VIDEO Dependent on God’s Presence – God’s Presence

Dependent on God’s Presence

Those who wait on the Lord…shall walk and not faint. —Isaiah 40:31

There is no thrill for us in walking, yet it is the test for all of our steady and enduring qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength. The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “…John…looking at Jesus as He walked…said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36). There is nothing abstract or obscure in the Bible; everything is vivid and real. God does not say, “Be spiritual,” but He says, “Walk before Me…” (Genesis 17:1).

When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we always look for thrills in life. In our physical life this leads to our efforts to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit; in our emotional life it leads to obsessions and to the destruction of our morality; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of our spirituality.

Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though…” (Psalm 46:2)— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it. Then we will exclaim, “He has been here all the time!” At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

It is an easy thing to argue from precedent because it makes everything simple, but it is a risky thing to do. Give God “elbow room”; let Him come into His universe as He pleases. If we confine God in His working to religious people or to certain ways, we place ourselves on an equality with God.  Baffled to Fight Better, 51 L


God’s Presence (Christ in Your Life)

Home Sweet Home

I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

“Why do we have to leave our home and move?” my son asked. It’s difficult to explain what a home is, especially to a five-year-old. We were leaving a house, but not our home, in the sense that home is where our loved ones are. It’s the place where we long to return after a long trip or after a full day’s work.

When Jesus was in the upper room just hours before He died, He told His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). The disciples were uncertain of their future because Jesus had predicted His death. But Jesus reassured them of His presence and reminded them they would see Him again. He told them, “My Father’s house has many rooms . . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you” (v. 2). He could have used other words to describe heaven. However, He chose words that describe not an uncomfortable or unfamiliar place but a place where Jesus, our loved One, would be.

C. S. Lewis wrote, “Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” We can thank God for the “pleasant inns” in life, but let’s remember that our real home is in heaven where we “will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Dear Lord, I thank You for heaven, my eternal home.

Read more about the life to come at discoveryseries.org/q1205.

We look forward to being with the Lord forever.

By Keila Ochoa 

God’s Promise to Provide

Philippians 4:10-19

Today’s passage contains a marvelous promise—that “God will supply all your needs” (Phil. 4:19). Although these words bring great encouragement, we can’t afford to ignore the rest of the verse or the surrounding context.

“According to His riches in glory” (v. 19). This phrase emphasizes the sufficiency of God’s supply, but it also reveals that many of His provisions are spiritual. We usually want Him to provide physically—and He often does. However, He is more concerned with the condition of our spirit. Since He knows that trials assist in conforming us to the image of Christ, some difficulties may remain until they have accomplished His good purpose in us.

“In Christ Jesus” (v. 19). These may be the most important words of the verse, as they give the basis for the Lord’s abundant supply. It has nothing to do with our hard work or worthiness but is based only on our relationship with God through His Son. As our Father, He assumes the responsibility for meeting the needs of His children.

“You have done well to share with me” (Phil. 4:14). The Philippians were generous people who sent Paul gifts when they could. Their generosity enabled him to assure them of the Lord’s provision: “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38).

Pulling verses out of context can distort our understanding of God’s promises. Resulting misconceptions may lead to disappointment and doubt, leaving us to wonder why God isn’t doing what He said. Knowledge of the context motivates obedience and helps us recognize God’s less obvious provisions.

Your Fellowship with the Father

“. . . and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

One marvelous reason for which God has adopted us (Ephesians 1:5), indeed part of the very “calling” to become God’s children, is to fellowship (1 Corinthians 1:9) with the great God of creation!

Jesus prayed (John 17) that His chosen disciples might have the same kind of relationship with the heavenly Father that Jesus Himself had throughout eternity. Our minds may not totally grasp that wonder down here—except as we try to understand something of the key of walking “in the light” (1 John 1:7).

The nature of light in our universe gives us clues:

Light is unchangeable; one cannot make light dark.
Light exposes everything (reveals and brings clarity).
Light is the sustainer of all life as we know it.

The nature of darkness is also very instructive:

Darkness is driven away by the smallest spark.
Darkness covers everything (hides and obscures).
Darkness will kill all life as we know it.

“The path of the just is as the shining light. . . . The way of the wicked is as darkness” (Proverbs 4:18-19). The promise of fellowship with God is that He “will lead them in paths that they have not known” and that He “will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight” (Isaiah 42:16).

Therefore, “let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Since we were “sometimes darkness” (Ephesians 5:8) but have been delivered from “the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13), we should no longer “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). HMM III

Thou hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me

John 17:13-26

At this time we shall read the remainder of our Lord’s departing prayer. May the Holy Spirit lead each one of us into its meaning.

Our Lord had already said to his Father, “I come to thee,” but such was the yearning of his soul after the Father, that once again he said

John 17:13

And now come I to thee and then he added words full of anticipated triumph, from which it is clear that the joy which was set before him was not hidden from his eyes, for he desired his beloved ones to be sharers in it

John 17:17

The teaching of Jesus is the word of the Father, and that teaching is the great means of making believers to be “Holiness unto the Lord.”

John 17:18

He has commissioned us to glorify the Father by the salvation of men. The pierced hands of Jesus have ordained each one of us to minister for the good of those around us.

John 17:19

Our Lord consecrated himself, and set himself apart for the sake of his own elect, that they also might be consecrated to the glory of God.

John 17:20, 21

Where there is real grace in the heart, true unity is manifested. All the truly spiritual are one, and no party names can divide them; one touch of grace has made all the saints more than kin, for they are one body in Christ.

John 17:22, 23

What a wonderful sentence is this last one. The Father loves his chosen even as he loves Jesus. Wonder of wonders! Unspeakable grace!

John 17:24

Jesus here pleads with authority, “Father, I will,” and we may be sure that his petition will succeed. All who are resting in him shall ere long be with him in glory.

John 17:26

Dwelling thus upon his union with his church, our dear Redeemer entered upon that awful agony which preceded his passion. Was ever such a prayer heard before or since, either in heaven or in earth?

 

So near, so very near to God,

I cannot nearer be;

For in the person of his Son

I am as near as he.

 

So dear, so very dear to God,

More dear I cannot be;

The love wherewith he loves his Son,

Such is his love to me.

 

Softly to the garden lead us,

To behold thy bloody sweat

Though thou from the curse hast freed us,

Let us not the curse forget.

 

Be thy groans and cries rehearsèd

By thy Spirit in our ears,

Till we, viewing whom we piercèd,

Melt in sympathetic tears.

 

Our Family of God

I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. (Ephesians 3:14-15)

There is an important message for the believing family of God in the Bible: next to God Himself we need each other most!

God’s ideal is a fellowship of faith, a Christian community. He never intended that salvation should be received and enjoyed by the individual apart from the larger company of believers. With that, it also needs to be said that to live within the religious family does not mean that we must approve everything that is done there.

But God has so created us that we need each other. We may and should go into our closet and pray in secret, but when the prayer is ended we should go back to our people. That is where we belong.

No one is wise enough to live alone, nor good enough nor strong enough. From our brethren we can learn how to do things and sometimes also we can learn how not to do them!

Our Lord who is the Great Shepherd has said that we are the sheep of His pasture and it is in our nature to live with the flock. Best of all, the Shepherd always stays with His flock!

 

Looking For Him

 

“Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Heb. 9:28

This is our hope. He to whom we have already looked as coming once to bear the sins of many will have another manifestation to the sons of men; this is a happy prospect in itself. But that second appearing has certain peculiar marks which glorify it exceedingly.

Our Lord will have ended the business of sin. He has so taken it away from His people, and so effectually borne its penalty, that He will have nothing to do with it at His second coming. He will present no sin-offering, for He will have utterly put sin away.

Our Lord will then complete the salvation of His people. They will be finally and perfectly saved, and will in every respect enjoy the fullness of that salvation. He comes not to bear the result of our transgressions, but to bring the result of His obedience; not to remove our condemnation, but to perfect our salvation.

Our Lord thus appears only to those who look for Him. He will not be seen in this character by men whose eyes are blinded with self and sin. To them He will be a terrible Judge, and nothing more. We must first look to Him, and then look for Him; and in both cases our look shall be life.

 

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