Showing posts with label Son. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Son. Show all posts

22 October 2011

THOUGHT - His presence

When we think about the Almighty's presence among his people, clearly there's a difference between his presence personally and his presence corporately. Yet the two are inextricably linked.

A glorious solar haloAs far as his personal presence is concerned, we know that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, lives within us. Jesus expressly tells the disciples to expect him. He turns up at Pentecost and rests on each one - like a flame. He also dramatically energises and activates the church and they go out boldly sharing the good news. (Up to that time they had been prayerful, yet grieving, fearful and probably very confused.)

But notice that they were together in one place when the Spirit came upon them. The personal presence came in the context of corporate activity. There is something special about unity itself. The Father, Son and Spirit are one - a community - the pattern for all community. So we are intended to be one, a community as close as theirs. And even more amazing, we are supposed to enter into their community; the Son wants to bring his bride into the family home.

I cannot be the bride of Christ any more than I could marry a toenail. If we are to be the bride isn't it obvious that we must first become one? My wife, for example, is an entire person, not merely a collection of disconnected body parts. (Does this remind anyone of Ezekiel 37 and the valley of dry bones?)

How badly do we want his presence, will we do what he says? Jesus' prayer was that we should be one as he and the Father are one and that we should be one with them. Read it for yourself in John 17:20-26. And immediately after that, Jesus goes to the olive field to be arrested and killed. We are so important to him that we're in his prayers at that terrible and particularly distracting moment.

Notice what he says about glory. He wants us to see and receive his glory (verse 22) - had you noticed that? The glory is surely the Father's presence within us individually and corporately. Just as his glory appeared as the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud and led the gathered people of Israel through the desert, so when we are in the dark he gives us light and when we are in the light he gives us direction.

As locally gathered expressions of his body, let's turn away from what we want and begin to focus on what he wants. Will we choose to be one and receive his glory? And will we choose, not for our own sakes, but for his sake?

Whenever we are one for his sake he will illuminate us and give us direction and pour out his glory. The enemy knows this and will do anything to prevent it. But resist him and he runs away because he can't stand in Jesus' presence.

Here's a suggestion to try next time you meet. Drop any plans for structure, don't prepare anything, don't have anyone 'in charge'. Just agree to be quiet in his presence and individually focus on Jesus. When he puts a thought in your mind, or a picture, or a few words, or a Bible verse - share it and then wait for someone else to receive. Don't be anxious about 'awkward' silences, just focus back on Jesus and get ready to share whatever he gives you.

See what happens. And why not report back by posting a comment below?

15 July 2003

Eaton Ford - Fallen and lifted up

< 23rd June 2003 | Index | 6th August 2003 >

Rachael brought some verses from Revelation (Rev 2:5). It was striking that the church at Ephesus was told, 'You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen.'



Somehow this seemed very relevant to the church today, we need to recover 'our first love', we need to see how far we have fallen. Only then will we have things properly in perspective. We belong in a high place, we belong with Him!

We were also aware of our need for fellowship with other people. We can't do anything alone, we want others around us, we need them to be there.

Father spoke through the Spirit, he said, 'Step onto my hand, I'll lift you up, there's no need for you to learn to climb or fly.' So we felt we can relax in him and let him do the work. He will lift us up and we will see him face to face. He told us to rest in him, to rest in his love, he said, 'I will do the doing'.

He also reminded us that our place is to encourage one another, not to criticise people, not to disagree with them, but to build one another up. We felt that when we meet with others it's often the differences that spring out and appear to become important. But this is a trap for the unwary, the differences are often less important than they seem and they're less important than the things we share - salvation, blessings from above, communication with Him and with one another.

If there was a theme to this meeting it was 'connectedness'. Once again he reinforced for us a sense that we are to be connected strongly to him but we are also to be connected to one another. This seems very important and something we should remember.

< 23rd June 2003 | Index | 6th August 2003 >

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