Sunday, 13 October 2019

Abiding in God's Presence

Scripture:  John 15 v 1 - 9: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 
6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."

To abide in Jesus means to stay committed to Him and remain inside Him all the time.  He surely knows our every move and does everything He can to keep us from harm.

In verse 6 He warns that if we move away from Him and make no attempt to return to Him, the life He gave us will wither and die.  If we no longer bear fruit we are pruned off from the vine, chucked into the fire and burned.

By contrast verse 7 says if we continue to follow Him and live by every word He speaks, then whatever we ask in prayer will be answered.  We will be bringing forth fruit and that is the mark of a disciple.  The fruit we bring into the Kingdom is the harvest of souls, who through our love, kindness, deeds and faith, get born again and become disciples.

The presence of God is sometimes felt as something beautiful around us, but mostly its just always there, heightened by prayer, ministry and obedience.  There was a day long ago that I thought Jesus had left me and I prayed earnestly that He would restore His presence.

What He did was actually remove His presence totally from me for about one minute.  It was the most horrible feeling I have ever felt.  It seemed much longer than a minute, but the absence of Jesus left such a hollow emptiness, such a despair and fear that when He relented I was gasping.  He said, Never think for one moment that I am not with you.

I was so thankful, so very grateful for the love and presence of Jesus.  From then on I have dedicated my life to the absolute truth of the Gospel and pray that this blog would reach far and wide to bring people closer to Him so that they can abide in His Presence and be safe.

Exodus 33 v 12 - 15: "And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
13  Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
14  And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
15  And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence."

Moses understood the importance of the presence of God from the day he met Him at the burning bush and was given instruction to deliver the Hebrews out of the hand of Pharoah and lead them to the Promised Land.

He knew God's presence when he and his brother, Aaron, confronted Pharoah ten times before the Passover opened the door for the Israelites to march out of Egypt.  He knew His presence when the Egyptian army were trying to recapture them and their way was blocked at the Red Sea.  God opened that sea for them when Moses obediently stretched forth his staff and the sea became dry land. The Israelites got across.  The Egyptians perished when the sea closed over them.

He knew His presence when God sent Manna from Heaven to feed them all in the desert.  Every day for forty years.  When they grew wear of it He sent quails.
He knew His presence when he struck the rock and water poured out.  Without the presence of God we are nothing, and have nothing.

When we feel the anointed presence of God our faith grows to a level where it is impossible to fail at what God is asking us to do.  If He is with us then none can stand against us.  We may think we are under attack but His presence will always cause us to triumph in every situation.  We may not understand why a bad thing happens but one day we will realise it was necessary and that God had a bigger plan.

Jeremiah 29 v 11 - 13: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 
12  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we searched with all our hearts until we found You.  What a day of rejoicing that was.  Your peace fills us and Your presence surrounds us, giving us unity, direction and assurance that if we abide in Jesus we are forever Yours.  We pray to be fruitful for Your Kingdom.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.