Psalm 34:8-10 (NLT)
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
Life doesn’t always make sense. In fact, most of the time all you can do from one day to the next is shake your head and keep moving. I don’t understand how we made it to this place and all the things that have occurred over the last several years. Our life has been a whirlwind of activity. At the end of the day, it is of comfort just to count heads and do a quick up and down to realize it’s all good – thank you Lord we made it. Time passes. Seasons change. It takes human beings time to catch up. Twisting and turning we wind up in places that we never expected doing things that challenge our comfort zone.
God is with us. Those who have named Jesus Savior and Lord will never be without Him again. His Presence is in us. He is with us. The Essence of God that fills us has a name – He is the Holy Spirit. He is our guarantee of all the good things that God has promised us. The Spirit identifies us as Children of God just as our DNA points back to our biological parents. There is absolute and complete joy for those who learn to live in the Presence of God even though that place is within each of us. To taste and see that the Lord is good is only the beginning. When we become consumed with His Presence and the desire to remain there – everything changes even when not a single detail of our life is different.
My dear friend, Marilyn, lost the love of her life to cancer a few years ago. It was discovered but progressed too rapidly and he went home to be with the Lord. If you met her today, you would have no idea that she had endured such a loss. Her countenance is not that of a grieving widow lost in a big world all on her own, but she glows in the Glory of God. Why? In her grief, she chose to lose herself in the Presence of God and He filled her with joy and peace that is not available in the place we called home and life. Does she miss her husband? I am quite sure that she does. The joy of the Lord fills every broken part of our life while the Lord heals us and delivers us from the inside out. If we could find our way into His Presence, life would be different.
Psalm 27:4-6 (NLT)
The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.
Getting back to one thing is a difficult task in a world as complicated as this one. A place that demands every fiber of our being just to survive concepts like “let go and let God” seem like foolishness until our options are exhausted. Entering the realm of hope, we run out of solutions to our own problems. When the world has exhausted all efforts and there is no satisfaction, desperation leads us into the Presence of God. If you are like me, I wonder why I avoided such surrender for so long. There is something about the moment we allow God to take over even if it is only a second before we grab back the controls. It’s okay. It’s human nature. He knows exactly what we are capable of and how long it will take for us to come back. In those quiet moments of complete brokenness, He fills us with love, peace, joy, acceptance that only grace will allow. Suddenly, the problems that we face, trials too big for us to endure and testing beyond our comprehension do not matter – we are with the Lord. He takes that burden and pressure off of us until, of course, we grab it back.
Everyone is going through something in this life. Don’t let their tough exterior fool you. It is the moment when we need that one thing that God thing the Helper who is stronger and bigger than our problems that we run and hide in Him again. His Spirit inside of us has been waiting. Like a mom with a warm towel who catches their soaking wet child running in from the rain, drying them vigorously so they will not catch cold, removing their heavy cumbersome clothing to make them more comfortable and the one who cares for them completely. This is God’s Relationship with you, His Child. This is how He wants to take care of us each day not just on the ones that are too much for us to handle.
Psalm 19:7-9 (NLT)
The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.
The Word of God is not all about rules and regulations. It is not the hammer of God in our life but our helper. It shows us the way into God’s Presence. God is in us but that doesn’t always mean that we get it. At least, I don’t always get it. The Spirit and Truth agree. They are partners one holding each of our hands ushering us closer and closer to the Lord. It really hard to turn around when we are holding hands with two people and so it is with the Holy Spirit and Word of God. God’s Way is perfect. It revives our soul which could really use it after living just one day on earth. He makes the way simple for those of us who tend to complicate things. God’s Way is always the right way. It always leads to blessing and prosperity if we will walk in it.
Psalm 32:1-4 (NLT)
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
The Presence of God is never oppressive. Jesus cleared all that up when He died for our sins. When David and his men were moving the Ark of God (His Presence) back into the City of David – it slipped. One of his men reached out to catch it and keep it from falling, he died on the spot. Our sin once kept us from experiencing God in such a way, but now thanks to Jesus we can have a full on encounter with God! The joy that we find in His Presence is possible by His Grace. When we fail or fall short, it is the grace that we find in His Presence that keeps us from falling completely. He catches us with mercy and sweeps us away in His Love.
There is a great deal of change occurring in my life lately. There are many details I do not understand. I feel as though I am walking in a daze. The only thing that I do know is that God is good. His Word never fails. I find joy and peace in His Presence. It is more than enough to make me run and hide there until everything is worked out for His Glory.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
When Uzzah died reaching for the Ark of God, David was shocked. He was mad. He didn’t understand so he hid the Ark away in Obed-edom’s house for three months. The Lord blessed this man’s entire household. David saw this and then decided to move the Ark of God the rest of the way. As he entered the city with the Ark of God’s Presence, everyone celebrated as the joy of the Lord entered in. (2 Samuel 6) The Presence of God inside of us is a powerhouse. It is too big to comprehend but attentive to even the smallest detail of our life. His Extravagant Love is amazing and overwhelming all at the same time. It is an all-consuming fire that is uncontrollable so we become a bit apprehensive in our approach unless we fall in desperation. Not everyone understands or welcomes this joy and peace that we have found simply in knowing Jesus, they think we are crazy. Michal felt that way about her husband for the moment he was in the Presence of God leading the Ark into the city – he danced unashamedly and undignified before God. David was after God’s Heart and really didn’t care what other people thought about it. He failed but never fell. God kept David in His Hand all the days of his life. Not because David was perfect, but because he chose to live in the Presence of His God.
I know. I really do. Life is hard. We expect God’s Glory but don’t know where to find it in the details of our life. I have experienced pain and brokenness just like you. Nothing is wasted when we haul our mess and all its little pieces into the Presence of God and leave it there. He takes all those details and makes good on every promise. (Romans 8:28) Only God can perfect that which concerns us (Psalm 138:8) if we want His Way, His Plan and His Word to work in our life. When life is bearing down, and I am gripped with fear, confusion and lapse into worry – it is His Presence that I run in to hide. It is that place where He fills the voids in my life with His Peace and Joy. His Power is working in my life. But I am just a weak and helpless human being who needs my Great Big God! He can be found. I must come boldly to His Throne living in His Presence where I find all the Grace, Mercy and Love that I need to thrive in this life and forever.
Ephesians 3:12 (NLT)
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.