bAs we gathered together for fellowship this week the Lord brought this word for us:

“For all I have is yours. The question you ask me is, “Then why is it not manifest in my life?” My answer to you is, “Because so often you refuse to walk in humility before me.” The way is open for you to receive. You close the door. There is an open door between you and me. I am prepared to give you what you ask if you will walk the way I want you to walk.”

Time and time again we are reminded that humility is key to entering and dwelling in the Presence of our Heavenly Father. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us, but sometimes our wrong thoughts and choices cause us to lose the consciousness of His Presence.

The greatest agony of Jesus’ earthly life was on the Cross of Calvary, when He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The sinless Son of God, became the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. In that moment God turned His back on Him, as Jesus paid the ultimate price to redeem mankind. On Calvary, Jesus was forsaken by His Father, He lost His Presence for the first time in His life. That would have been a greater agony for Him than all the physical pain He endured for us. He endured the Cross for the joy that was set before Him – redeeming the world in resurrection power.

We need to remind ourselves that Jesus’ death was a substitutionary one; He died in my place. As He paid the ultimate price for the sin of mankind, God forsook Him as He bore our sin, so that we do not have to be forsaken by Him. Our birthright is to live in His Presence, glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Too often when our heart is murmuring and complaining, we endure life, but when we repent before the Lord, our heart condition changes and humility restores us to enjoying the Lord and His Presence again.

The hymn writer said: “Oh what needless pain we bear!” Indeed! Because we refuse to walk in humility. Life is only difficult when I am resisting God. Yielding to the Lord in a situation is yielding to God, before men. When a man is having to do with God in his life, others will benefit. They may not understand, or indeed, never know the work the Holy Spirit is doing in our hearts as He brings His children to maturity, “bringing many sons to glory”> Humility to God restores the peace of His Presence to our lives. There is absolutely nothing on this planet that can compare with the joy the peace of God
brings to His obedient child.

The promise given to Moses in Exodus 33:14 stands for us today:”My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest.”

When Jesus bid us to “Come, learn of me, what was He talking about? He was teaching us how to live in His Father’s Presence. He came to do the Father’s will, He only ever spoke the words His Father gave Him, He only did the things that pleased His Father. He was a living demonstration of how to live in the Presence.

Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said,”Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and LEARN OF ME, FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART, and you shall find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The yoke of humility brings rest to a once troubled heart. If I have lost the peace of God in my life it is because I am resisting Him. The Lord wants us to abandon ourselves to Him and discover the joy of swimming in the mighty river of God, trusting Him with today and all our tomorrows. Am I swimming or am I just standing on tip-toes, head above the water, making all the arm movements, but feet still on the bottom, pretending to swim, too afraid to abandon to Him and trust?

I may be experiencing the biggest upheaval of my life, yet, in the midst of it all, I can be at perfect peace, living in God’s Presence, confident that He is in control of it all, trusting Him to work things through. Luke 8:22-25 records the account of Jesus and the disciples aboard a boat in a storm. The disciples were fearful and afraid, but Jesus was sleeping in spite of the storm. He arose and calmed the storm. When we find our selves in the storms of life, His words still ring true, “Come unto me…..learn of me.” As we trust Him He will bring us through and calm the storm, but let us all learn to value the Presence as Jesus taught us.

Do I even recognise when I have lost His Presence? His peace is a hallmark of it. The peace of God has purpose in our lives. An absence of it indicates we have lost our way in thought or deed. It is our loving Heavenly Father’s way of teaching us His ways.

Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee.”

Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law and NOTHING shall offend them.”

John 14:27 Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, give I to you. LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED, neither let it be afraid.” My responsibility is to believe what God says and not what my heart says. God’s word is true, when my heart is unruly, out of order, it is full of feelings which are deceiving. Let God be true…..not my unruly heart. Humility believes what God says.

Jesus carried the Presence of our Heavenly Father, His heart at rest, and He is our Pattern Man. The Living Christ dwells within us, seeking to demonstrate His love and power through us to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ, and to a lost and needy world. Divine love takes no thought for itself, reaches beyond hurts, lets go of the past in forgiveness. Do I want the past to be my present identity? Or do I choose to be lost in the identity of Christ, allowing Him to flow out through me? He promised living waters to flow out from us. Let us lose ourselves and all our wrong identity in that flow and be a vessel of healing love as His nature lives through us, enjoying His Presence and rest.

Let us learn to value the Father’s Presence as Jesus did.