God. When we know this truth, we can lead others to know the same. Jesus is the way, but Jesus is also the truth. This is an attribute of His abiding presence in our lives!
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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