Thursday, November 20, 2008

God's presence (part 3)

We continue looking at the different ways in which a person can experience God's presence. This series started, in case I failed to mention it, from examining Psalm 139:7-12. The psalmist asks the questions,

"Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?"
(Psalm 139:7 NIV)

The third way is the God who acts. Here is a diagram I created to help you see where this fits in with everything.

3. The God Who Acts
This is when God does something, when God intervenes in such a way that is just unexplainable. This is God transforming and changing our reality in ways we could never do. This is seeing His power at work in our world around us.

Example of The God Who Acts
You can get plenty of examples of this if you read through the book of Acts. To narrow things down a little, and be a bit more specific, Acts 16:25-28 is an excellent illustration of what the God who acts experience looks like. You have Paul and Silas, who were thrown into the most secure part of a Roman prison, singing and praying to God (maybe they were singing Psalm 139?). God shows up, an earthquake happens and we have a jailbreak. All the prisoners’ chains become loose enough for escape and all the prison doors fly open. This is God doing something Paul and Silas could never do in their own power. This is just one of the many instances of the God who acts experiences recorded in Acts.

I believe there is another way we can experience God’s presence that is more complete and rich for our spiritual growth (this will be next week's). These three ways that we have just discussed (e.g., blind faith, sensing it, the God who acts) miss the message of Jesus’ farewell discourse in John 15. Here we have Jesus in His last hours talking intimately with His disciples. Before Jesus was crucified He told them (15:15),

I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master’s business.
Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father
I have made known to you.

Your thoughts?

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