Presence – what is it about?

Together

Together (Photo credit: ~FreeBirD®~)

Gills comment from yesterday made me think about what we mean by the presence of God? It may seem obvious but I would like to ponder it a while with you.

Immediately my thoughts go to the name Emmanuel – God is with us. This is the name that points to the purposes of God. The plan that God would do whatever was necessary to presence himself with us. This was shown in the life of Jesus. God’s desire for relationship was so highly valued that he was even prepared to sacrifice His Son to gain it.

This blueprint of his plan was first revealed in the garden of Eden where God is clearly enjoying the presence/company of Adam and Eve. As soon as sin enters the world the enemy knew he had managed to attack the core intent of God. Adam was now found hiding from the presence of God in the cool of the day. Adam is banished from the presence of God (Genesis 4:14) and God’s enemy thought he had won. He had broken connection between mankind and God. But God had an idea already how to restore mankind to himself -but it would cost him everything.

God began with calling Abraham. He was a man, the bible says, stood and lived in God’s presence (Gen 24:40). It wasn’t enough for God that one man at a time lived with him in His presence so he calls a nation and gives them the honour of building a tabernacle to host his presence. Exodus 23 onwards speaks again and again about being in God’s presence. Then we find Moses who had an incredibly high regard for God’s presence and whose hunger for God’s presence is astounding.

16 How will anyone know that you look favourably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” Exodus 33:16 (NLT)

18 Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence” Exodus 33:18 (NLT). What an amazing prayer. Moses has seen thunder, lightening, smoke,  breath taking miracles come from the presence of God and yet bravely stands and asks to see God’s glorious presence. I am sure he knew it could kill him or overwhelm him yet he doesn’t cower with the rest of the Israelites. He knows that it will cost him obedience and life change but he still is prepared to ask and encounter.

Was the key to the revelation Moses received of God something to do with how much he valued God’s presence? That he was prepared to lay his life on the line for it?

There is always a tension in the bible talking about God’s presence. The Psalms say ‘I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence’  (Psalm 139:7). This verse suggests that we are always in God’s presence. The Psalms also say ‘ I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells.’ (Psalm 139:7) and this verse implies there is a special encounter with God’s in His presence where He dwells. Perhaps it is both.

When Jesus came it was all about His presence -Emmanuel. It wasn’t enough for God to send another He came himself. Nor was it enough to presence himself with one nation he wanted to redeem all nations to Himself. He wanted all of mankind to enjoy His company and He have time to enjoy there company. This was the joy set before Jesus on the cross. Mine and your company forever.

We find in the New Testament talk of living and moving in God’s presence (Acts 17:28), an indwelling of presence of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16) and being asked to clothe ourselves with the presence of God (Romans 13:14). We still find something special mentioned concerning an encounter with God in the fullness of the heavenlies in a verse from Ephesians ‘Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.’ (Ephesians 3:12)

The presence of God is where we live. We can never run away from His presence and for those who are born again we have the Presence of God dwelling in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We can, however, not get away from the fact there is something special about meeting God on His home turf. When we enter the heavenlies and experience God’s attention something powerful happens. Perhaps it is like walking into someone’s home – you can meet that person on the street and say hello but when you enter their home you really get to know them. You get to understand their tastes, their identity, their interests and perhaps their skills. The whole atmosphere in the home speaks of their values, their character and their understanding of life.  Their hospitality helps strengthen friendship, trust and love. God wants us to enter the room He is in and spend time with him out of choice and intent. To do this we need to be prepared for the impact and power of the atmosphere of His home touching earth. We need to be prepared to lay everything down and be changed. Are you ready?

Made for Heart Connections

Our hearts  were made to be connected.

The Heart

The Heart (Photo credit: petalouda62)

 

I look around and see iphones, ipads, yourgymn, ipaper it all about me (or I). I sit on my facebook by myself. Watch tv by myself. I wonder what has happened to community and the heart of living together. Have we, the church, picked up the ‘I’ culture or do we recognise how integral community is?

Let us look at the beginning of how God made us and the very nature of who we are:

The way we were made

  • In God’s image

Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)

 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in  our image, to be like us. .. So God created human beings in his own image.  In the image of God he created them;  male and female he created them.

God has always been an us  ‘Father , Son and Holy Spirit’. He has always  been in perfect relationship, sharing heart, ideas and creative fun together. Here we find God chats among himself and comes up with the creative idea to make man. There is a consensus and God together makes it happen. God forms man in His/their image.

When he made mankind he made  ‘a them’.  He didn’t make a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ but a ‘them’. We were made in the image of God to be in perfect relationship, sharing heart, ideas and having creative fun together.

  • Not made to be alone

Genesis 2:18

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

Because God  has always been ‘a them’ He has never been  lonely. It is in his nature to enjoy company and open hearted relationship in unity. We were made in God’s image with His DNA. We were made to be together in open hearted relationships with soul companions, it is against our very make up to be on our own. God desire is unity with us and unity among us.

  • Made to be open with each other

Genesis 2:23-25

“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone,    and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’    because she was taken from ‘man.’”This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.

The idea of being naked goes further than not wearing clothes. It is a picture of the open honesty Adam and Eve  shared. There hearts were connected in such a way that nothing was hidden and their weaknesses were not a hindrance. They were one in body, heart and spirit. They were joined in heart connection and this is shown in the oneness that intimacy brings through physical union.

Heart connections

The heart is more than just a place we love from it is the core of our being and passions in life. If we are hiding our hearts in hurts and disappointments we cannot connect our hearts with others.  This leads to loneliness and rejection that is against the way we were made to be. Is this why so many are suffering from metal illness and depression in our society? We are living against our very nature hiding our hearts in brokenness.

Today: Recognise that you were made in God’s image to be in heart connection with others. Think about the state of your own heart and how easy you find it to be connected to others. Determine that you will seek to go to the healer and get your heart healed up so that you can join it in relationship with God and kingdom lovers.