The dual work of the presence of God

Worship, prayer, experiencing God’s presence and receiving revelation from the Word are times in my Christian walk that I forever treasure. The best times of my life have been these times with God and the time that I spend with my family. I would not trade these for the world. When the Lord speaks to you during your meditation upon His Word, you come away with your spirit so full of His presence and His Word. Every part of your being rises up to respond to that revelation in wonder and adoration and rest, which just validates the fact that man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

When we consider the manifest presence of the Lord, we ought to realise that His manifest presence brings different results to different people. We know that there are two basic categories of people in this world – those who are of God and those who are under the control of the wicked one (1John5:19). Within the church too, the Bible describes different categories of people –

Wheat and tares

Spiritual and carnal

Vessels of honour and vessels of dishonour

Those who call on God from a pure heart and those with an impure heart

Godly and those with a form of godliness

In the Spirit and in the flesh

Approved and disapproved

Lets look at what the Lord’s presence does to different people –

1. Exodus 14:19,20 “And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to one and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.” The presence of God brought light and assurance to Israel but darkness and confusion to the Egyptians.

2. Isaiah 8:14 “He will be as a sanctuary but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The presence of God was a sanctuary to some and a stumbling stone, offense, trap and snare to others.

3. 1 Corinthians 11:29,30 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” The presence of God in communion brings blessing, strength, health and long life to some, while bringing judgement, weakness, sickness and premature death to others.

4. 1 Corinthians 1:18,23, 24 ” For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” The cross, message about Jesus and presence of God in Jesus Christ is salvation to some and a stumbling block and foolishness to others.

5. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power when He comes to be glorified in his saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.” Psalm 68:1-3 shows us that the wicked perish at the presence of God, while the righteous are glad and rejoice in God’s presence. The presence of God brings glory to some and punishment and destruction to others.

The Anti-Christ will be consumed by the breath of Christ’s mouth and be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s appearing 2Thess2:8.

As we read this, may we be filled with reverence for God. May the Spirit of the fear of the Lord keep us always. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God. How unsearchable HIs judgements and His ways past finding out!

What is the presence of God doing in your life?

 

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God’s idea of salvation

What is the prevalent thought with regards to God’s salvation in the time we live in?

The prevalent thought with regards to God’s salvation in our lives while upon the earth is about being saved from sin, Satan, hell, sickness, curse and the world. It includes receiving every spiritual blessing in Christ and living victoriously as a witness for Jesus, assured of a place in heaven. This is brought about by repentance, faith in Jesus Christ, baptism in water and the Spirit.

While this understanding is correct, permit me to present a different perspective which I think we would do well to consider.

God’s idea of salvation is simple – it is about bringing me into a union with Christ so that He can live in me, manifesting His character in me, expressing Himself through me, speaking through me, continuing His ministry through me, overcoming Satan, sin, sickness, curse and the world through me.

God’s mysterious plan is Christ Himself (Col 2:3, NLT). Paul understood this so well. Thats why he speaks of Christ Jesus in the following manner –

* knowing Christ (Phil 3:8)

* gaining Christ (Phil 3:8-10)

* devotion to Christ (2Cor10:3, NLT)

* joined to Christ (1 Cor 6:17)

* be with Christ (Phil 1:23)

* connected to Christ (Col 2:19, NLT)

* to live is Christ (Phil 1:21)

* united with Christ (Eph 2:6; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph 2:13, NLT)

* Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20)

* God revealed His Son in me (Gal 1:16)

* bringing honour to Christ (Phil 1:20)

* fellowship with Christ (1Cor 1:9)

* to be a dwelling place for Christ (Eph 3:17, Col 1:27)

* a slave of Christ (Phil 1:1)

* make it our aim to please Christ (2 Cor 5:9)

* Christ has possessed me for perfection (Phil 3:12, NLT)

Christ occupied his mind and was the goal of his pursuit. Nothing else mattered – worldly success did not matter, prosperity did not matter, persecution did not matter, danger did not matter, troubles, hardships, calamities, prison, angry mobs, exhaustion, sleepless nights, shipwreck, stonings, whippings, hunger, slander or poverty did not matter (Read 2 Corinthians 6: 6-10, 2 Cor 101: 23-27, NLT). Christ was all that mattered (Col 3:11, NLT).

The presence of Jesus in me is holiness, his presence in me is righteousness, his presence in me is freedom from sin 1 Cor 1:30 NLT.

May Christ Jesus be our chief pursuit – after all, Christ living in us is God’s salvation.