Go Higher in The Presence

“Friend, go up higher.”—Luke 14:10.

HEN first the life of grace begins in the soul, we do indeed draw near to God, but it is with great fear and trembling. The soul conscious of guilt, and humbled thereby, is overawed with the solemnity of its position; it is cast to the earth by a sense of the grandeur of Jehovah, in whose presence it stands. With unfeigned bashfulness it takes the lowest room.
But, in after life, as the Christian grows in grace, although he will never forget the solemnity of his position, and will never lose that holy awe which must encompass a gracious man when he is in the presence of the God who can create or can destroy; yet his fear has all its terror taken out of it; it becomes a holy reverence, and no more an overshadowing dread. He is called up higher, to greater access to God in Christ Jesus.

Then the man of God, walking amid the splendors of Deity, and veiling his face like the glorious cherubim, with those twin wings, the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, will, reverent and bowed in spirit, approach the throne; and seeing there a God of love, of goodness, and of mercy, he will realize rather the covenant character of God than His absolute Deity. He will see in God rather His goodness than His greatness, and more of His love than of His majesty.

Then will the soul, bowing still as humbly as aforetime, enjoy a more sacred liberty of intercession; for while prostrate before the glory of the Infinite God, it will be sustained by the refreshing consciousness of being in the presence of boundless mercy and infinite love, and by the realization of acceptance “in the Beloved.”

Thus the believer is bidden to come up higher, and is enabled to exercise the privilege of rejoicing in God, and drawing near to Him in holy confidence, saying, “Abba, Father.”

“So may we go from strength to strength,
And daily grow in grace,
Till in Thine image raised at length,
We see Thee face to face.”  C. H. SpurgeonMerry Christmas.

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Morning Meditation by C. H. Spurgeon

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” Exodus 14:13

These words contain God’s commend to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in his love and faithfulness.  Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the world’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time. Precipitancy cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once-we must do it so we think-instead of looking for the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.” Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand still;” –keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

Amen.

He is Already There

In the midst of your day, in every meeting, appointment, activity, or event, Christ is already there.  He is Risen.  The master’s hand is already at work.  He has gone ahead to make the way smooth.  His power, love, and glory is already in the room.  And you will see Him there.

He is already there.  No need to worry, fear, fret or be concerned about what to say or do; he is already there.  Eugene Peterson once said, “We are always coming in on something that is already going on. Sometimes we clarify a word or feeling, sometimes we identify an overlooked relationship, sometimes we help recover an essential piece of memory – but always we are dealing with what the risen Christ has already set in motion, already brought into being.”

He is already there.  Take comfort in knowing Christ is already there.  Matthew 28:5-7 (MSG)

God is our refuge

“God is our refuge and our strength (Psalm 46:1-3)…a very present help in the time of need.”

 Yesterday, I attended a women’s conference where speaker after speaker gave powerful testimony of the truth of this familiar passage.  A damaged heart healed, tumors miraculously gone, shattered lives mended.  Stories of enormous physical and emotional suffering, and lost, and how God truly became their refuge and their strength.  This was not fantasy.   These women had a personal encounter with the living God, and their stories became ours.

God is our refuge and our strength.  God’s power provides strength.  His presence gives grace.   We can face our todays and tomorrows, because we are sheltered from and within.  Sheltered in God’s arms, we have confidence, and faith in Him who will not leave us.  There is unwavering belief in a God that cannot lie.  He said He will be with us until the end.  We have a blessed assurance in a God that can accomplish what man cannot.  Knowing and believing in who God is changes us.  Our lives become a beacon; a shining lighthouse for those washed up by life’s stormy seas.  And just like these women, we reflect the beauty and glory of God; a God who will never leave us, nor forsake us, even during the worst times of our lives.

As the conference ended, there was renewed hope and strength.  We can tell their stories, and ours of how God rebuilds, restores, and became for each of us our refuge and our strength.