Is God doing a new work in your life? Are you becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus with each passing day? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you? When was the last time you experienced the Lord? When did you last bask in His presence and simply worshiped Him with everything within you? Does His Word come alive as you read and meditate on it? Does your heart sing for joy as you think of Who He is and who you are in Christ? Have you shared the Gospel with someone lately?
We know God is the True and Living God! But do we live as if He is alive and active? You may know in your head how living for the Lord should look like but perhaps you struggle to live it out. If this sounds like you, I just want to encourage you and share with you that our Lord loves you and desires you to know Him, love Him and to walk in freedom, joy, power and in fullness of life.
Where do we start? For me, it starts with my relationship with the Lord. If my relationship with the Lord is right, everything else falls into place. Allow me to share 5 “P-s” in my walk with the Lord – Presence, Personal, Passionate, Power and Proclaim.
Presence – King David has been described as a man after God’s own heart. One thing that struck me about David is that he had a passion for God’s presence. “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4.
Nothing is more precious than abiding in the presence of God. David understood that. Brother Lawrence practiced it. He said, “the most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with Him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way.” AW Tozer said, “Nothing in or of this world measures up to the simple pleasure of experiencing the presence of God.”
I have come to understand what King David, Brother Lawrence and AW Tozer mean. In the midst of the busy, demanding and distracting world we live in, His presence is right there with me as I seek Him, speak to Him, read His Word, think about Him, abide in Him and worship Him at work, at play, while driving, walking or lying down. And in His presence, is joy unspeakable.
Personal – I also know and have experienced that God is a personal God. He knows us by name and He desires intimacy with us.
Allow me to share with you how amazing our God is and how He has shown me that He indeed knows me by name and takes a personal interest in my life. There have been occasions in my life when I have wondered if God really loves me, for me and not me as “part of the world” and have asked if I am special to Him and am not lost in the crowd. I know, it sounds silly and somewhat childish but I have had such conversations with Him.
On one such occasion, I was on a “Footsteps of Paul” trip to Greece and Turkey and there were about 40 Christians in the group. In response to my “request” on a particular day to God, I received a note within 15 minutes of my request from a 70-year old Australian lady who did not know me before the trip. And the note read “God loves you, you are very special to Him. You are His precious child”. And you know what? These were the exact words I asked the Lord for. When I read the note, you can imagine, I was speechless, was so touched and so amazed at a God who would show such grace, patience and attention to one of His children.
I have many other stories to tell of how He has made His presence and love known to me in my walk with Him, sometimes in the most creative and humorous way. I believe He does this for all His children. He delights in us and my heart’s desire is to delight in Him and to bring Him joy. If you asked me if we serve a living God who is at work and speaks to us today? My answer would be – “Absolutely!”
Passionate – “Worship Passionately” is part of our church’s mission statement. I am convinced that the Lord desires for us to worship Him passionately and not as disengaged people who “worship” out of routine or obligation.
In Isaiah 29:13, “the Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”
John Piper said, “Worship that does not come from the heart is vain, empty. It is not authentic worship. It is no worship.” He said, “We need to make plain that emotions (that is the spiritual affections of the heart) are there or worship isn’t there.”
One example of a passionate worshipper is King David. He danced, he played instruments, he sang, he lifted his hands; he expressed his heart openly before the Lord. That is the kind of worship I believe pleases the Lord, worship that flows from the heart and is unrestrained by what man thinks but focused solely on what God thinks.
For me personally, I find much joy in worshipping the Lord whether alone or corporately. It refreshes, empowers and lifts me, simply because when we worship, it is not about us but it’s all about Him. I am reminded of the lyrics of a song that goes “when I look into Your holiness, when I gaze into Your loveliness. When all things that surround become shadow in the light of You. I worship You.” Indeed, perspectives change as we worship Him and our hearts are aligned with His.
Power – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8. We who believe in the Lord Jesus and have accepted His gift of salvation have the Holy Spirit in us. Empowered by the Spirit, we are to go and Proclaim the Good News of Salvation to those God brings into our lives.
I find that if I seek to live in His presence continually, have a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord, worship Him passionately, yield to the Spirit and walk in His power and authority, I would desire to proclaim His salvation to those around me as my desires will be aligned with His desires. And His desire is that none should perish but everyone to come to repentance. Our walk with the Lord will not be a burden or an obligation or dry or boring and we will walk in the newness and fullness of life.
My prayer is for us to walk with and delight in the True and Living God.
Eld Lisa Theng