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The Presence of God

The Presence of God
Reading a publication one morning, I came across a profound thought. "According to my view of God so will all my living be." This really set me thinking.
Also, every person's approach to prayer will necessarily be shaped by his or her knowledge of God.  And their view of God will be shaped by their approach to prayerfully reading and obedience to the Scriptures.

They that Know Him most, will see the most reason to approach Him with reverence and fear!

According to my relationship with God, so will be my living and according to my living
so will be my relationship with God.
(Ps 24:3-5.
"He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation"

If my view of God is that of a benevolent "Father Christmassy figure" then my living of the "Christian life??" will measure up with that and my reverence of God and the Scriptures will be no more than that.
On the other hand, if my spiritual eyes have been opened, I will see God as the seraphim saw Him." and one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory". So, if this is the cry and action (covered their faces) of the holy seraphim, what then should/will my view and actions be???

When Isaiah saw God, he cried out "Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." Isa. 6

Therefore, when I see Him (the eyes of my understanding), I will discover as never before my unworthiness, my smallness, and my filthiness, and feel less than a microscopic (10x1000) speck of dust (still too big) in His thrice-Holy presence and there will be such great reverential fear!
Even then, I say even then, my reaction will be very inadequate.  
When John saw Him and he tells us this in Revelation. “I fell at His feet as dead”
Job said "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5-6

Nevertheless, it is the Holy Spirit alone who can show us this, as all man's teaching can never reveal to us God in this way. Teaching can bring us so far, but then like salvation we have to personally experience it. Jesus said on more than one occasion "By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive" Matt. 13:14

If that benevolent father Christmassy figure is our view, then God help us! And only God can; to see anew.

Here is a picture of GOD and what happened in His immediate presence

First in Ps. 68: 7-8 "O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: 8 The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel".

And again in Ps 114 "When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. The sea saw it and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams and the little hills like lambs."

Then it goes on to ask the following questions with a knowing smile and tongue in cheek as it were, "What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? Thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs? followed with the thundering command Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob."

When we come into the N.T. we have Jesus' words in John 14:23 "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him"( His house)
Paul speaking to the Corinthians said.  "For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people"

Is this the same God as in Ps 114 where it says of Him "Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob"? Of course it is! "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace". Isa. 9:6
Again in Matthew 1:23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

This same awesome majesty, power belongs to the Gospel in this 'Day of Grace'. God's attributes do not change because we live in the day of Grace.
This same God is now present in His people. However, there is a question which begs to be asked. Do we take this honour, privilege too lightly?
Because God's presence is Salvation in the fullest sense of the word, as well as Judgment! Now knowing this, I need to be sure that when I meet with the people of God, that I don't take it as a light thing, that I have not a wrong attitude so that I'm not offering profane fire as worship as they did in Lev. 10:1-3."And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.."
And again in 1Cor. 11:29-30 We have this warning "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."

So as we meet together in His name, we have the promise of Christ in Matt. 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” "This same God as in Ps 114 and in 1Cor. 11 is there "In our midst" "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." Ps.29:2

We need to recognize this as we sit down in the Church's meeting place, bow our heads and with our whole being in recognition of His Presence, give ourselves to the reading of the Word, meditation and prayer, in preparation for our worship and for what God has to say to us.
Also that if any unsaved come in they will realise that God is there! And it will be so when the preacher mounts the pulpit that he will know that God is there to bless. Otherwise, the levity of the gathering will hinder the blessing of God.
Finney says this about levity and he is absolutely right. "Levity. How often have you trifled before God, as you would not have dared to trifle in the presence of an earthly sovereign? You have either been an atheist, or forgotten that there was a God, or have had less respect for Him, and His presence, than you would have had for an earthly judge". (Finney's Life & Lectures)

Now as it is indicated in the above Scriptures, it is not because of the place where we meet in, but because of the Presence of God that makes it a holy place.
It could be a bedroom, a hall, a field, below a tree or as it was with Moses in the wilderness. At any other time the place, the building, the bush was just like any other place, building or bush, but then God choose this spot to meet with Moses and it became holy. "And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."
So let us take this word that Immanuel gave us, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

A. J. Gordon (1836–1895), converted at age fifteen, was a Baptist minister and author, for many years pastor of the Clarendon Street Baptist Church in Boston.
The secret of his powerful ministry is described in his delightful, moving, and hard-to-find book, “When Christ Came to Church.”

In this book, he relates a dream that came to him early in his ministry at Clarendon Street.
In this dream, he came into his pulpit and stood there at the start of the service. As he began the service, the door opened at the back, and the usher admitted a very fine-looking gentleman, brought him down the aisle and showed him a seat.
The man had a very refined face, and there was something very elegant about it. Through the whole service, Gordon couldn’t help noticing him and wondering who he was.

After the service when all the people had gone home, Gordon sought out an usher and asked about the man: “Who is that gentleman you showed in tonight?”

“Oh,” came the reply, “didn’t you know, that was Jesus Christ. He came into the service and asked that He might sit there. Didn’t you realize that?”

Gordon suddenly awoke from his dream, but his ministry was turned upside down from that day. The next time he went into his pulpit, he seemed transformed, refreshed, renewed. He was aware that Jesus was there, in the pew, in the pulpit, in that place.

"let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:  For our God is a consuming fire" Heb.12:28-29
Believe it, know it and practice it with great reverence and holy fear
                           THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
Eternal Light! Eternal Light!
How pure the soul must be,
When placed within Thy searching sight,
It shrinks not, but with calm delight,
Can live and look on Thee
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