God’s abiding presence part – I
Text: Exodus 33:14-16; 21-22.
The presence of God can be categorised into three forms. Firstly, God is Omnipresent. It means God is everywhere. King David explained this in Psalms 139:6-12, that he cannot flee from God’s presence; that if he hides himself in heaven or hell, or even darkness, God will still be there. God’s presence is felt everywhere. Secondly, there is the manifest presence of God. It is called the ‟Shekinah Glory.” The word Shekinah is taken from the root word ‟Shachan” in Hebrew, which means, ‟to dwell”. While in Greek, it is called ‟Skeinei,” which means Tabernacle. It connotes God dwelling in a tabernacle or the physical manifestation of God’s presence. In Exodus 3:1-5, God made a dramatic appearance to Moses in a burning bush that was not consumed. That is the manifest presence of God. The third form is the abiding presence of God.
God Who stays in heaven decided to live with man. It is called ‟Emmanuel,” which means God with us. Here, God is no longer an occasional guest or visitor, but an abiding guest. 1 John 4:13 ‟By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.”
Anyone who has accepted Christ as his personal saviour carries the presence of God with him. The consciousness of His presence will enable you to live a holy life. I remember the story of one convert, who used to smoke marijuana. He attended one of our services and was arrested by the Lord. He was given one of the church calendars containing my picture and he hung it in his room. Any time he was tempted to smoke and he looked at the calendar; it would seem to him like I was watching him. So, he would throw away the Indian hemp. That was how eventually he stopped smoking. If the consciousness of my picture as his pastor could have a restraining effect on him, what would be the effect upon our lives, if we see the picture of God by our side daily? That is the reality; anywhere we go, God is with us. Consciousness of this will enable you to live a holy life. I decree in the name of Jesus, God’s presence will not depart from you.
There is nothing that guarantees maximum protection like God’s presence. When you are in God’s presence, He hides you inside His pavilion and no evil or power will be able to pluck you from His hands. This protection includes immunity from sickness, noisome pestilence, satanic arrows, accidents, etc. Psalms 91:1 ‟He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Another thing God’s presence guarantees is rest. The word ‟rest” is a synonym for tranquility or stillness. In our Bible passage in Exodus 33:14-16, Moses emphasised on the significance of God’s presence by insisting that they would not move an inch without the presence of God. Eventually, God promised to go with them and also give them rest. In the Old Testament, the manifest presence of God went with them everywhere the Israelites went during their journey to the Promised Land. This presence was visible by day as cloud and at night as a pillar of fire. While in the New Testament, the presence is inward not outward.
The Holy Spirit lives within us. 1 Corinthians 6:19 ‟What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.” This spirit of God, which typifies God’s presence, lives inside of us. He leads us to our place of rest. Rest from our fears, rest from our sorrows and rest from the bondage we were made to serve (Isaiah 14:3). The powers of darkness or our enemies will want to make us afraid. They will want to make the problem or themselves bigger than we can imagine. But the consciousness of God’s presence with you inspires confidence, knowing that with God on your side; the battle is a walk over. I decree, may you enter into your rest in Jesus name.
Rev. John Okene, Divine Touch Int’l Ministries, Warri, Delta State.
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