Introduction: Today men everywhere are searching for happiness, fulfillment, and love. They are searching in all the wrong places. Peace can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
HOW CAN WE LIVE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD? The person who is saved has God’s presence with him. Did not Jesus say, " I am with you ALWAYS"?
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 1 is the introduction to the book of Psalms. It is a very important psalm. The Psalms were the Hebrew hymnal.
The Bible says "Blessed is the man." The person who has God in his life is truly blessed. This world literally means "happy, completely satisfied, or blissful." If you are saved you have God living inside you. We must understand this.
Psalm 16:11 “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”
IF JESUS WERE WITH US FOR 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK, WOULD YOUR LIFE CHANGE?
GEN. 28:15 says, "I am with thee, and will keep thee in all the places wither thou goest."
God is with us!! His very name is Emmanuel, “God with us” (Mat. 1:23)!
The Bible says that if we realize that GOD IS WITH US it will radically change our lives. We will have the peace that the world does not have. Tonight we are going to briefly look at three things that will keep us living in the presence of God.
I. First, we must DEPART FROM SIN (verse 1).
II Timothy 2:19 says “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, LET EVERYONE THAT NAMETH THE NAME OF CHRIST DEPART FROM INIQUITY.”
I John 3:4-5, “Whosoever commiteth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”
A. We must NOT LISTEN to the counsel of the ungodly. This means cutting off the means of communication of the world to your heart. i.e. movies, ungodly TV, wrong music, etc.
The Bible says in Eph. 4:22 "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts."
Psalm 101:3 “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
B. We must LEAVE the way of sinners.
This means you will probably loose friends, and sometimes even your own family may reject you, but Jesus promised to give you a hundred fold in this life and in the life to come. I remember when I got saved I stopped living the way my friends lived. That does not mean I broke off all contact with sinners. In order to do that I would have to go to heaven!! No I would not participate in their way of life. As believers, we cannot participate in any kind of sin no matter how small we think it is, or else we will break our fellowship with God!
Because of this I lost about all of my friends, but some I won to the Lord!
We must not fall into the trap of putting our stamp of approval on sinners so as not to offend them or loose them as friends. We must tell them the truth—they are sinners in need of a Saviour. That is the only thing that will save them. No matter what, we must always be honest with sinners, no matter what the consequences are, like the story of two brothers I read recently:
These brothers were rich. They were also wicked. Both lived a wild, unprofitable existence, using their wealth to cover up the dark side of their lives. On the surface, however, few would have guessed I, for these cover-up artists attended the same church almost every Sunday and contributed large sums of money to various church-related projects.
Then the church called a new pastor, a young man who preached the truth with zeal and courage. Before long, attendance had grown so much that the church needed a larger worship center. Being a man of keen insight and strong integrity, this young pastor had also seen through the hypocritical lifestyles of the two brothers.
Suddenly one of the brothers died, and the young pastor was asked to preach his funeral. The day before the funeral, the surviving brother pulled the minister aside and handed him an envelope. “There’s a check in here that is large enough to pay the entire amount you need for the new sanctuary,” he whispered. “All I ask is one favor: Tell the people at the funeral that he was a saint.” The minister gave the brother his word; he would do precisely what was asked. That afternoon he deposited the check into the church account.
The next day the young pastor stood before the casket at the funeral service and said with firm conviction, “This man was an ungodly sinner, wicked to the core. He was unfaithful to his wife, hot-tempered with his children, ruthless in his business, and a hypocrite at church…but compared to his brother, he was a saint.”
C. We NOT LINGER at the seat of the scornful.
This means we must hate the awful condition of those that do not know Christ. We no longer sit where they sit. We have been raised with Christ. Now we must seek to live that resurrected life, and point them to Christ!
Illustration: We must depart from sin! You know sometimes we think we can get real close to the water and not get wet. A few months ago, when Jill and I were at Camp Joy for our missionary orientation, we decided to go canoeing to “The Island.” Usually we got a break after supper before the big chapel time in the evening. Well, chapel started at 7pm and it was only about 6:00 so I thought we had plenty of time to go canoeing! So we began to paddle. Of course I wanted to be the navigator, so I had to sit in the back. The farther we paddled the farther the island seemed to be away from us. Before too long we had to turn back, because it was getting time for chapel. I told Jill we had to row as fast as we could to get back. Well the faster we rowed the wetter we got. Do you know how miserable it is to sit through a service with your feet soak and wet?
All I’m trying to say is, if you don’t want to get wet, don’t get close to the water. And if you don’t want to fall into Satan’s trap, DON’T GET CLOSE TO SIN!!
Transition: Now we have seen the negative side of the presence of God, we MUST DEPART FROM SIN. Now let’s see the POSITIVE SIDE.
II. Next, we must DELIGHT IN GOD (verse 2)
A. God is our PASSION.
What we delight in is our passion. There are those who more than anything love sports, or love music, or something else. It doesn’t matter what it is. Our first love should be the Lord. Our life should revolve around Him.
Paul said in Phillipians 3:10 “That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
We ought to put down the TV guide and pick up our Bible!
ILLUSTRATION: One day a preacher from a church came to visit us when I was a child. My mom stood at the door talking to him for a long time. My mom, if she was a Christian, was a carnal Christian, and the T-shirt she was wearing reflected that. It had some carnal saying on it. My mom didn’t realize it. After she was done talking with the pastor one of us kids told her about the shirt she was wearing. She was so embarrassed! But you see, God was not her passion! What ever your passion is will come through your life.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
B. God is our POINT OF FOCUS.
The world knows this principle. That is why the Television, the radio, and the newspaper are so interesting. The world wants you to concentrate on it. But the Bible says right here that we should "meditate on the law of the Lord day and night." Every time we turn around the world wants our attention. Just go down the road and you will see a billboard! We must put the word of God constantly before us. We must concentrate on it.
C. God is our PROVIDER.
The Bible says we will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. If we are living in God’s presence, He becomes our nourishment, the source of our power. Jesus said, I am the bread of life." He is the vine, we are the branches. He will see us through NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES! Why?
Phil. 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
ILLUSTRATION: We can do anything if God’s presence is with us, even a martyr’s death! Thomas Hawke put up his hands as a signal that a martyr’s death was endurable.
III. Finally, we must DO GOD’S WILL (verse 3). If we are living in God’s presence, we will depart from sin, delight in God, and you know what? We will be doing what God wants us to do. You know what else? It’s what we’ll want to do too!
Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
A. We are PLANTED in God’s will.
This is God’s work. You did not save yourself. We are saved by grace, not works! And since God planted us is His will, we can never be removed from the presence of God. We have "eternal life."
John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perich, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
B. We are PRODUCTIVE in God’s will, " that bringeth forth his fruit in his season".
When you enter God’s presence, you do not leave empty handed. II Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away; Behold, all things are become new." When God comes into your life you cannot be the same person. You are new in Christ. We cannot do it. We must let God produce the fruit in our lives through prayer and Bible study.
Illustration: We think of men like Hudson Taylor, and see 50 million Christians today in China. But you see it was not him who was productive, it was God. You see, Taylor said, “The sun has not risen all the years I have been in China, without me being on my knees in prayer.” Oh that we could say that and be productive in the presence of God!
C. We are PROSPEROUS in God’s will.
" His leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
THERE IS NOTHING THAT GOD CANNOT DO THROUGH YOU!!
I DID NOT SAY THAT YOU CAN DO, I SAID THAT GOD CAN DO!
Eph. 3:20-21 says, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
God is in us. All we have to do is depart from sin, delight in Him, and do His will. We are in His presence. We just need to realize it and recognize it.