2018: God Promises His Presence

There is only one constant in this ever-changing world, and that’s the character of our heavenly Father. The very earth itself is undergoing changes constantly. What seems the most immovable now will one day be done away with. But God is unchanging. God is unwavering. He’s completely faithful and committed to seeing through the promises he’s made you. As we look this week at the promises of God may you ground yourself in his unchanging love. May God’s character become your source and refuge—your constant and unshakable foundation.

“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”- Psalm 139:9-10

The Devotional

One of the most life-giving promises God makes to us as his children is his promise to be near. David wrote in Psalm 139:9-10, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” What an incredible image David paints of the nearness of God! If we were to explore the ends of the earth, God would still be there. If we were to dive to the depths of the ocean, God would still be there. If we descend into the darkest places of our inner being, we will still find God. There’s no place we can go that he isn’t present. God’s presence floods the earth like the early morning fog, saturating everything with its haze. His presence is his promise.

So, what do we do with the knowledge of God’s nearness? What does it mean for us? In Deuteronomy 31:6 we’re told, “He will not leave you or forsake you.” And in Psalm 23:4 David exemplifies this command in saying, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 46:1 says it this way: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

God’s nearness is meant to be our source of courage and strength. We are to find refuge in the knowledge and experience of his presence. His presence means everything for us. It means we’re not alone anymore. It means he will guide and shepherd us through the various situations we may find ourselves in: “your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” When you wake up in the morning, God is there to love and prepare you. When you go about your day, God is there for you, desiring to empower you. When you lay down at night, God is there to give you rest and peace. God’s presence is the foundation on which so many of his other promises are fulfilled.

So if he’s truly present always, why is it that we don’t feel him? Why is it that we at times feel lonely, dissatisfied, weary, and weak? Encountering God’s presence starts with having faith in what Scripture says. Feeling God’s nearness starts with trusting that he’s right next to you and wants you to know him. God doesn’t force himself on us. He doesn’t occupy space in our hearts that we fill with other things. So simply make space for God today, trust in his word that “He will not leave you or forsake you,” and encounter the nearness of your heavenly Father. Don’t worry if you aren’t feeling him. Your only job is to make space in your heart and trust him. He’ll take care of the rest. Spend time today in prayer renewing your mind to the promise of God’s presence and letting his nearness become your source of courage, strength, and rest.

The Prayer

1. Meditate on the truth of God’s nearness as promised in his word.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3

2. Make space in your heart for him to fill. Trust his word. Tell him that you believe that he’s right there with you. Ask the Spirit to help you make room for him to fill.

3. Now simply receive God’s tangible presence. Ask him to make himself known to you. Ask him to manifest his presence to you. Remember it’s really not about feeling him. Experiencing him is just the byproduct of being his child. The weight of it is all on him.

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10

 

Seeking God in Solitude

Learning to seek the face of God is the foundation for experiencing the amazing life Jesus died to give us. We have available to us through Christ all the wonders, excellencies, and satisfaction we can fathom. God has granted us grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy, affection upon affection, and love upon love. When we pursue him through all the avenues available to us, a door is opened in which we discover all our heavenly Father longs to give us. May you grow in your pursuit of God this week as we study various ways we’ve been given to seek his face.

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”- Matthew 14:23

The Devotional

Our world is filled with hustle and bustle. We reward busyness as if always working, striving, and achieving were the true marks of a life well-lived. We elevate those who have given everything to gain success. To be tired is to be weak. To be in need is to fail. To rest instead of work is to be lazy or selfish. As believers, we’re living in a society whose values do not match that of our heavenly Father’s. We need an adjustment of perspective.

We are created for time spent alone with our heavenly Father, away from the cares and ways of the world. We are created to seek God in solitude. Jesus modeled this important principle throughout his ministry. Luke 5:15-16 says, “But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Mark 1:35 says, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” And Matthew 14:23 says, “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” If Jesus needed time alone with the Father, you and I most certainly do.

Solitude is vital in our pursuit of deeper relationship with our heavenly Father. What would a marriage be if the couple only ever saw each other in large groups? What would a friendship be if you never spent time as just the two of you? Yet countless believers, Sunday after Sunday, file through church doors to meet with a God they are not encountering in the secret place. Our heavenly Father loves corporate worship to be sure, but community is intended to be an extension of the love and transformation we are receiving in solitude with God. Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” It’s in the secret place that we learn what our Father is really like. It’s in the secret place that we discern what his voice sounds like, find his heartbeat, and become like him.

Without solitude our faith will not stretch into the inner places of our hearts that so desperately need to be flooded with the light of glorious relationship with our heavenly Father. If you long to be loved, it’s in the secret place you’ll discover the wellspring of affections found in the heart of God. If you need someone to listen, it’s in solitude you’ll discover the always listening ear of your heavenly Father. And if you need a friend, it’s in time spent alone fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit that you will find a friend who will never leave you, forsake you, hurt you, or mislead you.

May you discover what you’ve been longing for in the secret place with God. May you pursue deeper connection with your heavenly Father through the wonderful discipline of solitude.

The Prayer

1. Meditate on God’s desire to meet with you in the secret place.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6

2. Reflect on your need for solitude. If Jesus needed time with the Father, receive the truth that you need it as well.

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35

“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Luke 5:15-16

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23

3. Spend time alone pursuing God in solitude. Allow the silence to draw you into a deeper place of reflection. What has been hurting you? Where do you need your heavenly Father’s affections?

“But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” Galatians 1:15-17

 

17 March Billy Birthday

Billy Sigudla'Site

I thank God for allowing me to see my 32th Birthday celebration I call it #resurrectionBirthday

#Ezekiel16:
62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:
63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.

Thank you Jesus my saviour

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