Text: Psalm 15 & Psalm 24
The matter of ‘Permanent Residence in God’s Presence’ has been our focus for several devotionals. I want to talk about ABIDING in His Presence using some illustrations and examples today.
In Leviticus 26:11-12, we read, “Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. 12 ‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” We see the idea of God dwelling with us in 2 Corinthians 6:16 – “…I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
God not only wants to be our Savior, Healer, Baptizer, Deliverer, and Provider, and soon coming King, He also wants to have Continuous Fellowship and an Abiding Relationship with us. He desires to dwell in us, walk among us, and commune with us daily and continuously!
I heard about a minister whose mother, a widow of several years, called and said, “Son, I’m getting married and we want to come to visit on our honeymoon.” Preparation was made for her visit and the excitement was high. At the same time, his daughter, who was away at college called and said, “Dad, I have some problems and I want to come home and work them out.” He welcomed her too.
During the time together, they visited some points of interest and shared their love for one another. The visit was a blessing to everyone. The mother said, “It’s time for us to leave, but we will always remember this visit and would like to visit again and again.” His daughter said, “I want to move in and stay.”
One wanted to visit from time to time and the other wants to move in permanently. I don’t want occasional glimpses of God’s Glory, I want to establish Permanent Residence in His Presence.
God gives us brief touches and tastes of His Glory to prepare us for this abiding relationship. Until we have a foretaste, we will never develop a taste for it. Israel’s journey in the wilderness is an example. It was only after numerous critical events and experiences where they witnessed God’s supernatural interventions based solely on God’s Grace, not their faith or piousness, that they wanted more. It was then that God’s voice came from Mount Sinai: “Welcome home children, I am the LORD who brought you out and I want to have fellowship with you, a continual abiding relationship.” (My paraphrase).
Every crisis experience and every encounter has been bringing us to the place where we can have that ABIDING Relationship and Fellowship with God! Think back to the Levitical System. The only way out of your sin was to take one of our own animals and bring it to the priest. We would then place our hands on the animal’s head and confess our sins before the priest. We would then watch him slit the jugular vein on the animal so that the life could spurt out before our eyes and flow into a basin to be sprinkled upon us and poured on the altar. We would watch the death that was rightfully ours and that life that belonged to that animal was sprinkled on us. It was traumatic and an incredibly visual illustration!
This was not as easy as praying some token prayer, writing a check for a contribution, or joining the church. No, No! We were involved. What they did had to be done continuously until Jesus came. Now, we have a continuous experience in Jesus, and we need decisive experiences and brief flashes of heaven to inspire us. Until we have seen and tasted it, we will not seek it or Him!
God does not want us to live in memories of past experiences. He does not want us to have done something in our lives in the past. He wants to be doing something right now! I must ask, “Can we afford to be satisfied and content with ascending from time to time and then reverting back to like we were before we experienced His presence?” David’s contention was, NO! His desire and mine are to go beyond occasionally ascending into His Presence to abiding there. My cry is, “LORD, I want to ABIDE in Your tabernacle and presence.”
God bless you as you enjoy this day and press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God!
Have a Great Day!