Summary: Challenge for congregation to become a presence-driven body that longs for, seeks after, and embraces the presence of God.
Seeking the Manifest Presence – Ezekiel 48:35
Ezekiel 48:35 "The city shall be 18,000 cubits round about; and the name of the city from that day shall be, `The LORD is there.’ "
· These words may be used as a test as well as a text.
· They may serve for examination as well as consolation, and at the beginning of a year they may fulfill this useful double purpose.
· In any case they are full of marrow and fatness to those whose spiritual taste is purified.
· It is esteemed by the prophet to be the highest blessing that could come upon a city that its name should be, "JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH, The Lord is there."
· Even Jerusalem, in its best estate, would have this for its crowning blessing: nothing could exceed this.
· Do we understand the presence of the Lord to be the greatest of blessings?
· Doubtless many would be greatly pleased if there were no God at all; for in their hearts they say, "No God."
· God is not to them a father, a friend, a trust, a treasure. If they were to speak from their hearts, and could hope for a satisfactory answer, they would ask, "Whither can I flee from his presence?"
· If a spot could be found wherein there would be no God, what a fine building speculation might be made there!
· Millions would emigrate to "No God’s land," and would feel at ease as soon as they trod its godless shore.
· There they could do just as they liked, without fear of future reckoning.
· Now, friend, if you would escape from the presence of God, your state is clearly revealed by that fact.
· There can be no heaven for you; for heaven is where the Lord’s presence is fullness of joy.
· If you could be happy to be far off from God, I must tell you what your fate will be.
· You are now going away from God in your heart and desire, and at last the great Judge of all will say to you, "Depart, ye cursed"; and you will then be driven from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
· I know that there is a company who can truly say that they feel only happy when they are conscious that God is with them.
· The place where they meet with the Lord is very dear and precious to them, because of his unveilings.
· The memory of holy convocations is sweet, because the Lord was among them.
· They would not care to go where God is not. If there were a place forsaken of God, however gay and full of merriment men might think it, they would not be found among its guests.
· Where we cannot enjoy God’s company we will not go. Our motto is: "With God, anywhere. Without God, nowhere."
· In him we live, and move, and have our being; and, therefore, it would be death to us to be apart from God.
· Without God we should be without hope.
· My dear friend! whatever your difficulties, and trials, and sorrows, all is well with you if God is your delight, and his presence your joy.
· But, however high your temporal enjoyments may rise, it is all wrong with you if you can rest away from the God of grace.
· The child must be in a sad state of heart when he does not care to have his father’s approving smile.