With you

22 01 2017

David wrote, “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.”

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Psalm 16:8, 11

David understood what it was like to be aware of God being right there with him.

(with you: “I’m with you.” Caught up, understanding, standing beside, in agreement, “I’m with stupid” I’m with her)

Where did he get that idea? It was Moses who finally put pen to paper to write that God had walked with Adam and Eve.

In Exodus, we see that God has done miracles to free His people from slavery in Egypt and made it possible for Moses to lead them on a journey to their Promised Land of rest. They have journeyed to a place where God is speaking to Moses about how they should live, love, and worship. The people get impatient with how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain. They ask Aaron to make new gods to lead them. Aaron makes an idol, a calf, from gold and a place for them to worship it.  They begin to throw a party for the purpose of seeking a god that they created. God knows what is going on and tells Moses that He wants to destroy them. Moses pleads God to show mercy. God chooses to not punish them in the way that they deserve. In his anger, Moses breaks the stone tablets that carried the written agreement with God. Moses calls the people to repentance and asks that any who want to serve God stand by him. Then God tells Moses to take the people to the Promised Land but that He will not travel with them. Moses comes back to God asking for His presence.

“Then Moses said, ‘If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.’ How will anyone know that you look favorably on me – on me and on your people – if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.’ The Lord replied to Moses, ‘I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.’ Moses responded, ‘Then show me your glorious presence.’ The Lord replied, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you.’” Genesis 33:15-19

“Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and He called out His own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, ‘Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.” Genesis 34:5-7

God continues to say that He will punish the guilty. It is important for us to remember that when we accept the forgiveness found in Jesus, we are no longer guilty. Through Jesus we can be in right standing with God.

The presence of God was considered essential. They came to value it above any other source of provision or security. They came to take joy from it. They viewed the presence of God as the sign that they were living the “blessed” life. It was not material possessions that made them feel supremely happy. Their awareness of the one true living God choosing to be with them, to be available to them, was a life changing thing.

An awareness of the presence of God is a “game changer” in our lives.

Let’s remember that Jesus was predicted to be our Savior, named “God with us”.

Jesus is preparing His friends for when He would be murdered, when He would come back to life, and when He would return to be with Father God and prepare a place for them. He describes just how God is always with them.

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him because He lives with you now and later will be in you.” John 14:15-17

If we can identify a worship disorder in our heart, we can then enjoy the life changing awareness of God’s presence. Everything will change. “When you walk into the room everything changes.”

Some health problems are called “disorders” because something in the body isn’t working right.

When we value anything more than God, we have come to a spiritual heart disorder.

Most often, we cannot recognize a spiritual heart disorder without the help of others and the Word of God.

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But, I, the Lord search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

“I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.” Jeremiah 24:6-7

Thankfully, now God is quick to forgive us our sin when we call on Jesus our Savior, honestly confess our faults, ask for forgiveness, and turn our lives to Him.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us,” 1 John 1:9

To enjoy God’s presence we must recognize that He is more valuable than anything else in our lives.

Peter understood this. That is how he could write that God is “not willing that any should perish,” about God’s heart that no one reject salvation and suffer the results. He also wrote, God “let nothing take the place of You in my heart.”

God’s people in Exodus were looking to the idol (something other than God) to lead them and giving it credit for bringing them out of Egypt.

Let us believe that God is who He said that He is, “The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.”

Let us believe that God the Holy Spirit is our Advocate, who will never leave us. Let us recognize Him by looking for Him. Let us welcome Him into our lives. Let us ask God to give us hearts that recognize Him as the Lord.

Let us confess our wrong, ask forgiveness, and believe that Jesus is our salvation.

Let us receive His love.

Let us say as David did,

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.”

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Psalm 16:8, 11

What happens with the President of the United States may be little remembered in 20 years. What you do with God’s presence may be remembered much longer. A friend of mine was a college basketball star and looking for love in all the wrong places. God was drawing him and he was trying to ignore it. One afternoon he and his friends walked by an older lady and he gave the usual greeting, “Sup?” Her reply was, “Jesus, son, and you better get with Him.” That reply rang in his ears for days and was a tipping point to bring him to faith in Jesus.

Someone may remember your kindness, your smile, your hug, your buying them a cup of coffee to listen to them.

Someone may remember you sharing your story of how the love of Jesus changed your life.

 


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