April 18, 2021
The Power of His Presence
Sunday, April 18th, 2021
Let’s pray and invite the Holy Spirit to move and have His way.
How do we view God?
Do you believe He views the world from a detached perspective as Creator who is far above His creation? Is He somewhere up there and we’re all down here? Does He feel distant to you?
Or do you view Him as a God who is intimately involved with every function of His creation? Do you view Him as a God who is among His creation? Do you feel Him close to you?
Does it depend on your circumstances? Does your view of God change depending on what is happening in your life? Or as you have grown in your faith do you see Him differently today then you did years ago? I hope so! I hope we are always evolving in how we perceive and know God the further along we are in our faith journey.
How we view God will define and guide the relationship we have or don’t have with God.
Do we see Him as an approachable, loving, caring, involved Father or an unapproachable holy figure that we cannot access who is not concerned with the details of our lives?
When we call Him God Almighty, what does that mean for you? What do you envision when you hear Him called God Almighty? What do you believe? If you’re not sure, just look to your actions because those will tell you what you truly believe.
Do your actions show your belief that God is Almighty in every aspect of your life and within the world? Or do your actions show doubt, lack of faith or self -reliance?
Do you invite God into all aspects of your life because you believe He is Almighty God and lives in and through you?
Or do you only call on Him for certain things, the really big things in life and feel He’s too busy to help with the trivial things in your life? Or maybe you feel you don’t need God’s help in that area-you are certainly smart enough, strong enough and skilled enough-no need to reach out to God for this one. I got this one!
How do you view God?
We need to find out though who God says He is? Who does He desire to be in you?
We pray to God Almighty; we call on God Almighty and now today let’s be sure we all have a deeper understanding of who God Almighty is and how every part of our lives and our very existence is affected by God Almighty. Let’s open our hearts to see how God desires to be involved in every aspect of our lives, knowing if it matters to us, it matters to Him. Let us have the right perspective of who the God of the universe is and humble adoration that He would choose to make our hearts His dwelling place. God is not someone to be put on a shelf and pulled out for special occasions. He is not distant and unapproachable. He is not someone we choose to involve for some things and leave out for others because we don’t need Him. He is God and we are not. We are made in His image, but we are a container to be filled by Him. We are not Him. He is God and there is no one wiser, more powerful, more loving, more present than we’ll ever know.
A better question we should be asking is why would I ever NOT want to involve God in some aspect of my life?
Surely, His path and wisdom will always be better than mine. Surely as God Almighty His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts. What good reason can I come up with that holds any bearing as to why I wouldn’t involve the God of the universe who knows my name, to guide my life in every way? Notice I said good reason. You can throw out several excuses that will find their sources in pride, hardness of heart and ignorance, but they will not be “good” reasons. They will be excuses that only keep you from enjoying life and peace in the Spirit that God desires for you.
The most amazing truth is that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and sovereign over everything in all of creation, AND He is relational to every person that opens their heart to Him. This is truly incredible to me! He knows my name! He knows your name and His greatest pleasure is spending time with us.
Think back to Adam and Eve in the garden God made for them. We are told they walked with God in the coolness of the night in the garden. He was there with them, enjoying their company, enjoying fellowship with His creation. Sin entered in and that intimacy was broken. But when Jesus died on the cross and His blood was shed, peace was made for the sin of humanity. There was a new garden offered at the cross, for all who believe in Him. That intimacy has been extended again through Jesus. He connects us to God; the veil was torn and we now have direct access to our loving Father once more. There is no separation! It’s only there when we put it there.
We have a 24/7 flow of God Almighty in and through us. We have the power of His presence to draw from for everything we encounter. This is God’s heart and this is why Jesus came; to bring us back into this close relationship with God. Jesus is our example to follow and He is our way to God.
Too many people, Christians, have lived accepting a distant, guarded and only sometimes relationship with God. They miss the beautiful gift we have of His presence flowing in us all the time! Let that not be us. Let us be very aware and welcome the flow of our God’s presence through His Spirit. Remember He is love. We don’t need to fear a closeness to our Father. He is infinite and available to all.
Let’s be reminded or learn today who God Almighty is. Let us be in awe of His majesty and supreme power. Let us worship Him fully in our hearts for He is worthy. Be present, focus, hear, receive and worship Him today. Let us draw close to Him and feel the flow of His presence moving in us. Holy Spirit You are welcome here!
Colossians 1: 15-20 NIV
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
In Him all things were created. In Him all things hold together. In everything He might have supremacy. All things are reconciled to God through Christ.
- God is All and In All
God is not detached and distant. He is intimately involved in every function of His creation.
Ephesians 4: 4-6 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
When we learn that God is all and in all, we must understand this properly. Everything we know and experience comes from God Himself.
For example, notice I said before God IS love. He doesn’t have love that He gives away. He is love. Love is the essence of God’s being. God doesn’t have peace; He is peace. God doesn’t have power; He is power. So we don’t ask God to help us love someone; we ask God to manifest His love through us towards that person. We aren’t taking part of what God has; we are manifesting who He is in and through us. God is literally giving of Himself in the form of love.
- God IS Almighty
So let’s consider this truth more. God IS Almighty. Does that mean all power and might in this entire world belongs to God? Is all power and might that is expressed in this world an expression of God?
Hebrews 11:3 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Acts 17: 24-25 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said,
“I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.”
God is not a man that He should lie or change His mind. He is God. He is truth and He is unchanging. He Himself declares He is God Almighty. which means He holds all power. All is all right?
What God was saying to Abram/Abraham was stop trying to handle things in your own way; it won’t measure it up, it is not My best for you. I will not bless your efforts apart from Me. I am God Almighty-I hold all the power, you can trust in Me, now quit sinning and walk in My power that rests on you.
This is what God says to us too. We’ll look at Abraham and others who had to learn to trust in God in another series, but just know even though Abraham is honored for his great faith in God, trusting God as Almighty was something he had to learn. He had several instances where he did not trust God was all-powerful. This is why God said this to him and He says it to us.
I AM God Almighty. Walk before Me faithfully.
But what about those who use might for evil? Is our good God the source of might in those cases?
We can look to an evil king Nebuchadnezzar (similar to the evil within Hitler we all know about). He was very powerful in his day and would literally destroy nations with great brutality and wickedness. Was this might his or from God?
Isaiah 10 gives us some insight: Vs 5-7 God said: 5 “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
in whose hand is the club of my wrath! 6 I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7 But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations.
We see here God sent this wicked king for His purposes to humble a rebellious Israel. They were not following God’s ways and God warned that He would straighten them out if they continued to live as they were-chasing after other gods, disobeying his ways, giving into their own wickedness and selfish desires. This was His course of action-to send His might into another who would overpower Israel and put them back in a place of needing to cry out to God and depend on Him.
Did Nebudchadnezzar see himself as a vessel for God’s might and purposes to flow through?
Absolutely not. He was under the delusion it was all him; his great might and power! God was very aware of the pride in this evil king’s heart and while He used him for His purposes, He would not let His wickedness go unpunished. Because the king didn’t just overpower Israel and bring them captive, he found great enjoyment in cruelty and utter destruction to them and other nations.
Vs. 12-13 12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he says: “‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings.
God will always have the last word for all that might belong to Him, even when others choose to use it for evil.
You see Israel needed to be humbled, just as you and I do at times in our life today. God chose someone who could bring the humbling but He did not tell this king to take pleasure in being evil towards people or choosing to murder and destroy. That was not God’s will. The king chose to take that power granted to him and use it for evil gain. Just as people do all throughout history.
God said in v. 15 15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood!
You see God is making it known then and to us yet today when we see evil rising up in power, He is still and always will be God Almighty. His purposes will always prevail. He is the one who extends might and power to all and through all for His purposes. If someone chooses to use that power for evil, He will also deal with that as a just and holy God.
We can trust in this.
Remember Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers. They wanted him dead; they told their father Joseph was mauled by an animal as was dead. They let their father grieve for years. They had no care for the path Joseph’s life would take. As God would work it, they would need to plea for help from Joseph who God raised up to become the 2nd highest power in all of Egypt, next to Pharaoh. They didn’t know it was their brother when they approached him for food in a time of famine. When they realized it was Joseph he had these words for them,
Genesis 50:20 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
We sang a song at our pastor’s conference this week and one of the lyrics that stood out was this right here, “You take what the enemy meant for evil And you turn it for good.”
We can also remember Pilate who gave the final order to crucify our Christ, without anything to substantiate the death penalty. He did it to subdue the crowds and keep in good standing with the people who wanted Jesus dead. Every bit of what happened to Jesus came through evil intentions. God proposed for all of it to happen.
We read in Acts 4: 27-28 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
What do we believe? Who is ruling the universe? Is it all God’s might? Or do you have yours and Satan have his as well? He is Almighty God.
He IS Almighty. Believe this. Let this belief guide your actions.
- What I Need is God
We need God, not more of our own power and wisdom. We simply need the perfect, all-encompassing might, wisdom and grace of our Lord flowing in and through us. We need Him, for we are vessels who are designed to contain the presence of God.
The enemy will manipulate God’s truth and scheme to have us believe we can do things on our own, in fact we should do things on our own. This is what makes someone successful. Isn’t that our culture-I have lived it. You make a way. You figure it out. You rely on you and no one else. These are all lies from the enemy. This is not how we are made to live. This is why we fall. This is why we have so many health problems. This is why we are completely stressed out or depressed because we believe “I should just be able to do this, what is wrong with me?” Or “I know if I just keep pushing on I’ll figure it out. I just have to try harder and do more.”
Look at what the enemy said to Eve
Genesis 3: 4-5 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
God gave them free access to all the glorious trees in the garden except one. The tree of knowledge of good and evil. Don’t eat from it. Why-because it creates a false independence and confidence in yourself. It separates you from closeness with God. Don’t do it. It leads to certain destruction and death. Don’t do it. But the enemy twists it to say you won’t die, you will be like God!
No we won’t! We will become like the enemy. God designed us to eat from the Tree of Life. This is His Spirit that fills us of Himself. We are containers that need filling. We are not operating independently of God. We are filled by God Himself and cooperate with Him for His purposes.
Christianity is not a self-improvement program or system; it is a replacement program. We are replacing our old selves with Christ who lives in and through us. We become hidden in Christ.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh provides no benefit; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit, and are life.
Acts 17:28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.
We don’t become wise by striving to be wise. We become wise and expansive in our understanding by listening to the voice of the Wise One within us.
Conclusion: Let us cease striving to be like God and let God be God. Let us not settle for good theology but let us willingly encounter our living God. God is all and in all. Let us live in His continuous flow.
Let’s pray. Father God we thank You that You are Almighty, sovereign in every way and hold the supremacy in all things and through all things. Thank You that You provide everything we need for every situation we encounter and each season of life we walk through. You are there and You are sufficient in our lives. Help us remember You are truly Almighty. Help us to include You in all parts of our lives, trusting You are God and You are good. Help us revere You as Almighty God of our lives. Help us have eyes to see You are ever near, ever close and delight in sharing our days with us. Help us to walk with You daily. In Jesus’ name we pray and praise Your glorious name! Amen.
1 Timothy 1:17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Offering: Give by faith, give in obedience, give with joy in your heart and trust God will meet your needs.