18th May 2011

God’s Presence

“I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too—
Your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—I can’t take it all in!”
Psalm 139:2-6 (MSG)

In Psalm 139 David describes his constant sense of God’s presence.  The Message translation puts it as above.  We too need to have a constant sense of God’s presence, and Jesus gives us several illustrations that remind us of the close relationship He wants to have with us.

The most well known is of sheep with the shepherd.  The Good Shepherd never leaves his sheep.  Psalm 23:4 (all further scriptures—NLT) tells us, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”  As a well-known hymn says, “He who watches over Israel never slumbers never sleeps.”

Another analogy is in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”  The branches are attached to the vine and constantly draw nutrition from the vine and because we are attached, we can produce the fruit God wants.

In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul uses the temple to depict the closeness of God.  God’s presence in the temple was continuous.  He was always there.  When we become Christians the Holy Spirit lives in us—God is in us—we are not alone.

The Biblical analogy of marriage is another illustration of God’s closeness with us.  We are the bride of Christ.  “God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.” (Isaiah 62:5).

God is always there and provides help and strength in all circumstances (Hebrews 13:5).  “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Prayer
Thank you, Father, for your Word which tells us you are always there for us and that you will never leave us nor forsake us.
Amen

Study by Jill Newman

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