The Law and Grace. Day forty-nine...
The positive emotions that come from experiencing God's presence are the dessert of life—especially if you've been living on the destructive emotions that come from experiencing a hostile work environment or a hostile home situation.
But while dessert tastes good, it contains no nutrition to help you grow.
This radically different lifestyle Jesus describes to us, as recorded in Matthew chapters 5–7, is not based only on the wonderful emotions that accompany God's presence, but on knowing the truth about God, as well.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 KJV)
We cannot live by bread alone in the natural realm. And we cannot live by emotion alone in the supernatural realm.
If we base our awareness of God's presence on the emotions we experience from:
- Great worship music
- A beautiful sunset
- Acts of human goodness/kindness
- Great human achievements
We severely limit our awareness of knowing how God thinks and operates.
This lifestyle Jesus teaches us, as recorded in Matthew chapters 5–7, can only be fully realized to the extent that we know God and every word out of His mouth.
This is not an uninformed awareness of His presence, based only on emotion. This is an informed awareness of His presence, based on truth.
Being in the presence of the Lord is more of an awareness on my part than it is a position on His part.
God hasn't moved.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19‐20 NKJV)
In John chapter 14 Jesus talks about He and the Father making their abode with us.
So who controls our awareness of God's presence?
God can certainly interrupt us with His presence—those instances where He makes contact when we least expect it.
He interrupted Paul with His presence in an open vision (more like a physical confrontation):
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a
around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice
him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3–6 NKJV)
He interrupted Peter with His presence in a dream:
The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city,
up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very
and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and
heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four
descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of
four‐footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and
And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”
This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. (Acts 10:9–16 NKJV)
God interrupts us with visions, dreams, circumstances, encounters with other people—all those suddenlys—in all those ways we are not expecting.
I thank God for His interruptions. I would be in a world of hurt if it weren't for His interruptions.
We have nothing to do with whether or not God interrupts us. By definition, if we did—it wouldn't be an interruption. In other words, we can't go around saying, “God, I think You need to interrupt me!” Only He knows the timing of His interruptions.
This is where we must trust Him—that we don't have to have our act completely together, but that we can relax knowing He will interrupt us when and where we need it.
But more often than not, God will wait for us to engage Him. Even though He hasn't moved, we have. And when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.
More on this tomorrow.
Have a good day,