Promise Or Presence?

"I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8....."We are not enjoying that which we were created for; intimacy with Him." John Bevere

 

I write and preach a great deal about living in the His presence, but I can't escape the sense that too many people have little or no idea as to what that is. More, that they're not even sure that such a life is possible or realistic. That's understandable in light of being part of a culture that tends to "compartmentalize" everything. We have our "job life," "family life," "leisure life," and even a "church life." Somewhere in there we try to make room for a relationship with Him. Not much room, but at least some room. Small wonder then that what Brother Lawrence called "the practice of His presence" is so little known and experienced by us. Small wonder as well that He tends to have little effect or influence on our day to day life experience. Our choices and decisions, and how they carry over into every aspect of life. We do what seems "right in our own eyes," and just somehow convince ourselves that it's right in His as well. When we experience continual shaking as a result, we tend to mark it down to bad luck, or even the attacks of the devil. We rarely thing it's a consequence of a life lived apart from Him.

What would happen in our lives if we really lived out Psalm 16:8? What would happen if in all things, we really did place Him before us, and them? That is, that we are consciously aware of Him in every choice, every relationship, everything? We don't just ask ourselves "What would Jesus do?" We seek His mind directly. When we live in His presence, when He is set before us in everything, this will be the natural result. This is what it is to enter into having "the mind of Christ." This is the pathway to real intimacy in and with Him. I read somewhere that the Father invites us into the kind of intimacy with Him that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit enjoy with each other. Jesus says at much in John 17. It is the life that abides. It is a life that "enjoys," is captivated by His presence. His life. Is such a life yours and mine?

John Bevere asks whether we want His promise or His presence? A close look as to how we interact with Him will give the answer for each of us. If the only time we really come to Him is in the time of shaking, of need, than what we are most interested in is His putting into effect the promise we feel most appropriate for the situation. We put our "nickel" in the slot and then wait for the outpouring of His help. His help, not Him. When what we want is His presence, than His promises really aren't foremost in our thinking. Indeed, His presence is the promise we seek to have fulfilled. We want to be with Him, in Him. When the shaking comes, we don't need to run to Him because we are already there. And the shaking may shake everything else, but it wont touch us. We're rooted and grounded in Him. This is the fruit of the life of intimacy. It's the fulfillment of His promise to give us all of Himself that we may receive. We have the promise of His presence, and that is glorious beyond words.

So, are we seeking the fulfillment of surface promises today? Promises that will help us in this particular need, and then can be put up until the next time we need Him? Or, do we seek the highest of His promises...Himself? Promises of help, or the presence of Him. Which do we really want?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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