Tuesday, May 24, 2022

          Ezekiel ended his prophecy after forty-eight chapters with a four-word statement: The LORD is there (Ezekiel 48:35).  The prophet made a declarative statement.  The LORD is there.  The divine presence of God is an important feature in the Bible. We read about it elsewhere in Scripture.  For example, Genesis 28:15 is where God said to Jacob, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  Jesus told His disciples that He would be with them always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
            Can we speak of God’s presence with us today?  Can we speak of it with faith and confidence?  The answer is a resounding “yes” to both questions.  God is with His people.  God is for His people.  God works both the day shift and the night shift.  He has neither forgotten nor forsaken His people.  We walk, work, rest and remain in His presence at all times.  May that be an encouragement to you.  Jesus gave us a blessing that we can enjoy through His presence with us.  He said in John 15:4-5, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  We are most fruitful when we are most faithfully dwelling and walking in the presence of God.  And thankfully we cannot lose the presence of God.  It is not something that we can misplace or lose our hold on like keys or phones. 
            There certainly can be times when we do not necessarily feel the presence of God.  We are human and we often struggle.  And our feelings can leave us feeling empty and confused.  The enemy would also like to convince us that God has turned away, tossed us aside and taken His presence from us.  But remember, as Jesus taught us, that the enemy is a liar and indeed the father of lies.  So, in those times where we may not feel the presence of God, we come back to the promises of Scripture that teach us about His presence and His place with us.  God can remind us of His presence through passages in His Word, as we pray, as we worship and through the special and enduring encouragements of His Holy Spirit. 
            Psalm 16:8 says, “I have set the Lord always before me.  Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  Take time each day to remind yourself that God is with you.  He is before and for you!  He is always present.  He does not take a break or take leave.  We anticipate the day when we will dwell permanently with the Lord forever as we go to be with Him and to enjoy what He has prepared for us.  But we do not spend a single second of any day separated from Him here and now.  His Word assures us of that and His presence in us and with us through His Holy Spirit reminds us of that precious reality.
             Remember what Paul wrote in I Corinthians 1:9, “God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”  God’s faithfulness never depends upon our feelings.  His faithfulness is not contingent upon anything we may or may not feel.  He is simply faithful—always and at all times.  Have a great Tuesday as you walk and live in God’s presence! And remember you can always share our worship at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.        

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