Thursday, July 3, 2014

Knowing God's Presence

The cloud covered the Tabernacle and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle…The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it.  This continued throughout all their journeys.  Exodus 40:34-38 (NLT)

What would it be like to wake up in the morning, yawn, stretch, scratch, and look out the window to see physical proof of God’s presence hovering over your place of worship?

Or imagine screaming yourself awake from a nightmare and peering blindly into the thick darkness to see a reassuring fire glowing over the church – a constant reminder that God is with you.

Would it make your faith stronger?  Would you trust God more?  Would you worship more?  Would you treat people better?

Or would His presence become common place, instead of sacred…just one more cloud on the landscape?

So often we struggle to “see” God, and we look for reminders of His presence.  We carry symbols with us.  We wear jewelry in the shape of a cross.  We put fish stickers on our bumpers.  We carry small polished rocks engraved with words like “faith” and “hope” and “Jesus”.  We wear bracelets proclaiming , “I am second”.

We yearn for a constant sense of His presence and we do all these things to remind us of Christ’s death and resurrection.  These are signs and symbols of our faith, but none are the physical presence of God. 

Yes, the Israelites were fortunate enough to journey with visual proof of the physical presence of God, and it must have been amazing, awe inspiring, and frightening all at the same time.  But today we don’t need physical proof of God’s presence.

When Jesus gave His life for us, was crucified and rose from the dead, God’s presence came to dwell in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. 

Admittedly there are times when you don’t “feel” the presence of God, but if you’ve trusted Jesus with your life, then you can be certain He is there with you always.

“The eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him – but some of them doubted!  Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:  I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:16-20 (NLT)

Some of the disciples doubted Jesus’ presence even though He was standing right in front of them.  But He reassured them, promising to always be with them.  We can take reassurance of His presence from this promise, too.

Do the times you think God isn’t there outweigh the times you “feel” His presence?  Are you like the doubting disciples, needing reassurance?

Share your thoughts by clicking on “Comments” below.


cindy wallis said...

Carol, you have such a gift!!!! I've been reading some of your posts and they really touched me. Your writings give me a renewed sense of faith and hope and peace. thank you so much!!!!

Carol Henders said...

Thank you Cindy. I appreciate your comments. So wonderful to hear from you.