Presence Or Promise?


 "My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest."  Exodus 33:14...."We must decide whose we are, where we're going, and what we're willing to give our lives to." Sheila Walsh...."Is the church a sub-culture, or a counter-culture?"  John Bevere....."He is coming back for a holy church.  Not a welcoming one, a community conscious one, a need oriented one, or an outreach minded one."  John Bevere

I'm not sure who I heard ask this question, but I wrote it down in my prayer journal.  "What do we most want, His Presence, or His promise?" Think on that.  What is really our ultimate desire as concerns Him?  In the end, do we want Him above all else, or, do we seek Him with the heart of a consumer, interested in what we gain from Him?  In attaining all that He has promised?  In my prayer life, I have, as many do, used a "promise book" which contained scriptures under headings that pertained to us asking God for those things we felt we most needed at the moment.  I do not condemn their use, but the question has to be asked; is it the fulfillment of that promise in our lives that we most desire, or the manifest Presence of His Life in, to, and through us?  Are we after His Presence, or just the carrying out of a promise?  Do we yearn for the blessing, or the One who is the Giver of all blessing, of all life?  I don't think such a question can be either easily or quickly answered.  We can only answer after we've allowed Him to thoroughly search our heart, and all the hidden motives that we can hide there.

Sheila Walsh asks a question that I think few of us are willing to take the time to contemplate a real answer for.  Whose are we really?  Our own?  Someone else?  Or His?  I know what our lips are likely to say.  What is it that our lives say?  Where are we going, and more, who are we going with?  Is He our helpmeet, or our Lord?  Is He really going with us at all, or, do we just call Him in when the pathway gets too troublesome?  What are we willing to give our lives to?  Indeed, what have we given our lives to?  What is the real fruit of our lives?  Where does He show through?  Are our lives in Him really making an impact, a difference?  Not as we might measure things, but as He measures?  As pointed out in the book of Daniel, when our lives our weighed in the scales of the Kingdom, are they found wanting, lacking?

As the Church, the Body of Christ, what is it we truly seek?  What's our real purpose?  Do we make it all about those we seek to minister to, or is it all about first ministering to Him, and then filled with His Life, He ministers through us in real power and presence.  Are we more interested in being relevant to our culture, or relevant to Him?  Is holiness something we speak of much but live little?  Are we in the end, nothing more than a sub-culture, part of fallen and corrupt one? Or are we a counter-culture, radically different, filled with His Light and Life, exposing and overcoming all the works of darkness in the surrounding culture? How do we answer?

It starts with knowing whether we are consumed with having and living in His Presence and Life, or are we consumed with ourselves, and our own well being, and how we can get Him to contribute to that on an ongoing basis?  I've a good idea of what our mouths will say.  The truth is found in our lives and hearts.  What say these?

Pastor O


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   May 2019   
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