Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- June 24, 2012
“There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.” Psalm 14:5
God is present in your predicament. You do not have to pray, “God be with us.” He is there already. He is there because He cares. He is there because you are extremely valuable to Him. God’s cherishes His children. He loves to give His own good gifts (Matthew 7:11). His presence alone is a present. He is present to give wisdom. He is present to give you direction. He is present to give you courage. In His presence there is peace. Yet we sometimes act as if our God is distant and disconnected from our discouragement. We would never say there is no God; that would be foolish. But our unbelieving behavior makes us look like atheists. We fret and we fear when our faith comes under fire. We are fragile. However, God is near; we have no need to fear. He is ever present.
God’s presence is there to give us calm and conviction. His peace is what propels us forward by faith. Do not give up on doing the right thing. Sinful compromise for short- term satisfaction never ends well. Why put your family at risk by running after forbidden fruit? God has not left you. He does not wink at wicked deeds. He is right by your side to see you through this sinful temptation. Indeed, the fear of God is the fruit of His presence. When we walk with Jesus we want to obey Him. The bed of adultery is repulsive when accompanied by the Almighty. He is present, so don’t go there. Being in the presence of holiness causes us to blush in the face of sin. His presence is a protection against foolish decisions. Just knowing the Lord is watching is a wake-up call to wisdom.
His presence is made manifest in a company of Christ followers. It is in community that the Body of Christ is in full form. Sin pushes us to seclusion. It is an illusion to think we can isolate ourselves from Almighty God. But in authentic community there is nowhere to hide. It is in the presence of committed Christ followers that we feed our faith. Do not fight temptation alone. Tell someone. Re-engage with the righteous. Early repentance rests in community, but is deferred outside the caring confrontation from those who care. Community goes after its own. It does more than pray. It pursues. The presence of the righteous is God personified. This keeps us accountable. This keeps us pure. This keeps our perspective in reality. This keeps us encouraged.
Therefore, by staying in the presence of God-fearing followers, we stay engaged with God. This time of engagement with others facilitates our alone time with our heavenly Father. Stay hard after your heavenly Father in solitude and prayer. His presence is inviting you into intimacy. Design your life around a daily retreat into His presence. Look into His face and feel His love. Listen to His voice and follow His instruction. Be broken by His holiness. Be mended by His grace. Be rebuked by His righteousness. Be encouraged by His wisdom. In His presence we are made whole. In His presence He provides. He provides just what we need in the moment. His presence is in real time. Therefore, persevere in prayer without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). Be present in His presence.
Taken from Reading #10 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE
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