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The Difference God’s Presence can make in our Lives!!! - Pastor Kalu Oji

The Difference God’s Presence can make in our Lives!!! - Pastor Kalu Oji

The Presence of God is nothing but God Himself and ought to be treated with the greatest respect ever. Any born again believing Christian who is yet to experience God’s Presence needs to take out time to seek such a life transforming experience. When Moses prayed for God’s Presence to go with the children of Israel in their journey from Egypt through the wilderness on their way to Canaan, he understood perfectly well the difference God’s Presence can make. Watch this:

“Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth” (Exodus 33:12-16, NKJV).

God’s Presence comes with His Power. God’s Presence is accompanied by His glory. God’s Presence never comes alone.

 God’s Presence comes with the totality of God Himself. God’s Presence comes with His guidance, protection, favor, mercy, miracles, blessings, testimonies, good health, demonstrations of His Power and Might among others. COME ON NOW!!! When Saul had a personal encounter with God’s Presence on his way to Damascus which eventually led to a change in his name and lifestyle from Saul to Apostle Paul in the Book of Acts, he understood quite clearly the difference God’s Presence can make in anyone’s life and ministry. Watch this:

   “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank” (Acts 9:1-9, NKJV).

Saul, a Pharisee and trained attorney who studied under Gamaliel was experienced enough to know when he was having a very unusual life experience. He understood very clearly that this encounter was not normal and cried out in total humility and submission:

“Lord, what do You want me to do?” Whenever God’s Presence is genuinely encountered by anyone, all levels of opposition, resistance, hard heartedness, pride and false pretenses disappear. Glory to God, Alleluia!!!

God’s Presence can also be a consuming fire when God is treated with disrespect or contempt. Many of us appear to treat the LORD our God disrespectfully due to deceit by Satan and his cohorts or our unfortunate quest for power and wealth. The LORD our God continues to call us to repentance today. Watch this:

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29, NKJV). God’s fear in any life has a way of protecting and preventing that individual from making the mistake of playing around with God. Watch this:

“Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. 3 And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. 4 And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day” (1 Samuel 5:1-5, NKJV).

The fact that the Philistines had defeated the children of Israel due to their sins, did not in any way give them the right to mess around with God’s glory and Presence. Ignorance of God and His word has a tendency of causing people to either look down on Him or treat Him with disrespect. This was the case with the Philistines who knew next to nothing about God. One can then imagine a situation where the ark of the LORD representing God’s Presence was put in the same room and beside Dagon the god of the Philistines. Many of us today who claim to be God’s people also behave the same way. Some of us treat the LORD our God contemptuously, others disrespect Him out rightly, while many others take Him for granted. The LORD our God remains the same yesterday, today and forever and the worst thing anyone can ever do is to treat God with disregard. God unleashed His terror upon Dagon and the people of Ashdod so much so that they immediately rushed the ark to Gath. Watch this:

“But the hand of the Lord was heavy on the people of Ashdod, and He ravaged them and struck them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. 7 And when the men of Ashdod saw how it was, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god.” 8 Therefore they sent and gathered to themselves all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” And they answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried away to Gath.” So they carried the ark of the God of Israel away. 9 So it was, after they had carried it away, that the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction; and He struck the men of the city, both small and great, and tumors broke out on them” (1 Samuel 5:6-9, NKJV).

The LORD our God is a very jealous God and never shares His glory with anyone: “I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images” (Isaiah 42:8, NKJV). God so broke out on the people of Ashdod for their utter disrespect of His Presence that they had no other alternative but to seek immediate relief from the disaster unleashed upon them and their god. The people of Gath also had the same experience in God’s hands and they went ahead to send the ark to Ekron who also had the same experience. Experience is the best teacher. When the ark arrived in the land of Ekron and God started unleashing a terrible plague on them, the people cried out, saying:

“Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. So it was, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people!” 11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go back to its own place, so that it does not kill us and our people.” For there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. 12 And the men who did not die were stricken with the tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven” (1 Samuel 5:10-12, NKJV).

The Philistines after a seven month period of a taste of hell here on earth decided to get together in search of a solution to their current debacle. “Now the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it to its place” (1 Samuel 6:1-2, NKJV). God’s Presence remains something never to be toyed with. When the ark was kept in the house of Obed-Edom, neither he nor any member of his household treated God’s Presence with disrespect: “David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” 10 So David would not move the ark of the Lord with him into the City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months. And the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household” (2 Samuel 6:9-11, NKJV).

Because Obed-Edom the Gittite understood the ways and things of God, he and his household accorded God’s Presence His due respect and glory. As a result of this, it is recorded that the LORD our God blessed Obed-Edom and all his household. It takes a personal knowing of the LORD our God and His ways, His word and His purpose before we can come to a good understanding of God’s place in our lives. Are we there yet?