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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Desiring More Of God’s Presence

Psalms 24 : 3 – 5, Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. NKJV

The purpose of today’s word is to call your attention to the privilege of having the presence of God in and on our lives. Paul tells us in Acts 17 that in Christ, we live, and move, and have our being. There are many great and wonderful blessings that God bestows upon us daily, which enable us to live and to prosper. Nevertheless, there is no greater blessing in our lives than being able to experience the very presence of God.

As I was thinking about the subject of God’s presence, a thought came to me in prayer. Which is worse, being born under the time of the law and not being allowed to enter into the holiest of Holies as a worshiper, or being born under the time of grace, where we have full access to God’s presence, but have no desire to enter? All believers have been granted a valuable treasure. We have the ability to come into the presence of God, who created us and has redeemed us from the curse of the law of sin and death.

Now that we see the favor and love of God… that He would grant us passage into His holy presence to commune with Him, what kind of life should we live? There’s one thing about entering into the presence of a holy and all-knowing God. If our conscience hasn’t been purged through the blood of Jesus, then guilt will manifest in the Lord’s presence. Therefore, we must choose to honor the gift of God’s presence in such a way that we conduct ourselves the same way in the world that we would while in the secret place of God.

The psalmist wrote that only those who have clean hands and a pure heart can ascend the holy hill of God, and then be able to stand in His holy presence. Through our faith in the work of Christ on the cross, we are made righteous in God’s sight. Because of our faith in Christ, God has granted us the grace to enter into the holiest of Holies (His presence). Although we are counted righteous in God’s sight through our faith in Christ, we must also choose to live righteously, so that we can have the boldness to approach God’s throne in prayer or worship.

The Lord is drawing His people back to Himself. What does that mean? He’s calling us (His children) back to living a life that is dedicated and consecrated to the principles of Christ. Consecration simply means that we are devoted to living for the sole purpose of pleasing God both in His holy place and in the world.

As we commit ourselves to living holy before the Lord, His presence will go with us into the world. Instead of ascending the holy hill of God, we will become carriers of God’s holy presence, just as Jesus did while He walked on earth. Jesus has commanded us to be salt and light to the world.

Even if you are currently living a devoted life to Christ, allow the Holy Spirit to use this message to challenge you to seek the Lord at a greater level in your pursuit of Christ. Remember, we are being changed from faith to faith, and from glory to glory. Just because we are passionate for Christ today doesn’t mean that God wants us to settle at that place, and grow stagnate. We must follow Him continually and passionately until we cross the finish line.

Seeking His Presence,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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