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In His Presence

"When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, 'Oh Lord, please leave me - I'm too much of a sinner to be around You.' ....Jesus replied to Simon, 'Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people." Luke 5:8,10....."It's never been about getting it all right. It's always been about the finished work of Jesus." Sheila Walsh

In my prayer journal, I've written down, "In Jesus presence we see ourselves as we are. In His face and heart, we see ourselves as we are meant to be." I don't believe that without both of these responses taking place in our lives, we can ever enter into the fullness of His life. Before He can save and transform us, we have to first know how desperately we need both. When we see Him, we need to see our deep need for Him, and the terrible cost to us of not having Him. When that need is met, we can then begin to see who we were created to be, who we truly are in Christ. In the holy presence of Christ, Peter saw his complete unworthiness before Him. Yet Jesus didn't leave him in that place. He gave Peter a picture of who He made him to be, and who he would become in Him. Has He been able to do the same with you and me?

In this exchange between Christ and Peter, we see something that is lacking in the western church. We're reluctant to tell people who they are without Him. Peter was right when he said that he was too sinful to be in the company of Jesus. Scripture says that He dwells in unapproachable light. The first thing that should happen to us when we encounter Him, is that we're not worthy to be there. In His pure holiness, we cannot but see our own uncleanness. His great gift is that when we see this, and our total inability to change that in any way by ourselves, He offers us His life, His purity, His light in exchange. Beauty for ashes. Darkness for Light. Death for Life. We see our sin, but He doesn't leave us in it. We see who we are in our fallen condition, but He shows us who we were made to be in His risen life. The tragedy here is that so many either never see themselves in this view, or never stop seeing themselves in it. And so spend their lives trying to become what He says they already are. When He looks at anyone who comes to Him in faith, who receives the truth of their need, He then sees His finished work in them, and the Father then proceeds to shape their life to that end, as the Master Potter. Jesus didn't leave Peter in the place of realizing who he was without Him. He called him into the life he was made for. If you have had such an encounter with Him, He's done the same with you. Have you heard and seen? Are you being shaped?

So many of us are trapped in the place of "not being enough." Not good enough, smart enough, gifted enough, successful enough, for Him, or for anyone else. So we run on the treadmill that goes nowhere, trying to win His favor, and the favor of others as well. We keep trying to get what we already have, to become what we already are. We strive to become what we think He wants, when He says yield to Me and let me shape you to what you were made for. We, like Peter, look to ourselves and all that we are not. He calls us to look into His face and heart that we might see who we really are....in Him.

What do you see in His Presence? Just the lack in your life, or the abundance of His? Your unworthiness without Him, or your reception as a son or daughter in Him? Jesus didn't leave Peter where he was. Neither will He leave you. Look into His face and heart. What do you see?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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