In His Presence

30 04 2012

There is a song about desiring the presence of God called “I’m a Lover of Your Presence.”  The song’s second verse goes, “Our passion’s stirring deep inside, You’re all that really satisfies, We worship you.”  While I agree with this verse, I don’t always feel this way.  This thought occurred to me as we started the process of moving from “our” new home in Hawaii.

Living “with” a view or living “in” the view.   Our current home has amazing views of Maui’s famed North Shore and the island’s dormant volcano, Haleakala, and we are just miles from both locations.  We can get to both relatively quickly, but it’s quite different from living in either place.  Not that I want to live anywhere near a volcano that might erupt, but the town of Pa’ia (where we are moving) is home to some pretty famous beaches. We are moving from having a view to being in the view.

Looking at evidence or living in His presence.  To me, having a view of something versus being “in” the view became an analogy for seeking the presence of God.  As believers, we unconsciously carry the presence of the living God around with us.   Sometimes we get so busy looking for evidence of the presence that we forget that truth.  Paul says we have in us Christ, “the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).  We are literally carriers of God’s living presence.  Yesterday, one of our pastors said, “We need to be heaven on earth and stop trying to be the Kingdom” (Jason Fernandez).

Seek relationship, not the gifts.  We often come to God for the things we can get from Him rather than for Him.  Even “good” gifts.  Oswald Chambers said, “God wants you in a closer relationship to Himself than receiving His gifts, He wants us to get to know Him” (My Utmost for His Highest (MUFHH, April 27).  For me this means as we get to know God, we get to be like Him.  Knowing, in this case, means submission by obedience.  Obedience to His call, to His revelation leads us closer in relationship with Him.  Not that this requires an extraordinary effort.  Chambers continues, “There is nothing easier than getting into a right relationship with God except when it is not God Whom you want, but only what He gives” (MUFHH, Apr 27).

This mirrors what Jesus told his disciples after He sent them out.  In Luke 10:19-20, “Look, I have given you the authority…over all the power of the enemy.  However don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  In others words,  I gave you power, so what.  Instead, return to the joy of being rightly related to me.  Interestingly, one of the definitions for the word rejoice is to turn around which is also the meaning of the word repent.  Therefore, we get the gifts as a product of our relationship to Him when we obey His leading.

May we turn away from seeking His gifts to enjoying His presence. 

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