God’s Presence Is All We Really Need: Part Three

Reading Time: 11 minutesGod’s Presence Is All We Really Need, Part Three

Last week, we touched on the subject of God’s Presence being all we really need. We will be taking another look at this very important subject. For in every situation, all we really need is God’s presence. God’s presence is better than light. God’s presence is safer than a known way. God’s presence is life itself. In His presence is “fullness of joy forever.” (Psalms 16:11,2 Thes 2:19)

Jesus carries our grief Isaiah 53:4
Jesus carries our grief Isaiah 53:4

There are only two steps to God. These two steps collectively signify one basic thing we must all do in order to find God and have Him as Lord and Saviour.

We come to Jesus just as we are. This is the sum of these two steps. This is what the Bible would call “a Very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1). Let us look briefly at these two steps for illustration purposes.

1/ Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (Mat 5:3)

The first beattitude of Jesus attacks the very heart of mankind’s biggest problem.

P.R.I.D.E.

Now for the question. How do we become, or what exactly is it that makes us “poor in spirit?” This is not a test, or some kind of trick question. It’s not looking for a right or wrong. Its very important that Christians understand what Jesus is saying to us today. You can ask your family or friends this question. Perhaps something new and valuable to your soul will be learned?

The second step reads as follows:

2/ Blessed are they that mourn! For they shall be comforted. (Mat 5:4)

Those who truly mourn over the huge cost of sin, would fall into this class. What kind of presence would we need in order to be in this state? Some tough questions to be sure. But there is more. Much more.

Everyone must know by now about the thousands of children that have been found. We can also see the ones posturing in various ways to advantage themselves in the situation, or to absolve themselves of any personal responsibiity. Mankind’s biggest problem here is pride. Today I went with an Indigenous friend to see the beginnings of what I think is going to be an event to remember the lives of all the missing and murdered children. As I stood there and looked at all the little hand prints on the Teepee, and all of the children’s shoes on the stage, I totally lost “control” and broke down weeping. And I couldn’t stop for sometime. I kept thinking of all those poor children and of all the family members left to grieve over the loss of their loved ones. My friend was very kind and we talked things out at length. And we prayed. And we both shared many things with one another from the Bible. The one thought that hit me very hard when I looked at all the little hand prints and the children’s shoes, was simply that “this doesn’t just implicate the ones who ran those schools. This is all of us. It’s all of us! All Canadians had some form of involvement. We all had some role in the torture and murder of all these children.

Pride is one of the biggest monsters of this story. There are many displays of “sympathy” and “standing together” yet there are some of these very ones selling T Shirts and baseball caps for profit on the backs of these dead kids. Others are displaing sentiments that will advantage them politically. Its becoming a very sickening display of false humility and one-upmanship of who can display the best “grief” showmanship for the world to see. I am aware that people do need to react and have a voice, yet at what cost do some of these things come? My Native friend has stated that all they really want is to be left alone to grieve their own way after they find out the names and locations of their loved ones. They don’t want our pity. They don’t want to be put on display, especially for profit. One charitable organization I have seen is taking money from the sale of Baseball caps with Native graphics on it about the children. Not a penny of it will go to Native Children! When they were approached by an indigenous person about this, they summarily dismissed their actions by saying they are donating that money to “other children.” Not a single Native child will get any of that money raised on the backs, on the children’s backs, who were tortured and/or murdered in this terror. There are many other examples that could be pointed out. People need to stop with the “whiteman” solutions to the Native situation. Period. And this especially includes certain Governments and politicians. The Native People can tell us what they need. But are we willing to listen AND act with all this lofty “Christian” love we keep saying everyone needs?

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Pictured above are some Native displays about these children. The Indigenous friend that I was with while visiting the park that had this display in it had a very interesting experience later that day. Some young children came to visit her at her house, and they asked her about her thoughts on these terrible things that have been discovered. And at the end of their talk on this, one of the children, stating his summary of it all stated “it means we have to accept all people.” Coming from a nine year old boy, this was very profound.

Every time I look at those childrens shoes, or those little hand prints, I start crying for all the pain and horrors these beautiful souls have had to endure by the evil hands of those who had total control and domination over every single aspect of their lives. I am starting to think along the lines where “the cross” which is a suite of doctrines, (incarnation, birth, life, death, resurrection) is the only thing that can lead people to the “perfectly broken” idea that we all sing about in that wonderful hymn. “The cross” can lead the most callous person to feeling genuinely “poor in spirit.” And to mourning or sorrow regarding the “cost of sin.” And coming to the cross ties in directly to His “Presence going directly before you.” (Exodus 33:14,Psalms 23:5,Jude 1:24)I know for myself that when I take that very first, faltering step, re the first beattitude, I am discovering that Jesus has been personally present that whole time since before I took this first step. I felt very “poor in spirit” as I gazed upon this heartfelt display in the park today. It was truly a real eye-opener for me. I believe I was staring at the cost of sin. Pride is the most expensive commodity on earth.

At The Cross we take that first faltering step. We are in His presence at the cross. That is what makes the gospel such good news; the cross is the everlasting gospel. The cross is THE POWER of God unto salvation. The Cross is good news because of His Presence. At the cross we are in His presence. At the cross we are standing on Holy Ground.

Exodus 3:5  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Here is the first revelation of Jesus to His servant Moses. This revelation of the divine Person and Name is given in four sections:

(1) the setting in the need of the people (Exodus 2:23-25)

(2) the encounter at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-12)

(3) the revelation of the divine Name (Exodus 3:13-15)

(4) the commission that Yahweh gave to Moses (Exodus 3:16-22)

The ground that Moses was standing on had become holy; because it was set apart by the Divine Presence.

For Moses’ vivid memory of this experience with God at the end of his life, we read:

“The choice things of the earth and its fullness, and the favour of the one who dwelt in the bush. Let them come to the head of Joseph, and to the crown of the prince among his brothers.” (Deut 33:16, LEB)

In The New testament Stephen was recounting this theme of “the one who dwelt in the [burning] bush,” of The Old Testament:

Acts 7:33  Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

Here we are seeing Stephen recounting this story of Moses, and how God led His people out of Egypt. Stephen quoted verbatim from the original story and as we see later in Acts chapter seven, the Religious Leaders of the day were so enraged at this truth from The Word Of God that they killed Stephen by stoning him to death. (Acts 7:52, 57-60)

In that amazing walk to Emmaus, the disciples had no idea that the One who was walking beside them was Jesus! What an amazing story! The walk to Eammaus shows us how even when Jesus is right there walking beside us, we often do not recognize His presence; but we will at some point experience things in such a way that we will know that Jesus was right there alongside us the whole time, even before we took that first faltering step to the cross. (Luke 24:31)

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“ABIDE WITH US” (Luke 24:29)

“…And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. Luke (24:27-29).

Jesus began to take leave of them, and would have done so had they not pressed Him to remain. But for their insistence that He accept their hospitality, the two disciples would have forfeited the blessing that came to them. Their reason for urging Christ to remain with them was a profound desire for more of the precious instruction He had imparted to them for the past hour or two. Only those who hunger and thirst for a deeper understanding of the things of God can expect to be provided with a more ample supply of the heavenly manna’
(see on Matt. 5:6).

Fortunately, God’s promises have come to us down through the ages: ” My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Exodus 33:14).

Jesus also says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, indeed I will come in to them and dine with them, and they with me. It has been said that the most famous picture of Jesus that many of us have seen somewhere at some point where he is knocking on the door that we are the only ones who can open that door because there is no handle on the outside of that door! Jesus will not force Himself upon us.

Hunger and thirst. (Mat 5:6) This metaphor was especially forceful in a country where the average annual rainfall is not more than 26 inches or so. (see on Gen. 12:10). What is true in Palestine is generally true throughout large sections of the Near East. Bordering on large desert areas, even much inhabited land is semi-arid. No doubt that many in the audience now listening to Jesus had experienced pangs of thirst while listening to Him. As illustrated in the case of Hagar and Ishmael, a traveller who lost their way or who missed one of the few springs en route could easily find themselves in very serious troubles (see on Gen. 21:14).

Jesus spoke of the hunger and thirst of the soul (see Psalms 42:1,2). Only those who long for righteousness with the eager anxiety of a man starving for lack of food or famishing for want of water, will find it. No earthly source can satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul, whether it be material riches, profound philosophies, the satisfaction of physical appetites, or honour and power. After experimenting with all of these things, Solomon concluded that “all is vanity” (Eccl 1:2 etc.). Nothing brought the satisfaction and happiness for which every human heart longs. The wise man’s conclusion was that recognition of the Creator’s presence and cooperation with Him provided the only enduring satisfaction and fulfillment. (Eccl 12:1, 13).

Just as the disciples had pleaded with Jesus to remain with them and to enjoy their hospitality, so too, Jesus must be invited and insisted upon by prideful people today. Jesus will not impose Himself on an unwilling host; but how glad He is to enter where a welcome awaits! His Presence turns ordinary meals into sacraments; common rooms into royal chambers: and the homeliest things into symbols of the eternal. In Luke 24, Jesus sat with them, then vanished; but He was no less truly with them when He ceased to be seen-and all to teach them that when He had passed permanently from their sight He would still be nearer than ever.

When you have had a great vision of the Lord, be sure to tell it. Do not wait inside of your own house or heart, hugging the joy and comfort of His presence close to you without sharing it. But, rather, hurry back to your fellow-believers. To your friends. To your family. Your neighbours. Jesus says that anyone who needs our help is our neighbour! All of these people set in your path also have much to tell. This appearance to Simon Peter is referred to by Paul in 1 Cor 15:5. When people really love the Savior, they will share what they have been blessed to gain with others, (1 John 1:1-3). Personal testimony is an important way that Jesus makes Himself known, and it is a way for us to “let our light shine.” (Mat 5:16).

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. (Luke 24:30-31) 

he took … and blessed … and their eyes were opened — The Stranger first startles them by taking the place of master at their own table, but on proceeding to that act which essentially reproduced the whole scene of the last Supper, a rush of already familiar associations and recollections revealed their Guest, and He stood confessed before their astonished gaze – THEIR RISEN LORD! (Luke 24:33-34). I am sure that the disciples, at that moment were going to gaze upon Him, or perhaps, even embrace Him.

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But at that very moment He is gone!

Why?

Because THAT was enough.

Truly, it can be said that God’s presence is all that we really need. God’s presence is better than light. God’s presence is safer than a known way:

“In His presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalms 16:11)

Peter, drawing from Psalms 16:11 stated in his first sermon, after the pouring out of The Holy Spirit on The Day Of Pentecost: (Acts 2:28) “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with gladness by your presence.”

Because of God’s presence, Peter’s future was friendly. But what about your future? Or mine? Or the families left to grieve all of these missing and murdered children? At this point I am reminded of Amos 2:11: “Then I raised up some of your sons to be prophets [who gave you My revelation], And some of your young men to be Nazirites (dedicated ones). Is this not true, O you children of Israel?” says the LORD. [Num 6:1-8]” (AMP)

In some of the discussions I have had with my Indigenous friend, I said:

“I believe that this scripture will be fulfilled by many of these children who have suffered, because God will speak to the survivors and raise them up to teach the very ones who have dominated and butchered “in the name of God,” and already, some survivors do care for the ones who keep saying stuff about “love” but who never actually do follow through with actions that would demonstrate the love of Jesus. Certainly, the Natives I have spent time with on several reserves have demonstrated to me the love of Jesus. I have been permanently affected by their amazingly resilient love and devotion, I pray now for the survivors that they can now, finally find out about their loved ones, and then be able to grieve the way they need to and to then move forward in the love and hope I have already seen in them.”

My friend first replied by saying “Amen. Thank you David.”  

The work that the Saviour was to do on the earth had been fully outlined: “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord.” The One thus anointed was “to preach good tidings unto the meek; . . . to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 11:2, 3; 61:1-3. {AA 224.1}

Truly, God’s presence is all we really need. At the end of our conversation my friend simply said:

“We felt God’s presence today. Wasn’t that just beautiful? Such a blessing!!

I could not help but agree and said “Yes. Jesus was a very present help. I was very blessed” (Psalms 46:1) We both felt God’s presence and realized together that our Hope has a Name: Emmanual. “God with us.”  “The Light of the world who breaks through OUR darkness.

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“If I say, “My foot is slipping,” Your faithful love will support me, LORD. When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.” — Psalm 94:18-19 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.
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1 Comment

  1. Visitors to this site may log in/register any time and add their comments or questions. Everyone will receive a reply. Everyone should have a voice. We just ask for people to be polite. Please find enclosed below an email comment I just received about this article:

    I am so moved. You mentioned seeing the atrocities and revealing the cost of sin. And you describe sorrow for sin and a hatred of it. This is repentance, and a part of corporate repentance for the evil that was perpetrated on innocent children. It is unspeakable, and innocent ones are continuing to be destroyed throughout this world today in crimes, persecutions, and wars with all their ‘collateral damage’.

    Still, the cost of sin pales to the cost of redemption. Only with divinely inspired vision can we glimpse into the reality of the cross where Christ paid the price to recover sinners from the control of sin. The punishment of the guilty was poured on the innocent Christ.

    And the suffering of the innocent at the hands of the guilty was also laid on Christ. He carried our grief and sorrows, by his stripes we are healed from the power of sin to separate us from our Heavenly Father. He who knew no sin was made to be sin. In Christ the rift between victim and perpetrator, who both are broken by sin, is mended. The cleansing and repairing, is complete. The recreation is clean, we are a new creature altogether in Christ. Justice and Mercy meet in Christ. It staggers the mind this great plan of God and the power of love and the creator to overcome all the power of evil. God help those who would exploit suffering for profit.

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