Part II review: one of the ideas of the blessing of the Lord is His favor. To be in His favor is to first be in God’s will. Going deeper – maturing in our faith – we move from doing His will to beingHis will. This is the result of consistent practices that, then, course naturally in us and from us.
I’ve posited two of three scriptural ideas that define the blessing of the LORDthat I hope have provoked you to deeper love for Him and even more good works! The idea of favor from part II of this series is glued inextricably to the idea of today’s message: there’s no greater blessing than the presence of the Lord!
Hear what scripture promises the righteous...
- In every gospel venture, the Lord is by our side (Matthew 28:18-20).
- As Christians attempt winning back wayward believers, they can be confident that Jesus Himself is right there with them, His presence His approval (Matthew 18:15-20; cfs. Deuteronomy 19:15-21; James 5:19-20).
- God will be with you to defeat your enemy (Deuteronomy 31:1-6; cf. Hebrews 13:5-6).
- Did you catch that promise in Isaiah 43:2, Friends?
- Whatever life throws your way to overwhelm you, you are not alone: God will help you rise above it all (just ask Noah!)
- Whatever the world tries scorching you with, you are not alone: God will be with you in fiery trials preservingyou (just ask Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-Nego!)
A little language study.
- One of the Lord’s names in the OT is Jehovah-shammah, which is a, English transliteration of the Hebrew sham(pronounced: shawm), meaning: Jehovah is there (see Ezekiel 48:30-35).
- A look at this from Hebrew scholar Wm. S. Eldridge is also helpful: “Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai said: ‘Come and see how beloved are Israel to God: every place to which they were exiled the Shekhinah –God’s presence– went with them.’”
- They were exiled to Egypt and the Shekhinah was with them (I Samuel 2:27.)
- They were exiled to Babylon, and the Shekhinahwas with them (Isaiah 43:14).
- And when they will be redeemed in the future, the Shekhinah will be with Israel (Deuteronomy 30:3).
- The blessing of God’s presence means for us in this Age of the Church:
- More than the multiplication of stuff;
- More than even His favor;
- The greatest blessing of the Lord is havingthe Lord Himself (Song of Solomon 6:1-3).
Putting this into practice.
- The pure in heart enjoy 20/20 spiritual vision (Matthew 5:8).
- Holiness in our minds and morals is one of God’s goals for our lives and without this transformation we cannot be saved (Hebrews 12:12-17).
- A vital CAUTION to us all: God will not cohabitate in us with the sins we hold to (I John 3:4-9).
- So, those of us who follow God – placing ourselves completely in His hands by walking in His ways – eventually see the work of His hands in every aspect of our lives (Isaiah 41:10-13):
- His hand of provision;
- His hand of protection;
- His hand of power;
- His hand pointing the way!
- Truly we can say of all these: we encounter the blessing of His presence when we walk with Him by living out His word (Ephesians 4:6)!
As Dan and his marvelous team have come to lead us once again, I encourage you to pay close attention to the words of the songs we’ll sing.
Where and for necessary reasons, make these songs the cry of your heart to God concerning an increased blessing of His presence in you!