Monday, 16 December 2013 00:00

Appropriating His Presence

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easy buttonIf you have children one of the most annoying things is when they ask you to do something for them for the 95th time that you and they both know, good and well, they can do for themselves, perfectly fine.

I wonder how many of the songs we sing and the prayers that we pray are asking for something we already have the ability within us to handle. How many times are we the answer to our own prayers and the anthem to the chorus we’ve been singing.

I’m finding the constant request for more of God’s presence to be a regular these days. We sound like black holes of need as we enter the throne room instead of boldly approaching, secure saints, appreciative and ready to appropriate the benefits of being numbered in the King’s domain.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that we don’t need His presence. It’s that it has already been given and is readily accessible to all who believe. We’ve been surrounded by every spiritual blessing, seated in the heavenly places in Christ. It is the awareness of ready access, availability and nearness I am pressing for here.

I am finding more and more that the problem is not the lack of God’s presence. It is more simply awareness of His unending presence.
Leonardo Da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. So there is a simplicity to the Christ-life that is often complicated by well meaning teachers.

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple… that’s creativity.” Charles Mingus
So, let’s keep it simple.

You see, we don’t live toward a relationship in Christ. We live from one. We don’t live for God, we live from Him. We were dead and now the life we live is His life. Often believers say I gave my life to God. They really didn’t. The life you once had was dead in sin but now you have received life, the life of God in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:27 speaks of a Christ within that is the hope of glory.

The Proverbs speak of acknowledging Him in all our ways. Acknowledge His proximity. He is in you and you are in Him. How much closer could you get?

I think we know most of that but here is the real clincher.

“…for He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b NKJV)

The word in the original language for never and nor is “ou mee”. When you get this hopefully you will be saying; “Oh Me!” According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon it is a double negative which strengthens the denial; not at all, anymore, at all, by no means, by any means, neither, never, in no case, nor ever.

The Amplified Bible does a great job capturing the full meaning.

…for He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!]

The implications of this understanding are so far reaching that no book could contain them. So I won’t attempt to exhaust them. Here are just two things.

Firstly, you never have to worry about a loss of this relationship. The Lord says what He means and means what He says. He’s not going anywhere. The distance has been canceled. The covenant formed (You didn’t do anything to really form this covenant but believe. He did all of the work and that work was finished on the Cross). And lastly, the relationship is constant, unending, and eternal in conception and nature.

Secondly, wherever you go, there He is. 1 John says “as He is, so are we in this world.” David said; where can I go from your presence and the answer he found was absolutely nowhere. Now His presence is not to be thought of in a watching over your shoulder to catch you in a slip up. Far from that, He is actually with you, loving on you, for you, and enabling you to live in the newness of life, abundantly full life, beyond your wildest dreams kind of life.

So you know how the “What if game” plays in your head sometimes? It can be quite debilitating and cripple your stride, because you begin to question everything and can easily trip into doubt and unbelief.

Here is an idea. What if you went ahead and played the “what if game” all the way to the end? Guess what? You would end up with the Lord never loosening His grip or giving up on you nor leave you without support. You wouldn’t feel helpless even if that big “what if” played all the way out, now would you?

Whether you are in the bank teller line, in the Christmas shopping traffic, facing a challenging situation, or just sitting down to a cup of your favorite barista’s brew. He is there and simply isn’t going anywhere. And in His presence is fullness of joy. What security! What peace this brings to the now and to the future.

This amplified verse of Hebrews 13:5 is hanging by a magnet on my refrigerator door as a reminder of His ever-residing presence. I invite you to do the same.

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Todd Hadley

Todd and Karon came to Charleston in 1998 in a denominational setting. There they began to have vision for church as we know it to change. The Lord placed people around them who were receiving similar revelation and who stood with them through the storms of doubt, disillusionment, and opposition. Out of this divine discomfort with institutional religion, the word came that the Lord was calling them to a new work. They realized they were in for quite a ride with Jesus.

Todd and Karon both grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and they were married in 1988. They have four children, Drew, Gabrielle, Hannah, and Lydia, all of whom worship and minister along side the whole of New Heart with the deep love of Christ.

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