Summary: You can live your life in God's presence knowing His will for every step of your life.
February 20, 2011
Text: Deuteronomy 30:11-20
Subject: Living for God
Title: Living in God’s Presence
I have been speaking to you for the last three weeks about the presence of God and how you respond to His presence. The bible is full of references of people who encountered God in a real and tangible way and how they responded to His presence. Adam and Eve fellowshipped with Him in the cool of the day. After their sin they hid from His presence because they recognized their sinfulness. Moses spent time in God’s presence at the tent of meeting and on the mountaintop and God’s glory shone in his face. Isaiah saw a vision of God in the temple and he was confronted with his sin and then responded to a call to ministry. Saul of Tarsus encountered the risen Lord on the Damascus Road and his life was eternally changed. Finally, the apostle that Jesus loved, John, had a vision of heaven and of God as he was “in the Spirit” on the Lord’s day.
For the last three weeks we have encountered God’s presence as we worship Him. The sense of His presence has been so strong that there is no denying that there is something unique happening in our church.
I have preached about what happens in God’s presence. I have shared with you about where to find God’s presence. Last week I gave you eleven benefits of being in God’s presence. Today I want you to know that God’s plan for your life is to walk in His presence. If the church is ever going to be all that Jesus intends for it to be, it must become a church that lives in His presence on a continual basis. Living in His presence will be the tool that we need to live our lives in a way that will be pleasing to Him and effective for the kingdom. His presence will guide us through our lives and we can be confident that God will never lead us to a place where we can’t sense His presence.
There’s the story of an old Scottish woman who went from home to home across the countryside selling thread, buttons, and shoestrings. When she came to an unmarked crossroad, she would toss a stick into the air and go in the direction the stick pointed when it landed.
One day, however, she was seen tossing the stick up several times. "Why do you toss the stick more than once?" someone asked. "Because," replied the woman, "it keeps pointing to the left, and I want to take the road on the right." She then dutifully kept throwing the stick into the air until it pointed the way she wanted to go!
Today in the Word, May, 1989.
Today I want to show you three aspects of living in God’s presence.
You can live in the presence of God.
I. LIVING IN GOD’S PRESENCE REQUIRES KNOWING HIS WORD. Look at what Moses says in verse 11. Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. Isn’t that what many think about being a Christian? It’s too hard or I can’t do it… But God’s word says it’s not too difficult. One of the reasons that people struggle with their walk of faith is that they try to do it alone. You need God’s people to walk with you, but more than that, you need God’s presence with you. Another reason people struggle is that they don’t know what God’s word says about them. There is a total lack of understanding of who they are “in Christ” and the benefits of that relationship they have with God through Jesus His Son. They fail to see that the manifest presence of God is with them in the person of the Holy Spirit – every day of their lives. But it isn’t intended to be difficult or hard to understand. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” When Jesus walked on the road to Emmaus with two disciples after His resurrection this is what it says in Luke 24:45, “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” We have the word of God to guide us and the Holy Spirit of God to opens our eyes to the scriptures. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” - 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. If you know Jesus, you have everything you need to live in the presence of God. Now I want you to look very closely to verse 14. No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. God’s word has been sown in your heart. It’s not far away. Many say, “Oh, I can’t memorize scripture. I can’t remember what the word says.” Do you believe that? If you do then consider this – John 14:26, 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. When you say, “I can’t…” what you are really doing is denying the work of the Holy Spirit – the manifest presence of God in your life. You have God’s word planted in you… it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. 1) …in your mouth… The confession of God’s word in you will bring about the promises that He has for your life. That is not just for salvation but also for the realization of every promise that has been given you. If you confess with your mouth… and believe in your heart… 2) … in your heart… You can confess with your mouth without believing in your heart. People do it in churches all the time and think that they are OK with God. But a true confession of faith comes from the heart and goes to the mouth. Out of the abundance or overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 3) … so you may obey it… James 1:22 addresses that very issue, 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. You have the word of God and the Spirit of God with you. You can live in His presence and that will lead you to obedience to His word.