Living in His presence
Last week, we looked at worship. What worship looks like and what it does for us as we worship God.
We saw that the worship of God will change our lives if we would enter into worship not as an event but as a lifestyle.
We saw that we make decisions individually but that we need each other.
Walking with God is easier when we do not journey alone but with our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
This morning, we are taking the time to look at living in the presence of God.
We make choices everyday about everything in our lives, but no decision is as important as the choice to have God active or inactive in your life.
The theme of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy is choice.
Moses, as well as his successor Joshua insisted The Nation of Israel had an obligation to choose who they would follow. Jehovah God, or following other gods that would take them away from the true God.
We have the same mandate for our lives today- We are to choose who we will follow, to be obedient to God or not. Choices!
The constant danger for Israel was to allow something else to become the center of their lives and not God.
Deuteronomy 30:11-20 Read from Bible.
Decision not procrastination
Knowing God’s word so you can be educated with what He has already said to us.
Getting on track and staying on track- even in those hard times.
The Bible is full of reverences of people who encountered God.
Some were looking for God and some were not even thinking about God but because of His grace and His mercy He shows up and offers a chance for us to respond to Him.
Moses, at the tent of meeting and on the mountaintop of God encountered God and scripture says that the glory of God was all over him. (It was evident that he had spent time with God)
Isaiah encountered God in a vision and was confronted with his sin and the sin of mankind needing a savior. (Time with God will reveal our shortcomings and His greatness)
Apostle Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus while persecuting believers and his life was changed forever. (Time with God will reveal our need for Him)
Every time we talk about living in God’s presence, most think of trying to be holy, getting rid of bad things in your life, and not having fun anymore, only doing what the Lord wants like it is a punishment.
Most of that is true- we should desire that God would get rid of things in our life that are bad for us.
Being holy is not a bad thing, is not punishment, it is desiring that God would actively be present in your life and your life would reflect the decision that you made to follow Him. It is not a punishment but a blessing as we do his will in our life.
His presence is what we need in our lives or we cannot even begin to do His will.
God has been touching people lives the last few weeks, the question becomes, are you going to allow him to complete what He desires for our lives?
There is a story of an old Scottish women who went from home to home 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 it keeps pointing to the left, and I want to go to the right. She kept throwing the stick until it pointed where she desired to go.
Decision- your decision is key to your future! Repeat.
Verse 15- “See, I have set before you this day”
Faith is always today.
Yesterday’s faith will not see you through today- today’s faith will. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but now… today.
You have heard the term “free will’- it means that God gives every human being the opportunity to make choices that will affect their destiny.
Because of free will, others can be hurt by other people’s bad decisions.
It does not mean that God didn’t redeem mankind, He has already done that. It means every human being decides if they will accept what Jesus has done.
It does not mean that they can do anything that they want- yes, if they choose to be out of the perimeter of God grace and mercy, no, if they want to be within his perimeter of grace.
According to God’s laws of grace, we cannot make ourselves righteous. We are only righteous by what Christ has done for us.
Some believe that they are not as bad as someone else so they form their own scale of righteous. You can do that but… that is not the scale of righteousness that Jesus will use.
He tells us that it is our decision, but he also tells us clearly to make wise decisions- based upon what we know of God.
Here’s what we have to understand;
Living in God’s presence is to know His Word
It is not hard to know God’s will- it is hard to do God’s will… because we do not always like what he tells us.
People say that they wish God would speak audibly to them and then they would listen.
No they probably would not. People make excuses why they will not listen to God’s words to mankind- it is in our Bibles.
The word of God given to man for man to understand the heart and mind of God.
Without His Word, we would have no idea how we could please God or what God expects of us as His children.
If we do not read his word, we have no one to blame but ourselves for not hearing from God.
Look at these verses again;
“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, who will descend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?”
We look for God to speak to us audibly and we do not study His written Word that He has already given us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
If we want God’s presence in our lives, then we must do what we already know to do in His word. Obedience brings blessings and disobedience brings heartache and destruction.
Choosing obedience over excuses.
Think what this world would be if all people obeyed God. It would be heaven on earth.
Think how many heartaches would be avoided if we only listened to God and did what we knew to do.
Living in God’s presence means making right decisions
“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.”
We want God’s blessings and yet we do our own thing, it does not work that way! Blessings from God come as a result of obedience.
He tells us to walk in His ways, to respond to others in Christ-likeness.
To do our own things is a choice but is it not the right choice!
To live a Christ-like life means that Christ has to dwell in you and He must be directing your life.
We walk in His ways because we love the Lord God with all our heart, mind, soul, and body.
It is a choice we have made and we are blessed and empowered with His Spirit to be able to live that life because in ourselves we cannot do it.
I have settled the decision of following Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus.
To not want to be in God’s house, to not hear God’s Word to me is like skipping a meal, my belly is empty and I want some food. Spiritual food that will feed my soul
I desire to know God’s Word for my life so I do not have to run around looking for answers that the Lord has already provided for us if we would take the time to read and apply.
Living in God’s presence means not giving up
The saddest words are “Christianity does not work for me”
What part does not work?
The sufferings? The Lord not working when we think He should?
Not willing to surrender to His ways?
Believe me, I do not have all the answers, I do not have them when I go through life trials that I felt were unfair and cruel punishment and I do not have them when I see people that seem to not be able to catch a break.
But I know this… God is not a liar! He is faithful.
He will never take us farther than He is willing to walk with us.
He is the author and finisher of our faith which means he must be the beginning and the end of our faith.
Faith is not a onetime thing! It is a lifestyle that keeps our eyes on God no matter what we are going through for as long as we are going through it.
No healings, blessings, no provision, no husband, wife, job, no deliverance, no empowerment, no miracles, come to those that don’t stay the course. We do not have to finish the race first but we are told to finish the race, to keep our eyes on the prize and that is Jesus Christ at the finish line waiting for us and cheering us on.
Here is the problem as we close
If you cannot trust God to get you to the finish line, you probably don’t trust Him to empower you with the strength to get to the finish line and you probably do not trust Him enough to know that He has your best interest even though right now you may not be seeing it.
Living in His presence is 24/7 and is intentional and you do not decide everyday wither you will follow God, that choice has permanently been made and is non-negotiable.
Moses wanted Israel to know that life and death is not only the physical loss of life, but that it is also the quality of life we live while we are here on this earth.
While we are young, the struggles can be having things that others have and wanting them now without paying the dues to get them- the presence of God in our lives helps us to realize that what we do have is a blessing from God and we are to be thankful and grateful.
As we get older, maybe our health is deteriorating and we struggle with everyday things we use to do with ease, the presence of God in our lives helps us to realize that this life is not all there is. The blessing comes in knowing that the better life for a believer is ahead of us instead of behind us.
There is a reason that the Holy Spirit of God desires to dwell within us and empower us- because we cannot do these things on our own- We need His power and strength working everyday in our lives. Those days we have no more strength in ourselves.
Those days we want to give in to all the pressures of this world.
Those times we would take our eyes off the prize of finishing the race strong and accomplishing what God intended for our lives.
Be encouraged this morning- If God is for us, who can be against us?
If we allow God to pick us up when we are weak- His power and strength will see us through anything in front of us.
Choose life- abundant life that comes from serving our savior.
Renew that choice everyday by living it out in our lives.
It I impossible to live in His presence without Him being active in our lives.
Choices- everyday we make them, but none are as important than allowing God to be the director of your life.
The greatest words a believer can read and believe from God’s Word is God Himself telling us that nothing is too difficult for you or nothing is beyond your reach when God Himself is involved in your life and your heart believes it and lives it!
The transformation of a human life begins when we let God in.
Father, this morning as we close this service, I am asking you to speak to hearts. I am asking you to minister to those that are hurting and looking for answers and they have stop looking for them in you. Comfort and guide them back to you and fill their mind, soul, spirit with your love and mercy.
Take them this morning to faith beyond what they can imagine and take them to the supernatural. To where God’s miracles and God blessing happen. Open our hearts to surrender and experience you for the first time in a new and fresh way. May there be transformation, restoration, sanctification, may there be a filling of your Spirit to a hungry and thirsty soul.