Saturated with God’s Presence – Psalm 114; Phil. 2:12-13
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose”
God’s presence in a life is the key to deep spirituality. Perhaps no other factor contributes more to the ability to produce spiritual fruit and break new ground than God’s powerful presence in a life. A human life filled with the presence and power of God is one of God’s choicest gifts to his church and the world. Our personalities, words, and daily activities can become filled with God’s power and authority, though we may feel weak.
For us to be saturated with God’s powerful presence, Jesus must possess our being through the Spirit. This involves learning, through trial and error, to walk obediently in his ways. The authoritative life of Jesus within us must be given its rightful place. His presence through us proves the faithfulness of God before an unbelieving world and often skeptical church.
The opposite of being saturated with the presence of God as a Christian is living a Christian life in our own strength, relying on our natural abilities, skills and strengths. By nature we’re capable and strong, able to plan, to think and to accomplish. In contrast, God wants us serving from a place of voluntary weakness, where we don’t think or plan apart from him. We may be working hard, sacrificing and doing a great deal. And others may say we’re doing a great work, yet there is something lacking. There is little to no real spirituality. We’re spiritually barren.
Consider Jacob – Genesis 32:22-32
Jacob is a picture of the difference between operating from the natural life and operating in reliance on the Lord. Before the angel wrestled with him by the river Jabbok, Jacob was a schemer, manipulator and conniver. He was smart and confident in himself. As it is with many of us, Jacob’s desires were right (to do the will of God), but his means of attaining those desires were wrong. Human ingenuity and strength doesn’t accomplish the will of God. So God confronted Jacob, giving him a limp and turning him into another man, free from natural striving and strength, yielded to the power of God’s presence in and through him.
Learn from David – 1 Samuel 17:38-47
David was clothed with the supernatural presence of God. He approached the battle against Goliath with the arm of the Spirit. When Saul equipped him with his own weaponry, David simply refused to use them. He said, “I cannot go in these, because I am not used to them. So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:29),
David said to the Philistine, ‘you come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head” (1 Sam. 17:45).
The world, our self-dependent natures and the enemy make us less dependent on Jesus in our lives and ministries. Paul wrote of this problem in Galatians 3:3: “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” They began well in their life of faith by receiving the Spirit. But as time went on, they tried to build on the work of Spirit through their own effort. Believers are called to live in the power of the Spirit but often live in the power of the flesh and self-will. This is true in our spiritual lives as well as in the outworkings of ministry. It’s easy to become reliant on ministry skill and ability instead of on God’s presence.