Wednesday 1 October 2014

Nothing is more important for a true disciple of Jesus than the presence of God. It is his source of life, and hope.  The manifest presence of God, that tangible “knowing” that God is with you, the constant infilling of His Spirit, and the intimate communion with the Father are the things that a true spiritual life are built from.

The presence of God is more important than results, or great acts of heroism, or the thrill of seeing people touched by God’s power.  The presence of God is the very life-breath of a disciple.  It is the presence of God in our life that continually draws us closer to Him and makes us effective in drawing others to Him.  To lose that presence, or to be cast away from that presence is the worst thing that can happen to a believer.

Certainly the most traumatic moment in history came when Jesus was on the cross.  He could sense his life draining from him.  And suddenly he cried out, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me ?” (Matthew 27:46). Then He cried out a second time, “It is finished!”  And He breathed his last.

It is hard to understand just how the trinity works.  But here, in this moment, God the Son, is “divorced” from the presence of God the Father.  And it is excruciating!  Jesus never cried out when He was whipped, beaten or even nailed to the cross.  But when he was “cast out” of God’s presence, it is then that his strength failed, and he cried out in painful agony.

Jesus experienced for the first time ever, the very thing that you and I were born into – separation from God’s presence.  He went through the divorce of God’s presence, in order to redeem us out of divorce and to be reconciled to the Father.  He died so that we might once again walk in God’s presence.

The price paid for you and I to be restored to God’s presence is immeasurable.  And it is this price we must keep before our eyes when the world comes knocking on our door with its deceptive temptations.  It is our love and attachment to the presence of God that keeps the wolves of this world at bay.  It is our love of the divine that creates a restraining wall against the power of sin in our flesh.

A truly repentant heart that yearns for transformation understands that the consequence of his sin could be divorce from the presence of God.  And whereas it is entirely bearable to accept whatever correction God deems appropriate, the heart that is genuinely in love with God cries out for mercy.

As God touches your heart right now, ask Him to restore to you the fiery passion for His presence.  Ask Him to once again breath upon your soul igniting into a mighty flame the love and desire for Him and His presence in your life.  The fire of passion in your life will become the furnace in which transformation is forged.

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