And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17 (NIV)
This month, we will be focusing on the topic “God in and Among Us.” We have chosen this topic because we believe that once we fully understand that God is present with us—continually, without interruption, 7X24—we will live more dependent upon Him and “to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:14). Last week we opened this series with the Pentecost event (Acts 2) and the arrival of the promised Holy Spirit. This week we will begin to examine how His presence impacts the life of believers and the Church.
For three and one-half years, Christ built a spiritual community with His disciples. It was one of great love and intimacy. As Jesus’ ministry expanded, the disciples grew in faith and confidence as they experienced the presence of the Pearl of Great Price (Matt. 13:46) who had the words of eternal life (John 6:68). In anticipation of His departure, Jesus promised the disciples “another Comforter” (allon parakletos)—another of the same kind to aid (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit would represent God to the disciples as Jesus did in his incarnate state. The Holy Spirit would direct the disciple’s decisions, counsel them continually, and remain with them forever. Jesus knew the heart of His disciples and the importance of His presence in their life. That same Comforter now dwells within each believer in Christ (Eph. 1:13).
“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and
the Church is famishing for want of His Presence.”
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Jesus knew that even in 2017, His Church and believers would need the loving reassurance of His presence. With the uncertainty of the world we live in, it is comforting to know that we are never outside the watchful eye of God IN ADDITION to being indwelt by the very presence of Jesus, who is the Holy Spirit living within us. God never changes and His promises are still true—“He will never leave or forsake us” (Gen. 28:15). It is critical that we grasp the enormity of God’s presence with us. We are never out of God’s watchful eye or reach. Now that’s “blessed assurance.”
SELAH: Find a quiet place and using your favorite Bible translation read Psalm 139:7-10. Write down any words or phrases that catch your attention. Then read this passage a second time from The Message paraphrase below. This time write down the emotions you feel as you read this text. (Click here if you need help in recognizing different emotions) Lastly, ask the Holy Spirit to share what He wants you to now know, do, or believe as a result of this reading.
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
To the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
You’re already there waiting!