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.
· Things must be terribly wrong with any creature when it can be content to walk contrary to its Creator.
· Nothing but the corruption of the heart could permit any man to be at ease away from God.
· Will you permit these thoughts to saturate you for a little space?
· I have spoken them with the desire that each one of us may ask himself, "Is the presence of God my delight?"
· If so, I am his, and he will be with me.
· On the contrary, Is the presence of God a matter of indifference, or even of dread?
· Then my condition is one of guilt, disease, and danger. May the Lord, of his infinite mercy, set me right!
· Now kindly notice that, according to our text, THE PRESENCE OF GOD IS THE GLORY OF THE MOST GLORIOUS PLACE.
· The prophet Ezekiel has been telling us many remarkable things which I shall not attempt to explain to you; and my chief reason for not doing so is the fact that I do not understand them.
· If I could open up every dark saying, it is not just now the time to go into an explanation of all the sublime mysteries which were seen by the eagle eye of Ezekiel, for I seek present, practical edification; and this we can gain in an easier way.