The Joy of His presence
Key Verses Isaiah 62:4-5 “For the Lord delights in you…. And your God will rejoice over you.”
Growing up, I felt God was always waiting for me to mess up so He could smite me. Unfortunately, most disciples of Christ are never really discipled and go through life feeling the same way. Further, we tend to blame God for the emotional pain we constantly battle and never let Him heal us.
God is Not The Cop In The Sky Waiting For Our Failure!
Then, there seems to be many Christians who focus solely on the loving Father, Glad God, or the Good Father to the point that they think that whatever they do is alright and do not have to be held accountable. There is no fear of God as a righteous judge, so they live as if there is no accountability anymore. They say, “It’s under the blood.”
God is Still The Righteous Judge!
Nevertheless, while both are extremes, the truth is that God is a joyful, loving father yet is still a righteous judge. Therefore, if we sin, we have an advocate, Jesus, who has paid the price whereby we can enter the holy places and come to sit in God’s presence and experience complete joy.
But, if we continue to live a life of disobedience, sin, and rebellion, He will eventually turn us over to the enemy. In Romans chapters one and two, we see that is what God did early on. This passage also refers back to Psalm 82 and Deuteronomy 32. Then there is the man in the church at Corinth sleeping with his mother-in-law. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-11, Paul tells the church that if he doesn’t stop sinning, he will turn him over to Satan.
That may sound harsh, but that is what God’s wrath is about. This is why many have difficulty understanding events in the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation. We tend to gravitate toward God being bad or so gracious that He is no longer like the Old Testament God since Jesus has come. Yet, God has not changed. In fact, He expects more of us because we have the Holy Spirit in us and should live victorious every day.
The Greatness of the Father Should
Cause Us To Want To Obey
Psalm 16:11 “In your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand, are pleasures evermore.”
Knowing that the Father loves us and rejoice in us is reason enough to want to always please him. Desiring fellowship with Him and the Son should be our first priority. When we mess up, sin, disobey, or blow it, we need to repent, place it on the cross and forget about it because He does.
He is for us and eagerly waits for our return into His presence with open arms. Most of us struggle with this aspect because we view God the same way we do our earthly fathers or parents. Often we do things deliberately to hurt our parents because they hurt us.
Sometimes we rebel against God because of wounds and hurts others have caused, and we ultimately blame Him. Yet, even while we are away living in rebellion, He is still like the father in the prodigal son story (Luke 15:11-32).
His Presence: Abiding Joy
Zeph. 3:17 “He will rejoice over you with gladness”… “He will rejoice over you with singing.” ESV
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ESV
In Deuteronomy 28:47, we read that if the Children of Israel continued in idolatrous ways that they would be sent into exile and away from the presence of God. Why? Because they did not serve God with Joy and a glad heart for the abundance of God’s goodness.
The only place anyone can find pleasure and joy is His presence. Sin separates us. The blood of Jesus allows us to be forgiven and stay in His presence. Why would you want to do anything that would jeopardize being in His presence and maintaining that joy? When we do mess up, we often act like He’s mad, so we seem to take forever to repent and ask for forgiveness.
The answer to all this is to have a healthy view of God as our Father and judge. We need to quit living in the extremes and live in His presence. Some churches have adopted the phrase “A Presence Centered Church” as their motto.
They each offer their understanding of that phrase as a body, none of which is wrong. However, presence centered should be every Christian’s lifestyle, and no one should have to publicize that through media. It should be like the days of old when people heard that God’s presence was in a church. They showed up to see what was going on.
We must be carriers of His presence, including joy, goodness, and mercy. As we go about our lives, we should remember that He is singing over us and delighting in us. He is interested in everything that we do.
Let’s live in the balance that God is rejoicing over us and when we are disobedient, then be quick to repent and enter His joyous presence. We cannot enjoy Him and truly worship Him otherwise. So let’s approach Him with reverence, knowing He is waiting for us.
Psalm 32:11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!