God exists – most believers are aware of this fact, yet there are still vast numbers of Christians who have yet to attain to the reality of God’s presence in their daily lives. The scriptures speak often in a variety of ways regarding the ever-present nature of God, and in-fact one of the names of God is Immanuel, which translates to “God with us.”
This is a very important principle for each and every believer today, and so we will be studying this point in detail to see how God can actually be with us all the time, and how this benefits us and our relationship with Him.
Those who have been coming here for a while have heard me repeatedly state this simple fact: Christianity is all about relationship. This fact is so important that it can never be overstated. While there are many doctrines and religions in the world based on works, and man trying to reach for God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about God’s love for us and Him coming down to us and reaching for us for one simple reason… love. Not love as the world understands it, but Divine and Godly love as only He can. It is this love which draws people to God and this love that caused Him to willingly sacrifice Himself to save us from our own sins rather than simply dooming us all. His love literally saves and changes lives.
Now most believers are aware to some degree of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. However most believers also think that it ended there. They think that after this scene God left, and now each of us are on our own until one day when He returns again. My friends I am here today to tell you that this simply is not true. God has never left us not even for a single second. Jesus makes this very clear in Mathew 28:18-20:
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.
Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.”
We see several key points in these verses, all designed to encourage us – another demonstration of God’s love for us. In verses 18 and 19 we can observe that indeed the work is finished and that all power is once again delegated to us by Jesus Christ and those of us who are in Christ can be assured of this because it comes directly out of the mouth of Jesus Himself. He then goes on to tell us to spread this message to the entire world and to bring as many as will listen to the knowledge of the truth.
In verse 20, we can see that a vital part of the life of a believer is to also heed the counsel and advice of God. For those who truly trust in Him this is an obvious step and privilege to have a life guided by the All-Knowing and All-Powerful Creator God. And then we have an amazing promise and assurance: that Jesus will always be with us. This is an amazing fact and a great comfort that many people have been neglecting. I have witnessed many believers who enjoy God at church every Sunday, but leave Him there at church for the other six days of the week. It is this lack of awareness of His presence which has driven so many people to come under the bondage of what I call an orphan spirit… a sense of being separate from God, alone, and unloved. These are serious issues that can only be solved by a right relationship with God. Why exactly is this so? And what is an example of how this right relationship with God can benefit us? Joshua 1:9 shows us a clear picture:
“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Here we can see the true reason why we can be free of fear, doubt and discouragement; because God is with us. It is this fact that gives us courage and boldness, because what can come against us when God is on our side? When the Almighty God is backing us up, the enemies that once seemed large suddenly become very small. When our vision of God is enlarged and we appreciate more of Him and His nature, we suddenly see how foolish our old ideas, thoughts and fears really were.
Likewise, Hebrews 13:5 gives us this advice:
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
In other words: do not be greedy, and be satisfied with what you have. But there is a secret here… Many people are not really seeing (or paying attention to) what they have. The end of verse 5 makes it clear what we should be observing: the faithfulness and dependability of God towards us. Yet when people do not see that or are not made aware of it, they end up feeling incomplete and go in search of other things to satisfy a need that only God alone can fulfill. This leads to the covetousness mentioned in the verse. It’s only when we see and choose to receive the right relationship that we have with God in Christ Jesus that we can truly be content with what we have as it states in the verse.
As stated earlier, many believers are leaving God in the church and not practicing His presence at home or in their daily lives. For example, I could be by myself alone in a hotel room but still have a great time with God, enjoying His presence, knowing that He loves me, talking and laughing. He is always with me and I am forever and always secure in Him. On the other side of that we have believers which do not practice His presence, and it’s mostly for one main reason found in Romans 8:38-39:
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
These two verses assure us that nothing at all can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A lot of people think that they become cut-off from God’s love when they sin or even make a mistake. This however is not what the Bible says. We see that neither death nor life (with it’s distractions and pleasures) nor angels or demons, nor rulers nor anything else that exists now or will be in the future, no amount of distance or space or time, nor any created thing (including ourselves) can ever separate us from His love, given to us via the completed work of Christ Jesus our Lord.
We need to invite Him into our daily lives, practicing the awareness and consciousness of His presence forever with us. His love and guidance is always available to us, and we need to start accepting and taking it daily. Then we can start availing ourselves of all of the wonderful benefits of having a healthy and close relationship with the God of the universe. This amazing truth is the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ – who has repaired our relationship with God and made us intimate with Him once again.
My friends, this is not some new or radical concept, but it has been in the Bible all along. Let’s look at one more block of scripture today… Psalms 139:7-10:
“Where shall I go from your spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall your hand lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
Do you see the intimate language? The incredible closeness and security of God’s presence? This is the kind of relationship that each of us can have in Christ Jesus today. Each one of us can be this secure and this safe with God. We no longer need to be afraid or dismayed, but we can be strong and courageous. We have God. And He truly is all that we need.
Accept His love, and invite Him into each and every day, because it is Him that sustains us all. Let Him truly be your Lord and your intimate companion. You will not be disappointed.