If we spend our time looking at the things we stress over or hate–that is all we see! That does not lead to victorious living. Look to Jesus!
After the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, Moses built an altar to Jehovah Nissi. The Lord, our Banner. It is a beautiful name to remind us to look to God. We are soldiers of Christ; there are battles in life. We must look to God.
Another cool part of these double names is remembering what Jehovah means. Here is a great insight from the Blueletterbible site:
The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havahmeaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.
Redeemer. Miriam Webster defines redeemer as ” a person who brings goodness, honor, etc., to something again…” God who does things greater than we can imagine is surely One who brings goodness. There is no limit to the ways Jesus Christ redeems…promised in Genesis we individually have the privilege to receive the Promise and walk the redemption out!
Here is a great look from another webpage (www.hisnameisjesus.org)
Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I [am] the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way [that] thou shouldest go. (Isa 48:17 KJV)
What a promise. Here, we’re being told that we will be taught (i.e. instructed) of the Lord, even to profit (meaning, to benefit). There is also the promise in this scripture referrence, that the Lord our REDEEMERwill lead (lead forth, march or march forth, tread, cause to go, walk), us in the way that we should go.
God of Jeshurun. Okay, so this name is not exciting at first site…but if the ‘clouds’ ever weary you, you are going to love it!
He is the “One who rides the heavens to help you…One who rides in excellency on the clouds. The refuge you hide in…the
refuge supported by His eternal power and purpose.
There is a ‘catch’ so to speak…Jeshurun means ‘upright.’ It is the honorary name of Israel. Remember Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Jacob–the heel grabber, the one who tried to make his own path became Israel. God desires to transform all of us…the clouds are a sign of His work. Trust Him. He’s there to help!!
The presence of God transforms! Do you drink it in or wonder where it is? Is the presence of God a moment-by-moment awareness for you—or an illusionary concept? Would you be surprised to know His presence is not always in a Church…or that the Living Word can be void of vitality? In Acts 17, Paul spoke to those who worshiped without life:
“…so that they might look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. Of course, he is never far from any one of us. For we live, move, and exist because of him, as some of your own poets have said: ‘For we are his children, too.’” (verses 27 and 28)
It is not the heartbeat of God to have lifeless worship. He longs for you to enjoy His presence because He wants to enjoy yours. Are you weary of life? If you are, spend time with LIFE and enjoy the abundance. Without His presence, life drains the strongest. That is right and good, for God never intended that we would live this life on our own!
His Word and the Church are tools the Spirit uses to help us know what God is like…so that we can recognize His
presence. Like those in Athens, though, sometimes we mistake the tools for the Truth. Time in the Word and time with believers are necessities in the life of a Christian…but they are not Life itself.
The echo of hearts crying, “Is this all there is?” beats at the doors of heaven. “There is so much more!” calls the Father. “Come, walk in the light.” And to those of us who walk in His light, the great commission still stands: “Go, make disciples.” Our grand purpose in life is to live in the Light of the love of the Father and help others do the same. He longs for us to bring his light to a world covered in shadows so others may know He lives!
Those shadows conceal treasures…treasures of darkness only children of the Light can unearth. Without the Light, the shadows terrify. The shadows cause those in the dark to trip and fall prey to the lies of the enemy. Jesus, the Light of the World, reveals the snares and the beauties shrouded in darkness. When we spend time in the light, we absorb light and can be a lamp for others. We are called to be servants! Let’s take light into the shadows, light that exposes the pits, expels the evil and unearths precious gems!
What shadows will you illuminate today? Can we stand with you in prayer?
If you struggle to enter the presence of God, some thoughts and tips can be found here.
My heart aches to understand that there are those who seldom enjoy time with God; those who feel puzzled when others speak of ‘feeling His touch’ or ‘hearing His voice.’ God is a personal God, desperately desiring to connect with us. My greatest sadness is not for those who reject God but for those striving to “DO” something to get closer to Him. Just as Paul said to the crowds in Rome, “He is never far from you.” Entering into His presence is a possibility any time!
Made in the image of God–body, soul and spirit–seeking Him involves all aspects of us. Frankly, we are the barrier to enjoying God. On the physical level, busy-ness is the biggest blockade. Even if the activities are God-oriented, busyness prevents real interaction the Father. Vigilance that prioritizes private God-time is critical. Fellowship with Christians, “church,” is part of the plan of God as well. We must enjoy His presence individually and corporately. If your church orchestrates details of every service, make it your personal ambition to enter the presence of God in those details. He is still there; help others find Him by letting His light flood you!
Other physical world things that can keep from God are seeking pleasures from the world instead of him. Over-eating is an easy example for many of us. Stress and fatigue drive me to comfort foods on a regular basis. God asks to be my Bread of Life. Each of us will have areas of weakness the Spirit can reveal. Ask God what in the physical world separates you from Him. Any physical sin (any sin for that matter) will separate us from God. They are idolatry; things we prefer to the presence of God. Refuse to let your body keep you from the Creator!
Then there is that soul part of us: our mind, will and emotions. Much of the battle of life takes place in the mind. We are to renew our minds with the Word. That is not a dry, wearisome task—even if you never liked reading anything! Technology gives you amazing options to listen or watch the Word. Find a way to get Truth from the Word into your mind because that changes everything! Emotions flow from our thoughts, and actions come out of our emotions. Spending time in the Word is not optional, nor is it an item to check off from a ‘to do’ list.
Engage your heart and your mind with His words and you will feel His presence—and He will empower you to exercise your will and obey Him. It is different than just ‘spending time in the Word’; it must be time with God! For
me, an avid ‘student’—and self-professed geek, enjoying God through reading and writing is easy—it is my design. Thoughts serve as propulsion jets shooting me toward the Father. I may pause to gaze in awe at His beauty; I may ask a question for clarification from Him or dig into a word study for more thought jets. Seek His heart as you read and even if it is not your default design, He will meet you!
Don’t stop there! Keep seeking. Find new ways to enter His glory, unique ways based on how He created you! Find a mentor who can listen to your heart and help you hear the things God is speaking into your life.
Consider using music. Scripture-based music helps me lay down the ‘soulish’ parts of self and enjoy Him. It quiets my busy mind and lets me focus on feeling God. On the other hand, some find their soul so engaged in music, they fail to connect with God. Make Him the priority. Continually seek His presence. Be attentive for Him. He promises to be found. Do not give up. God is not distant but imminently, impressively real!
I’ll leave you with one final tool that works for me when the press of life feels too weighty. I go for a walk. It helps me synchronize my overused mind and underused body. The magnitude of creation, the details and activity of nature quietly working mostly unnoticed by busting humanity resets my spirit. To my harm and shame, the stuff of life, the cares of this world, easily stifle the still, small voice of my humble, majestic God. He is ever-present, yet I am blind to Him. A walk—whether on a street or in the windows—engages me with a world bigger than my own. It reminds me of my smallness and floods me with thanksgiving for His love and wisdom.
What works for you to enter the presence of God. Share here, share with others: has there been a song, a book or a worship experience that stands out?
We are to live this life of faith together. God blesses that we can in turn bless another.
If you struggle to find or feel God, zap a note. Let’s talk it through. He loves you beyond measure. He is waiting for you to enjoy being with Him. There is nothing more you need to do to be loved by Him…
Not every life story is about a challenge. Part of our legacy flows from the things we love! Look for God in the things you love. For example, I love to garden: bringing order and beauty to a plot of dirt reminds me of the blessings of cultivating spiritual life. A healthy, vibrant garden–earthly or spiritual–requires persistent effort: cultivating, sowing, weeding, pruning.
Our home gardens are a testimony to the blessings God has used to decorate our lives. We use flowers and colors our parents loved along side perennials from friends, family and previous homes. Before new gardens are created, we ’redeem’ the plot from its previous purpose…usually lawn. The intertwined roots of lawn grasses and buried rocks make cultivation difficult. That work reminds me of the persistent love of God which reaches out to every soul piercing the barriers life creates. Decisions instantly change destinies but the transformation takes place in daily details.
The perpetual growth of weeds reminds me of two ever-present dangers to my spiritual garden: endless activity and plain old sin. Both are capable of overshadowing any vision of God’s touch on my life. The busyness of life joins with natural sin tendencies creating disorder and waylaying the purposes of God. It is my privilege and responsibility to pluck out sin and pointless activity so that the view of God in my life is unobstructed.
Some of the weeds in my gardens produce tiny flowers; their deceptive attraction sometimes persuades me to let them stay. Inevitably, they overtake my intentional plantings. Similarly, sometimes I hold fast to habitual sins that I perceive as adding to my life. Their produce, though, is more deadly than my garden weeds for the fruit of every sin is always death. The only results of my natural tendencies–let alone my sins–are earthly and temporary. Eternally beautiful life gardens require intentional cultivation of the life of Christ within.
Also in my garden are some extremely productive perennials. As much as I like them, pruning their fruitfulness protects other blessings of God from being crowded out. These prolific beauties remind me of the truth that too much of a good thing is still too much. God has granted me passions and interests–but serving those passions will leave my life unbalanced and His purposes for me stunted.
Finally, both of our dads loved ’bulb’ flowers. Our tulips and irises do most of their growing out of sight, but attentively nurturing the bulbs produces results as well. Likewise, not all of our spiritual life is visible, but the Holy Spirit produces great growth as He searches our depths, convicting us and calling us to fellowship with God.
The purpose of life is to know God: His greatness and His goodness. He provides the nourishment and care we need because of His love; our right response to that love is to seek Him and obey Him. The presence and participation of others in our life gardens is part of His design. We are to be both blessed and a blessing as we journey through life. May each of our lives be a garden that reflects His glory for all to enjoy.