IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: THE SWEET PRESENCE OF GOD AND IT’S ACCOMPANYING LIBERTY
SERMON BY: Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
The presence of Christ in our life is a sweet smelling fragrance to God and the world.
The presence of God is awesome, comforting
and sweet to those who knows Him and are right with
God made us originally to dwell in His presence. He created Adam and Eve, and placed them in the Garden of Eden, where they would walk every day in the very presence of God. That is what He made them — and all of their descendants — for. We were made to be in God’s presence and to experience His glory. We were actually made to “feed” in a sense, off of the glory of God. C.S. Lewis has famously said
God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.”
God created us to be in His presence; to “feed” off of His glory and be satisfied with Him. The problem is, like the person who tries to put the wrong fuel in their vehicle, we’ve tried to run our lives on something other than God.
That’s why Jesus came. He knew we would never be right again, unless we could come back to the Presence of God and be satisfied with His glory. So Jesus came to earth, and died on the cross, and paid for our sins, so that we could have the opportunity to repent (turn back) from our sins, and be forgiven, and come BACK to God. But we need to make sure we understand that it is GOD whom He has brought us back to — not just “heaven;” not just “streets of gold;” Jesus gave us access back to GOD HIMSELF — to the Presence and glory of God that we were originally created to be happy in forever. We were created, and then saved, to worship God forever.
He promised to always be with us — and His presence wherever we are, makes all the difference. The worst “hell on earth” in which we can find ourselves, will be a heaven, if the Presence of the Lord is there.
Let us never forget: it is GOD’S PRESENCE that makes heaven, heaven.
We will be in the very presence of God. And we will never want to be anywhere else; we will never want to do anything else. We will never want to leave. And thank God, because of Jesus, we will never have to!
I CAN’T GO WITHOUT YOUR PRESENCE
“The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.”
It seem very evident from the Scriptures that the Lord ordained every step in the life of Moses. The Lord directed everything he did, and he was very conscious of that reality. From the time God called Moses at the burning bush when he was eighty years of age till, he died on Mount Nebo at age one hundred twenty, he walked under divine guidance. He had a very deep and intense relationship with God.
Despite this close relationship, yet Moses wanted to know more about the ways of God. In one occasion of intercession, Moses pleads with God, “If it is true that you look favourably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favour. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
In response to the pleading of Moses the Lord told him; “I will personally (My presence) go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”
The Lord promises Moses that His presence will go with Him throughout the journey to the Promised Land. This posture of God presents a remarkable lesson for the people of God today. That God will always be faithful to His promises. He will always go before us and His presence will never depart from us.
The presence of the Lord was the most valuable thing to Moses. The possession of the Land was secondary to the presence of the Lord. Israel may not have understood that fact. It is very much like many of our believers today.
It is exceedingly difficult for many to see the deeper things of God; we live only on the surface. The Psalmist provides a deeper insight when he said, “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.”
The presence of the Lord is indicative of the favour of God on Moses and the nation of Israel. Nevertheless, it also distinguishes the people of God from all other nations. What makes the believers unique and distinguishable? It is the presence of God. Moses knew this fact and was determined to implement it in his life. “I am not going without you Lord.”
THERE IS LIBERTY!
“Now, the lord is that spirit: and where the spirit of the lord is, there is liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:17.
The Spirit of the Lord is God’s Presence. God and bondage do not dwell together. Wherever God is present, freedom from all forms of oppression must be experienced. We find complete and total liberty in God’s presence
The Presence of God carries the light of God and that light terminates the darkness of life.
It is apparent from scriptures that a major secret of breaking bondages is the Presence of God. Captivity and chains cannot survive the Presence of God.
When a man is in God’s Presence, certain afflictions will disappear even without his notice because the Presence of God is a liberating Presence
(2 Corinthians 3:17).
Every single aspect of human suffering and grief in life can be traced back to sin, and to the lord of death who is the devil (Heb. 2:14.) The Spirit of the Lord in the believer brings total and complete freedom from every bondage resulting from sin and satanic oppression.
For many citizens, liberty is as cherished as life itself, prompting the American revolutionary Patrick Henry to declare, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” The apostle Paul said, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NKJV). He was likely drawing a connection to Jesus Christ’s words at the start of His ministry when He opened the scroll of Isaiah and read this:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD”
(Luke 4:18–19, NKJV; cf. Isaiah 61:1–2).
The Greek word translated “liberty” in 2 Corinthians 3:17 means “personal freedom from servitude, confinement, or oppression.” Jesus came to set us free spiritually. To the children of God, Christ says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). When a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the Spirit of the Lord takes up residence in that individual (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Believers are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13–14) and made alive by the Spirit of the Living God (2 Corinthians 3:3, 6).
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty because those who are in Christ—those born of God’s Spirit (John 3:5–6)—are freed from the law of sin and death (Galatians 4:3–7). Paul told the Romans, “And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death” (Romans 8:2, NLT; see also Romans 7:4–5). “We have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit” (Romans 7:6, NLT).
Liberty and freedom are words Paul often used to sum up the experience of salvation in Christ. He said Christians no longer live in bondage as slaves to sin: “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NLT). Paul warned believers not to fall back into slavery to the law: “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law” (Galatians 5:1, NLT).
In Jesus Christ, believers are set free from the guilt, influence, and punishment of sin (Romans 8:1–6). Jesus is “the truth” (John 14:6), and He told His hearers who believed in Him, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32, NLT).
The biblical concept of liberty is quite different from the world’s idea of freedom. Christian liberty is not the worldly freedom to do whatever we want. Such freedom inevitably leads to another kind of slavery—that of serving our own passions and lusts (see 2 Peter 2:19). But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is the liberty to deny the flesh and our own selfish desires for the purpose of obeying God, pleasing Him, and bringing glory to His name (Romans 6:16–18; 1 Corinthians 7:22–23).
The ultimate liberty is freedom from death through the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ (John 17:2–3; 1 John 5:11–12). Believers can live free from the fear of death and the sting of death because our Lord Jesus Christ gives us victory over these foes (1 Corinthians 15:53–57).
Before we received the Spirit of the Lord, our lives were characterized by servitude to sin, the law, and death. Now that we are alive in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, we have a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4). We are set free to serve God in the fullest sense of liberation. One game-changing, life-transforming aspect of our spiritual freedom is knowing that this present world is not our real home (Hebrews 11:13; 13:14; Philippians 3:20; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 John 2:15–17). There is liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is because, as God’s children, we live with the future expectation of glory. We have God’s promise of freedom from death and decay in our eternal heavenly home (Romans 8:21).
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