Scripture: “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7
This morning, as I read my morning devotional, I wondered and contemplated God’s presence in my life and my own presence and influence in the lives around me.
I am changing jobs and we just officially notified the rest of my team yesterday of my resignation in a wonderfully complimentary email from my supervisor. And I’ll get to attend a celebration dinner next week where six of us will be recognized for work “above and beyond” on a recent project. And many coworkers have reached out to me personally with thanks and well wishes. Each one of these is special and valuable to me because of the relationship that it represents. We have been in each other’s presence daily, serving each other — and even loving each other and building community together.
God goes with me everywhere that I travel. He has been with me at this job, and He will be with me at the next. I am not always aware of His presence and His influence, because many times I get “busy”, many times I get “distracted”, many times I get “tempted”, and many times I honestly just get “complacent”.
And I can get this way about the people around me as well. Sometimes I can “isolate”, instead of “going out and making disciples of the nations”. Sometimes I can get tired of doing heavy lifting and complain that I need help, rather than “bearing my cross daily for the glory of God”. Sometimes I can grumble about what others are or aren’t doing or what things need to change, rather than “being the example and leading the way”.
Honestly, it is only by the power of Christ in me that I don’t consistently get this wrong and make a complete wreck of things. And the goal isn’t just to say, “Yes, I see that I’ve fallen short in this way — thank you Jesus for forgiveness.” Undoubtedly, that is the most important thing to believe and receive when it comes to my own salvation.
But what about others?
What about those around me who need that same salvation?
What about others who are in need of hope and encouragement?
What about their seeing and knowing Good and loving Him and being blessed by His presence?
It doesn’t have to be some big, huge, religious display — listen to them, be there for them, lift the heavy work gratefully to show them the way, encourage them that they can do even more than they see you doing now, reach out to those who you may have lost touch with that might be isolated, seek out those who are in need and could benefit from your presence in their lives. I’m saying these things to myself right now — but also to you my friends. We will have an impact today because of our presence — and our exit from the lives of others will also have an impact because of our presence.
There are two questions:
1) Will our presence be a blessing and our departure be a loss, or the opposite — and why is that?
2) Will our presence clearly demonstrate our faith and the presence of God’s Holy Spirit at work within us and cause others to give God glory, or the opposite — and why is that?
If our life is not generating the type of fruit that we would like it to, maybe we need to truly repent, truly surrender our lives to the Lord, truly trust Him, truly enter into His presence, and be healed, restored, and renewed. This isn’t some once upon a time thing, but is an ongoing, active relationship with the Almighty Living God, made possible by the Blood of the Lamb.
Do we need to enter into His presence today?
Yes we do.