Experiencing God’s presence – Part 1
After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ assured His disciples of the certainty of His personality, authority and power as Saviour and Lord. He announced that “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”, implying that no power in heaven, on earth or anywhere can confront or hinder the glorious, majestic power the Father had vested in Him, the Builder, Owner and Head of the church. On the strength of that, He commanded His disciples to go and teach all nations (or all communities, tribes, tongues and people) the good news of salvation.
As they went, they were to baptise converts “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” and teach them all things that He had taught while He was with them. This He commanded because He knew that there would be people who would like to pick and choose what to obey in God’s word. But if we remain faithful to Him, we will experience His presence, power and provision “always, even unto the end of the world.” This also denotes that evangelism or telling others about Christ, is to continue until the end of the world.
Therefore, Christ’s followers are to go out and preach the gospel; they are not to settle down to other businesses or into retirement. They are to go “into all the world” whatever the condition “and preach the gospel to every creature.” Unfortunately, the Church has deviated from the core duty of evangelism to other less important things. It is unnecessary to worry about whether people believe or not; our duty is to preach. It is as we go out to preach the gospel that “signs shall follow” us.
The presence of God is not given indiscriminately to everyone; there is a purpose for which it is given. Moses desired to have the presence of God and God promised to give it to him for a purpose. When anyone comes into the centre of God’s will and desires to see His purpose fulfilled in his life, he begins to enjoy the privilege of His promised presence. Moses had been saved from sin like any other sinner, yet He still prayed for more grace. There is grace for sonship with which the believer lives the righteous life and overcomes temptations; and there is grace for servanthood with which he serves in God’s vineyard.
Children and servants of the Lord are assured of the privilege of God’s presence in times of temptations, trials, confusion and troubles. It was through the privilege of the divine presence that Joseph overcame the suffocating hatred of his brothers; the greater the predicament he suffered in their hands and that of Portiphar, the greater the presence of God with him. Likewise, it is through the privilege of the divine presence that believers overcome any challenge that confronts them.
God’s promised presence brings prosperity and favour; it brings confirmation of the words of God’s ministers and preachers. Every promise of God will be fulfilled in the believer’s life. Those promises that were not fulfilled in the previous years will come to pass this year. Whatever assignments God has for His people to accomplish this year will be achieved because of His presence.
Whatever incapability or insufficiency you have been feeling will be made up by the presence of God.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Exodus 33:12-14; Genesis 39:2,3,21-23; 1 Samuel 3:19; 1 Kings 8:56,57; Judges 6:15,16; Isaiah 6:1-8; Job 42:1-6; 34:31,32; 2 Chronicles 15:1-4,7,8; Malachi 3:1-3; Exodus 3:10-12; 4:10-12; Matthew 28:19,20; Ezekiel 3:17; Ephesians 4:11,12; 2 Chronicles 29:10,11; Acts 16:9,10; 21:13,14; 9:31; 2:42; 5:42; 8:4,40; 12:24; 16:4,5; 19:10.
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