GOD IS NEAR
Do you ever wish that the nearness of God was more detectable by our senses? In the times we really need him … illness, heartache, or sorrow.When we see others we hope will obey the Gospel. When we are struggling to make a difficult decision.
Maybe we sometimes find ourselves believing that God is not near.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. ~Hebrews 11:6
“The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” ~Psalm 145:17-18
How much do we desire God’s daily presence in our lives? Do we pray daily, inviting God’s presence into our lives? Do we consider God’s will when making decisions? Do we visualize God’s presence with us as an unseen reality?
Though the Book of 1 Corinthians addresses a church in trouble, one of the themes Apostle Paul uses is the truth of God’s presence to help them find solutions. If a tongue-speaking, prophesying, healing, word of knowledge filled church can forget God’s presence, I think we can too. What does God’s presence mean in our daily lives?
God Claims Us (1:2). God calls us out of the mess we’ve made: “The Church of God”. God must see something that we cannot see in Corinth. Three descriptions of what God sees:
– Sanctified in Christ Jesus – we belong to Jesus and are saved in Him
– Called to be Holy people – we seek to give up ungodliness and grow in holiness
– United with all those who fall under the Lordship of Jesus
God claims us as his own through Jesus Christ.
God Keeps Us (1:3-4). Grace is God’s ‘keeping’ power when we stumble and fall. It is the gift of salvation that we do not deserve and cannot earn. We are to thank God for His grace.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. ~1 Corinthians 15:10
God Enriches Us (1:5-9). In Christ have been enriched in every way. Do we lack anything we need to grow stronger in Christ? More committed? Holier? No. We have all the spiritual gifts we need (7). We eagerly await the return of Jesus Christ (7b). We are kept firm to the end (8a), so we will be blameless on that last day.. We called into fellowship with Jesus by a faithful God. He is not fickle, but faithful. This fellowship with Jesus is what drives our fellowship with one another.
How Can We Be Sensitive to the Presence of God in our Lives? How can we practice the awareness of presence of God?
*Repent of your sins (Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.)
*Think about Godly Things Intentionally (Philippians 4:7-8 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.)
*Confess Your Dependence Upon Jesus Christ. (John 15:5 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.)
*Be honest with God. (Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.)
*Be obedient / submissive to God. (James 4:7-9 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.)
God claims us, keeps us, enriches us. When we are sensitive to His presence, we are given
strength to overcome the sinful habits of our life and set free to grow in likeness of Jesus
Christ. His presence is essential for the rest of our Christian life to develop.
We are at this moment as close to God as we really choose to be. True, there are times when we would like to know a deeper intimacy, but when it comes to the point, we are not prepared to pay the price involved. ~J. Oswald Sanders
Are we seeking to know God’s presence in our lives today?
Thanks for reading,
Here’s a few books for your Kindle about the nearness of God.