God is everywhere. And I am not always aware of it. As his family we know it however often we are like an unobservant traveler to his actual presence. He is here? I did not perceive it.
It’s like the time with my girlfriends we took a trip to Florida and drove down to a resort for the day in the Keys. There were all these iguanas. Iguanas everywhere. Now how many exactly I’m not sure but they outnumbered the guests by far. They had no fear of humans and enjoyed free run of the beach front. The bolder ones would scuttle after you thinking you were a friendly source of fruit or a giver of some treat. This boldness is and was alarming to me. My “friends” got a kick out of my reactions and so in good nature had me pose for a pic when this bold iguana behind me began his approach. Jen startled me with a last min warning. I turned just in time to see this wild maverick iguana requesting a flyby—far closer to my bare sunburnt feet than I would like. I shot off with a fright and they burst into laughter. ICE BREAKER: Do you have an animal encounter that gave you a fright or seized you with alarm?
So yes I’ll say it again God is everywhere, but are we aware of Him?
PSALM 139 8-10 If I ascend to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. 9 IF I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle by the farthest sea 10 even there Your hand will guide me; Your right hand will hold me fast.
Sometimes we enter prayer with just a faint hue of the nearness of God. A simple awareness that HE exists and ‘in him he holds all things together.’ (Col 1:17) And then something shifts. The laissez faire approach to God is forgotten altogether. An awareness calls us to attention even an alarm of the realness of God awakens our focus and understanding. It is as if we see God clearly and all before was through a thick glass. The obstacles are removed. The barriers to communication and understanding are gone. The removal of the veil spoken of in 2 Cor 4:3 is real to us and we see the sudden nearness of God. And more than nearness we see him with awe and holiness. This can happen to you.
It happened to Peter. In Luke 9 Peter declares Jesus the Christ. He is in the ballpark of who Christ is. He is with Jesus the physical body of Christ day in day out near him and he is starting to understand who Jesus is. And then 8 days later he experiences the glory of who Christ is. The truth of Jesus, the son of God comes close.
I invite you to spend sometime with the text.
Luke 9:28-36 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
Pray to become fully awake, to see Jesus up close. When the manifest Presence of God is near we are seized with the reality of God. We understand it’s good for us to perceive Jesus rightly. And each time God’s Presence is manifest we realign with who Jesus is and the affirming glory that is his alone. We humbly don’t touch his glory. We have fresh conviction to listen to him.
Pray for HIS PRESENCE. And when the promised Holy Spirit comes, he reveals Jesus the Savior. What are we saved from? We are saved from our sin. (Matthew 1:21) We are saved from our own self-destructive habits and nature. We are saved from our constant doubts about the realness of God. Pray Psalm 119:133, ‘keep steady my steps according to your promise and let no iniquity get dominion over me.’ We have fresh resolve to obey and yield to God. Our faith has an object and it is Christ. Our faith is renewed. It is renewed because lack of faith is dealt with in his manifest Presence. Doubt is dealt a death blow. Romans 14:23, ‘and everything that does not come from faith is sin.’ When Jesus divine nature is tangible faith is working to make his people holy and faithful. Drugs are forgotten. Sexual sin is no longer appealing. It’s similar to my taste buds after Covid. I recovered but I was changed. I no longer enjoy wine like I used too. It doesn’t smell the same. It actually smells gross to me. Our encounter with God’s Presence will change our appetite. Priorities are in right order afterward.
We are like Jacob aware that this is none other than the house of God, the gate of heaven. (Gen 28:17) As we recognize who Jesus really is we will like Nathaniel see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)
I want the reality of God’s Presence. I want to live fully awake to Jesus the only gate by which we can enter into God’s Presence. He is the way.
As I was working on this a good friend sent me a text. It seems fitting to include it.
I felt like the Lord was saying that His ultimate desire for our young adults and teens. . . Is as follows. . .
‘That they would know God deeply and love him deeply.’
I started making excuses and got the word “society” (how society has so influenced and is trying to mold our kids away from God) out before he spoke and said, “Choice…. it comes down to choice. A purposeful movement towards God. A very purposeful movement towards God, their God and their Creator. God loves them so much. A CHOICE. . Free will. . . A choice to believe. . . A choice to believe that God loves them so much.”
Choice, is a simple act of selecting or making a decision for God when faced with other possibilities. Choose wisely. Choose Christ.