Summary: To help the congregation to practice the presence of God.
Surely the Lord is in this Place
I don’t need to elaborate on the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But here is a snapshot of a little backgroung of their lives The whole family was prone to deceive people. Abraham told the Egyptians his wife was his sister Gen. 12:19ff. Isaac (Abraham’s son) told the men of Philista that Rebekah was his sister.
Like father like son. Then we find Jacob (Abraham’s grandson) deceiving his father and stealing the birth right and the blessing from his brother. If that’s not bad enough Jacob’s sons (Abraham’s great grand sons) deceive Shechem and his father in Gen 34:13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister.
Looks like it runs in the family.
We pick up on the story when Jacob was running from his brother Esau. Esau was ticked because Jacob was a thief. Evening came and Jacob needed to rest so he found a rock for a pillow and went to sleep and begin to dream. He saw a stairway or some translations call it a ladder the angels were going up and down on it. In the dream God spoke to him. God made a promise to him that was essentially the same as he had made to his grandfather Abraham. I will make a great nation of you and this land will be yours. When Jacob awoke he said, “Surely, the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.”
24 year old Danny Simpson was sentenced to 6 years in jail for robbing a bank. Danny got 6 years in the clink for stealing $6,000. But the gun he used in the robbery ended up in a museum.
The .45 caliber Colt semi-automatic turned out to be an antique made in 1918 by the Ross Rifle Company. His pistol was worth up to $100,000 on the collectors market. If Danny Simpson had known what he had in his hands, he would not have ended up in jail.
Many Christians live like this. They spend their lives searching for God’s power and presence, not realizing that His presence is already in their hands.
Read Gen. 28: 10-22
I. We all have a need for the presence of God in our lives.
A. Some issues in life make us think that we need some outward change.
1. My wife/husband makes me miserable I need a new one.
2. My job is the pits, I need a new one.
3. My life is so boring I need something different.
4. My kids cause me so much misery I can’t wait until they leave home.
B. All we need is a realization of the presence of God.
1. So we get a new wife/husband, job, the kids leave home, we try to fill our lives with moments of excitement, but nothing helps.
2. Your real need is the realization of presence of God.
3. It is amazing to what extent people will go to try to fix their lives but are not willing to go to the life fixer.
4. People are willing to change anything but their spiritual lives. They will do anything but come to Christ.
5. To suggest that a person become faithful to God and his church you hear a thousand excuses.
C. We all have the presence of God.
1. Whether we know it or not God is here
2. Whether we want him or not he is here.
II. The problem is that we do not practice the presence of God
A. Listen to Jacob
1. Surely the Lord is in this place.
2. And we did not know it.
B. Have you ever looked back on an experience when at the time you did not feel the presence of the Lord?
1. But then as you looked back you could see his presence?
Maybe you were sick and as far as you felt the heaven became iron.
You were in some deep distress and you felt the Lord did not hear you
But then you look back and see that the Lord was not only there but was causing you to grow.
This is the kind of situation that prompted the writer to write that famous poem the footprints in the sand. Two in easy times only one in the tough times.
C. What about your day to day life?
1. Do you feel the presence of God?
2. I am not suggesting that you always need to feel on top? No! Our feelings can be deceptive.
3. Someone might say “I don’t feel saved today.”
4. God’s presence and salvation do not depend on our feelings. That should give you comfort.
5. Yet through it all we need to know that God is there.