The presence of the Lord in our lives is truly amazing, and the most important reality to keep in mind at all times. When we know that God is with us, we look for Him, and to Him, above all else. As we do, we make room for Him to lead us and His perfect will to be done.
It’s not this or that we need to look for, it’s the Lord, and then all things align under His divine leadership. It’s when we feel as though we are not worthy of His presence that we find He is there to carry us through. It’s when we see our weaknesses that we become aware of the power of His strength. It’s when we think we don’t deserve His glory that we realize His glory shines regardless. It’s when we think we have nothing to give that we find He gives Himself to us, by His grace.
In His presence there is fullness of joy. In His presence no hindrance can remain. No fear, worry, depression or loneliness can stay when we know that God, Himself, is with us. It’s when we trust He is here that we draw near to Him. If God is for us and with us, who can be against us? Oh the glory of His presence, from glory to glory!
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated ‘God with us.’ ’’
In the midst of a wicked generation, Noah found grace in the sight of God. God gave him instructions to build an ark. Noah didn’t even know the purpose of an ark. There had never been any water poured out on the earth at that time. In obedience to God, while the world around him was increasing in evil ways, Noah remained righteous and walked with God.
We are in the world, but not of the world. We, too, are righteous and strong in the Lord in the midst of evil. For us, the ark is Jesus Christ our Lord. We are righteous because we are in Him, and He is in us. As sin abounds, grace abounds much more. Noah means “rest.” We find our rest in our ark, the Christ. Evil cannot destroy us because of our position in Him; we have received eternal life.
The Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark.” He didn’t say, “Go into the ark,” which meant He was calling Him into a place where He was dwelling Himself. As the world is dealing with so much darkness, we tell everyone, as the Lord leads, “Come into the ark.” We tell them about the saving grace of our Lord. We invite people into a place where they see us dwell; a place of safety, love and glory. As we have received the Lord, we walk with Him, entering into a deeper relationship. The Lord is calling all of us, “come into the ark,” from glory to glory!
Genesis 7:1 “Then the LORD said to Noah, ‘Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.’ ”
Each of us encounters the risen Lord. One primary way we encounter Him is through personal encounters unique for every person — intimate and private.
We grow in our awareness that God knows and understands us with love and compassion. What we find in the process is that God draws us to know and understand Him. He does so personally: to a gardener, He reveals Himself and speaks through the gardening process; to the fisherman, through fishing; to the shepherd through sheep; to a parent, through a child. He meets us where we are and ministers to us through personal experiences and situations so we can know Him for ourselves. Mary recognized Jesus after He had risen when He called her by name. This showed His knowledge, love and care for her like only He could. When we seek the Lord, amid our tears, we will find Him closer than we ever expected.
The personal relationship we have with the Lord is such an individual experience we cannot compare it with others. We can never think that one is experiencing the Lord more than another, because it’s not the more or less, it’s the one on one. It can never be the same, because God’s ways are new every day. Familiarity can hinder our hearing from God through a fresh approach. We are taught not to take things personally, but that doesn’t apply to what comes from the Lord: it is personal, from glory to glory!
John 20:15-16 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
Receiving revelation of who Jesus is, knowing Him in deeper, more intimate ways, gives us access to the things of the Kingdom. Jesus gave Simon Peter the keys of the Kingdom as a result of Peter knows who Jesus is. The same is true in our lives, not just regarding who the Lord is… but also who He is in others.
Who do we say He is? Who do we say a child of God is? Is it just Bill, Tim or Susie? Or… do we believe this is the child of the most High God? The people in our lives who are born again are not just who they are known to be in the natural, but they are vessels used by God in greater measure than what is seen.
As we grow and walk in the Spirit, we no longer battle the inner familiarity with ourselves, but we see it in others. The Holy Spirit is moving through us. We have finally learned to recognize and believe in the glory of the Lord that is seen in and through us. Others in our lives start to receive from the Lord through us, bypassing who we are in the natural. We grow to know no one by the flesh, but in and by the Spirit of God, from glory to glory!
Matthew 16:16-19 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
As unity is increasing among us, insecurity in relationships is being eliminated. Insecurity is part of our “old” man, who we are in Adam, before being born again and being a new creature in Christ. The more secure we are in our relationship with God, the more secure we can be in our relationship with others. Through the grace and love of God, we walk in newness of life.
Insecurity causes people to assume and receive rejection, build walls and try to control others. It feeds their fear of losing what they have because deep down they do not trust they really have it. It disables intimacy and steals joy. It causes people to have faith one day and fear the next. In our security with Christ, insecurity is defeated. Relationships will not remain the same, but our position in Christ will never change. Others will not always be responsive to our love but we love regardless.
The love of God conquers all and destroys the walls that have been built. We unconditionally love, care and unite with one another. No matter what the changes are in relationships, it can never change our bonds in Christ. We are accepted in God, even when rejected by others. We are loved by God, even when disliked by others. We are safe in the Lord, even when threatened by others. We dwell in security in the Lord, from glory to glory!
Ephesians 1:5-7 “…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”