Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7
How difficult it is for a child to be quiet and sit quietly. My cousin came for a visit when she was seven years old. When her father came to pick her up, he asked if she talked too much, commenting, “If she talked half as much as she does at home, she talked too much.”
Somehow, we do not like silence. We are uncomfortable with silence. If we are silent - uncomfortable thoughts may intrude. Thoughts such as reality, making decisions, ignoring punctuation marks like commas and periods signifying the end of a thought. A writer is cautioned about ‘run-on’ sentences, and an incessant talker is in love with verbalized ‘run-on’ thoughts.
When I was a child, the lyric to a hymn caught me by surprise. Maybe you have sung, them, too. And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, None has ever known. (In the Garden – Merle Haggard) I knew no one has seen God, but how can God walk and talk with us? We must choose to be in His Presence.
Ask Adam and Eve who hid from God as He walked in the Garden. Ask Moses as he prepared to lead the Children of Israel out Egypt and God promised - The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” – Exodus 33:14. Ask Daniel as he told the King the morning after spending the night in the Lions’ Den - My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” Daniel 6:22. Ask Abraham, when tested, took his only son Isaac to the top of the mountain to sacrifice him. As Abraham raised the knife he heard, But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:11-12
There are others besides you and me – who want to be In His Presence. Why? How?
In the Psalms we find….You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:11.
That is part of why – the joy and pleasure of living, walking and talking with God forever.
Think about those angels who are continually in God’s presence - Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was He who sent me to bring you this good news! Luke 1:19. Zechariah, a Jewish Priest, is told, as an old man, that he will have a son – John. Gabriel, from the Presence of God, gave Mary the news of the virgin birth of Jesus. Gabriel presented the first good news about the Son of God born in the flesh, because God’s love is for all of us who believe, trust and have faith in God alone.
Belonging to Him, we will produce fruit of the Holy Spirit. This is through the Christ Jesus dying on the cross and being raised to walk anew. Our identity, as a Citizen of Heaven, begins in that moment. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Imagine producing this fruit of the Spirit, as given in Galatians 5:22-23! But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
When I was sixteen, as a part of our youth group activities at church, we were to name the qualities we would like in our future mate. I remember that none of these fruit were on my list. Simply outward appearances appeared. When it was time to make a decision for my mate, I recognized other qualities than the appearance. My choice was a man who lived goodness, kindness and gentleness. Even as Samuel, the Prophet of God, chose the next King of Israel. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
When you hear a praise song or a hymn, let the words penetrate your heart. When you pray, know his presence. When you thank Him during the day for food, for breath, for loving you, know that He hears you. When you enjoy God’s bounty and goodness during the day, God smiles. When you see the wind rustling through the trees and ripple through the flowers, listen for his voice. Just as we do not see the wind, we know its presence on our faces. Just as we do not see God, we know the difference He makes in our hearts and lives.
In His Presence, we truly come alive and know that God is Love. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. God is with us. God is near us. God is the One God. God is the Light. God is Spirit. God is true. God is the Eternal King. God is faithful and steadfast. God is the Great I Am.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-25