Tuesday, January 31, 2017
THE LORD IS THERE
I am close to my parents. My parents have always tried to be there for me. Through my childhood and teenage years they were an immediate presence, then there came college.
I will never forget my first day at college. I was driven down, settled and they drove away. I had a strong 50/50 mix of emotions. Half of me screamed, "Don't leave me alone! Stay on campus somewhere!" The other half of me had the adventurous spirit and was ready to sing, "A whole new world...." (from Aladdin). I can only imagine, after the Disciples spent quality time with the Messiah for three years that their hearts and minds were torn at the news of His departure.
Think about who and what they saw. They saw the perfect representation of Father God in Jesus. They witnessed His healings, His teachings, His Holy anger, His compassion, His power over demons, His authority over nature, and His command over death. Then Jesus laid down His life and left His followers in death, but not without warning them a few times. He returned to His Disciples three days later by His Resurrection just as He prophesied. Then He had to leave again, so that The Comforter or Holy Spirit would indwell the believer's heart and mind. A lot of pulling on the heart-strings here. I'm here. I'm gone. I'm here. I'm gone, but I'm sending you my Spirit.
Everything had it's purpose, but the Disciples were blind to the workings of God's Plan through Christ until after The Resurrection on the road to Emmaus. We know in retrospect the meaning behind the events of those days. However, I imagine that time-frame of explanation of the past prophecies, revelation of their fulfillment and anticipation of the promised Holy Spirit must have been an exciting but anxious time in the lives of the Disciples. There was a shift occurring in how God manifested His Seat of Governing. His Throne was now becoming our hearts.
Before Christ, in the Old Testament, there were tents, tabernacles and temples from which God governed. However, His caring presence was displayed throughout history in people's lives, showing the personal and intimate God.
One example of His personal, caring, abiding presence is the Fiery Furnace event. For the full account, read Daniel chapter 3. For the main point, I call upon Joseph Prince -
"Notice how He [the fourth man in the fire] didn't stand outside of the fire, but was in the fire together with the three friends. This brings a whole new meaning for us when we read the verse, 'Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.' (Deut. 31:6) Our Lord doesn't deliver you from afar; He is with you in the midst of your adversity. Call upon Him and He will answer you."
In college, I could phone Mom and Dad, but if I needed their physical aide it would take a few hours for them to reach me. Unlike this scenario or anything trying to separate me from my God (Romans 8:38-39), God is my forever abiding intercessor and consoler. In other words, He is my advocate and comforter. The word in the original language is Parakletos (par-ak-lay-tos) (John 14:16). Scripture says, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) He is always available. He is also there just to speak to as Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
Like Pastor Prince encouraged us, He goes with us wherever we go. He is immediately accessible and incredibly personal. The Holy Spirit's joy is to have us commune with Him as much as possible so He can reveal more of Jesus and therefore more of Father God. Like His future Millennial city is called (Eze. 48:35), so our hearts are now - The Lord Is There.