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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

In His Presence examined — The Church needs to Change (Part 5)

When I wait upon the LORD He renews my strength (Isaiah 40:31) . Hallelujah!

What about everything else that needs doing in life?

Following on in the Series “Church needs to Change”, I address the second point on the list, that of engaging with GOD’s presence.

I Corinthians 1:29 says, “that no flesh should glory in His presence”.

Basking in GOD’s presence is a glorious experience: a spirit to Spirit encounter as ours meets with His.

But is it for its own sake? As we spend time with the LORD and when He chooses to anoint us by His Holy Spirit, is it only to draw closer to Him? Is it not also to walk under His direction, to offer solace to others, or healing, or words of wisdom… as and when He may direct us?

In Psalm 119, the Psalmist asks, “Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.” Amen.

Our Walk is Revelation

Jesus loved both Mary and Martha, but it was Mary who sat at his feet, whom Jesus defended against Martha’s criticism that her sister did not help with the practical household duties (Luke 10:38-42).

I have been “sitting at Jesus’ feet” of late — or to say more accurately, I have been spending a lot of time reaching out for GOD’s presence, and receiving. But it has meant I’ve had little else on my agenda. Indeed, I didn’t even post a newsletter last week (as those who usually receive it will be aware). Am I being distracted? Or perhaps it is simply that the LORD has my full attention, at last.

It is difficult to navigate the matter of seeking GOD’s presence. Society is busy and offers plenty of duties and distractions. Covid-19 Lockdown across the world has offered GOD’s children time to spend with him. How have we spent that opportunity, or what, in this regard, can we do going forward?

Day Jobs, Family Ties, Responsibilities and Choices

Paul of Tarsus built tents for a living. He did receive some payment for his preaching and teaching, but by and large, he supported himself — he had a day job. He encourages all who can to work, to be self-respecting and self-sufficient, and in turn to support those who cannot work.

He has also written to us about family ties being a blessing, though singleness he sees as better, being without the distractions of spousal obligations (1 Corinthians 7:34-38).

We all have our responsibilities, yes, and we can make our own choices. There is, after all, “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1)

But…..

Luxury of the presence of the Holy Spirit

But my current thinking is, we cannot afford to ignore the opportunity of GOD’s presence in our lives. Spending time with the LORD and resting in His presence is a luxury; it is a luxury we must take. How else can we grow and walk continually “according to the Spirit”? How else can we become more like our shepherd, Jesus?

When I rest in His presence, I find my experience sometimes daunting, sometimes sleepy, sometimes like a wave (or waves) of His glory pouring over me. Sometimes I sense peace, other times I gain wisdom. Always it is a bit scary yet totally lovely. I do it for the sake of intimacy with Him, and then I seek to encourage others.

Baptism of Holy Spirit

We all must work out our own salvation “with fear and trembling,” as Paul writes (Philippians 2:12). But our journey needs to have encounters with GOD personally, sometimes through His word, but also through the intimacy of His Spirit.

Jesus prayed. He did nothing His Father did not direct him to do. He is our model.

Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26) And he said, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of me.” (John 15:26)

Jesus departed so that the Spirit might come to us. He told his disciples, “…if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

We need the active presence of the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day lives

Let us no longer engage in our journey without the Spirit of GOD… not only as He resides in us through the act of our salvation when we made our commitment to Him, but also through His repeated anointing, infilling and indwelling, to lead and guide us.

Questions remain

I am aware I’ve not answered my own question about how we use the anointing He brings. I believe it is all dependent upon Him. As He engages with us, He’ll let us know where we walk and when, how we proceed with others. Nothing is meant to be in our flesh, not by our will but by His.

I think we are to wait as long as we can, listening, abiding, allowing Him to fill us.

As for me, as I manage to live in His presence, then my next steps will be directed by Him. That too will no doubt be daunting, exciting, peaceful and enriching. For in His presence “is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).

May we all drink deeply of Him, abide with Him, and grow in Him, Amen.

 

 

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Living in the FULLNESS of GOD

There’s SO MUCH More!

It’s 2020. It’s a new decade. Let’s live it with full vision….

Recently, I was sitting in a Bible School session which my hubby runs. We were investigating Ephesians Chapter 3 (after two previous sessions looked at Ephesians Chapters 1, 2).

The session ran for 80 minutes so I won’t capture it all here. And anyway, it was exploratory and interactive, so the dynamics would be lost. But here in a nutshell is the point Alan led the group to…

We are not tapping into the fullness — in any way, shape or form — of what GOD has for us.

The Powerful Sun

The Jewish/Hebrew people have characteristically given so much innovation, creativity, technology, scientific discover to the world. Some has been for good, some destructive, but all based on genius. Their contribution and award is disproportionate to their relatively tiny population, and yet, they keep investigating, exploring, inventing, creating and giving. That is part of the covenanted promise of GOD to His people of Israel, both historically and currently. 

And we too, as followers of Jesus, have that same inheritance, albeit only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We aren’t even scraping the surface of the ingenuity and blessing GOD has given to us. And we need to acquire it, now, for these end days and times.

…. “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of GOD…” (Ephesians 3:19)

The Father has given to us and yet we are not acquiring the fullness. It comes through the Holy Spirit and yet many of us reject the move of the Holy Spirit in these days because they do not see it.

Yet, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

In Genesis, the Father promises to Abraham as many heirs as the stars in the sky. And in Genesis 27, Isaac passes on all the blessing of Abraham and Isaac to Jacob.

We have inherited the blessings of GOD’s people the Jews. We are a part of the heirs of Abraham. We have received the Holy Spirit as we confessed our sins and committed our lives to Jesus. He is our helper, our comforter. Without him, we are not saved. But with him, we can do so much more, discover so much more, understand so much more, invent so much more, contribute so much more than we are currently. 

At the end of the study of Ephesians Chapter 3, I suddenly had an “ah ha” moment. It isn’t provable but it is profound, if it is correct….


Jesus, the head of the church, is waiting for his bride, the church. We are nowhere near ready. What if, he is simply waiting for us… some of us, any of us, to be ready: Clothed in the Spirit and living and working in his power, might, authority, wisdom and gifting… before he can return.

It isn’t by power or might that we learn, grown and give, but by his Spirit. Let us put on the Spirit of Christ then, let us be his bride, clothed in his righteousness but fully surrendered, fully serving, living in the total and complete fullness of GOD.

Hallelujah, come LORD Jesus.

But first, there is so much more we need to receive. Let us be willing to lay down our lives totally and completely, to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, to walk in his way, and to “be filled with all the fullness of GOD.” 

Amen