May 27, 2020, 2:18 PM
“How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of Your wind.” (Psalm 37:7)
In God’s presence everything should bow for He is the Almighty. No one on earth can challenge His Sovereignty and valour. He is a Consuming Fire. In this write-up, we shall share with you the benefits of His presence and why we must seek it at all times and in all places. His presence is a sure and vital ingredient for a victorious life in our earth walk.
Human beings started having difficulties when God pulled out from any physical association with Adam and Eve with whom He communed every evening. Their disobedience was the sole reason for such a backlash. When God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush, it was frightening and scary for him because he was engaged in an exchange in which he could not behold his interlocutor. Worst still, Moses was attracted to a bush which was on fire but the fire did not consume the bush. It was a mystery; a mind-blowing event to put it in today’s jargon.
Mankind is out of the Garden of Eden but not void of God’s presence. God by virtue of His omnipresence is everywhere even where the naked eye cannot see Him. Why? God is a Spirit and has the ability to know and witness any and everything. As the Children of Israel trekked from Egypt to the Promised Land, we observe He was with them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He was not the pillar of cloud. No! He dwelt therein.
God’s presence became their compass as well as their shield of protection. He watched over them in the course of the journey and repositioned the clouds to separate them from their enemies. When the elite Egyptian army gave chase, He intercepted and rendered its pursuit of the Children of Israel useless. The cloud by day stopped them from seeing; they could not come near the cloud of fire for fear of getting charred to death.
Psalm 91 opens with these words: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” We are able to find rest in His presence. ‘Rest’ here means reassurance. Therefore the more time we spend in God’s presence, the more confident we become. Like the psalmist David, we shall be able to say of the Lord; He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
With our daily schedules nowadays, we are removed from God’s presence. In our bid to earn a living and provide for our families – we have thrust God aside. He now occupies a second position in our daily lives. That should not be! We call on God only when we are in dire need or when we have need of Him. We do not cultivate being in His presence every step of the way.
All of a sudden, we have become grown-ups in the sight of God to think we can handle some of the issues ourselves. The fact is that we need God constantly for our safety, protection, well-being and spiritual guidance. He wired us and knows us inside out. When we walk with Him, we are safe – not that we feel safe. When He directs our paths, there is no way we can falter. Remember He is omniscient – all knowing.
God was with Daniel, Joseph and David and they flourished. In a foreign land, whilst in exile, Daniel and his colleagues excelled ten times over the nationals. “The king talked with them and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, so they entered the king’s service ... he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.” (Daniel 1:19-20)
Daniel ignored a decree not to worship any other god other than the gods of the king. His behaviour warranted severe punishment. Repeatedly, the Bible records that Joseph who was sold as slave to Potiphar’s household had God’s presence with him. “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.” (Genesis 39:2) Whilst in prison God “... granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden.” (Genesis 39:21b)
King David in his well-known Psalm 23 wrote in verse 4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
It is my prayer that every believer could nurture such a relationship to be so certain of His presence everywhere he or she goes. David’s confession here is that in the most difficult times, he trusts in God’s ability to deliver him. He went through trying times and his faith was never dented. He finished by coming out stronger at the end of each hurdle and he attributed it all to the Most High God.
How often do we seek God’s presence? Once a week, twice a week? No, the standard practice should be several times in a given day. Most particularly at the start of the day. The first thing is to acknowledge His good deeds for keeping us alive. Such an encounter sets the tone for the day and we can go into the world, knowing “He will never leave us nor forsake us – because we recognise Him as our Lord, who is able to redeem us and keep us.
God was displeased with the Children of Israel, to put it mildly and was not in the mood to go with them any more on their journey through the wilderness. (Exodus 33:3) Moses pleaded with God and He changed His mind. “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Moses replied: “If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” (Exodus 33:14-15)
God is a forgiving God. He knows our frailties, our weaknesses and our limitations. His desire is to be with us throughout life’s journey because the enemy, the devil is around “seeking whom to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Whilst God could not physically be with us, He had assigned His Son, Jesus, a specific task. Now the latter has finished His assignment and has returned to the Father. Before Christ left, He delegated the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to take care of us as our Helper and Comforter.
God’s presence will forever be with us whether we are conscious of this or not. To those who believe in Him and call upon His name be sure He will come and save you.