A day in your courts is better than a thousand (Psalm 84:10)
There is nothing which will take the place of the presence of God in our lives. In the time of the psalms, God’s manifested presence was in His house. The ark of the covenant – in the Holy of Holies – was the place of His presence.
Today is different. God’s presence is within the hearts of believers. Now don’t get me wrong; God is everywhere. But we are talking about His manifested presence – the presence which we are aware of. The presence which gives us those ah-ha moments – sometimes correcting us and sometimes showering us with His love.
What isn’t different, however, is that His manifested presence is still the greatest experience we can have. There have been times when I would be having some “down” opportunities, and God’s presence would “show up.” Suddenly, I would go from near depression to the mountaintop with lightening speed. His presence, when encountered, is like a touch of heaven – where there is nothing negative at all. Complete peace. Complete joy. Amazing!
Today we have that opportunity to spend time with our Lord and experience Him in new ways. If you have never experienced what I am talking about, I want you to ask Him for it. Ask the Lord to speak to your heart and show you His thoughts. Ask Him to let you experience His closeness. He will do it for you, as He has for me.
Today as you read His Word, listen for His voice behind the words. He desires a close walk with you.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out. (V. 33)
As we move through these epistles (letters) of Paul, if we scan them too quickly, we could seem to be bogging down in theology. However, I would like to encourage you to slow down and reread any passages which are confusing. These letters give us insight which we can’t find anywhere else. There are hints and clues in the Old Testament and the four gospels, but understanding only comes through the letters.
Why is that? The new birth, with Holy Spirit actually living within the hearts of man, was a mystery only to be revealed after the fact. Before we received the new birth, we couldn’t understand it or embrace it.
Paul was the apostle chosen by God to understand and explain to the rest of us just what we are experiencing and how we are to walk in it. If we can allow ourselves to truly tap into this new revelation, we will be living extraordinary lives with our Lord. If we don’t, we will never rise above the Old Testament concepts of our God.
In the Old Testament, God established a covenant with the descendants of Abraham. This was a natural covenant, in that these natural men were to follow the plans of God and walk according to His ordinances. In that manner, they were to keep their part of the covenant, and they were to be blessed by God – in great provision and protection.
Always they were looking for a Messiah which would one day come and be their King. They thought that this King would establish a more perfect Israel. Yet that is not what God meant.
The Messiah was Jesus, and He did indeed come as expected. However, instead of coming with obvious power, He came as a carpenter, with an insignificant birth, and grew up among the Jews as a regular boy. Obviously, the shepherds in the field who heard the angels announce His birth and the wisemen from Egypt who saw the star in the east knew that something extraordinary was happening. Yet years passed and Jesus seemed to be just another boy, although He was indeed wise.
As an adult, Jesus demonstrated God’s plan, but still people found it hard to understand. He was actually showing what a person, filled with God’s Spirit was capable of. Every healing, every word, every miracle was a demonstration of a gift of the Spirit which would come to the Christians once they were transformed. (Just remember that He had all of the gifts and all of the knowledge. No one human since has had it all; each has had a part).
Only born-again believers, with the Spirit of God living on the inside could truly understand what God’s plan was all about. It surpassed the human mind. Indeed today, those who just want their minds to grasp God’s plan can never understand it. It’s super-human and exceeds the realm of the intellect.
Paul was a chosen vessel God used to receive the revelation and to give it to us through his letters. The message is not only for the Jews, but for the gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. When we are born again, we literally become new people, with God’s Spirit residing within us. As we continue in His plan for our lives, we see more and more of the depths of his plan. He reveals these things to us by His Spirit.
Today let’s meditate on these things and ask God to show us more. We want to receive all the revelation He has for us. It’s all in the Word, but we have to have it revealed to us to really “get it.” My prayer for you and for me is that we truly receive all that He has for us.
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