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The Presence of god.
By Mrs Jessie Penn-Lewis
“When You went out before your people, O God, when You marched through the wasteland, the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before the Presence of God” (Psalm 68 v7-8).
What a glorious shout of triumph there is in these words. They seem to vividly picture the victorious march of an all-conquering King with everything going down before Him. Habakkuk gives us the same idea of the all-victorious Presence of Jehovah. “You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one” (Hab. 3 v13).
The Presence of God alone will move the problems, how foolish we are to attempt to push against them by ourselves. The walls of Jericho fell down without one single push, but we seem to think we must do our little best and then God will do the rest. No, it must be “stand still and see the salvation of God”. It is the Presence of Jehovah that we need. He must march out before us and the biggest problems will be dealt with by Him.
Will the problem of self never go? That idol we have surrendered so often and yet there it stands still the same. That problem in our Christian life known best to God. We do our best but fail utterly to make the least impression.
It is the Presence of God we need, but first we must be willing for Him to demonstrate His Presence in us.
His Presence is “sparkling like ice, and awesome” (Ezek. 1 v22). Before He can move through us and before us, making us “majestic as troops with banners” (Song of Songs 6 v4), He must first deal with every part of our lives in the light of His eyes of fire. Turn to Psalm 15 and see the description of those who may abide in His holy Presence. See how closely He deals with heart and life.
1. The feet and how we walk - “whose walk is blameless” (v2).
2.The hands and what we touch - “who does what is righteous” (v2).
3. The heart-honesty He demands, as well as lip-truth - “who speaks the truth from his heart” (v2).
4. The tongue and its conversation, no tale-bearing, no discussion of others - “and has no slander on his tongue’’ (v3).
5. The ears and what we listen to - “who does his neighbour no wrong, and casts no slur on his fellow-man” (v3).
6. The eye and how it looks at others, as well as at itself - “who despises a vile man but honours those who fear the Lord” (v4).
The little cliques in our churches are all noted by Him. He also deals with the way we look at sin, whether we honour people for their money and position or who “honour those who fear the Lord” (v4). He will speak to us about broken promises - “who keeps his oath even when it hurts” (v4). Money must be righteously gained, spent at His command, and we are never to increase in riches at the expense of those who cannot protect themselves (v5). Only this way can we know His terrible Presence moving forth before us for victory.
Sin cannot stand in the Presence of God. Adam and Eve hid themselves from the Presence they once loved (Gen. 3 v8). “Your sins” hide the Presence, says Isaiah (Isa. 59 v2) Evil cannot live with God- “with You the wicked cannot dwell” (Ps. 5 v4). Sin and the Presence of the Holy God is an impossibility.
Pride and the Presence of God are incompatible - “The arrogance of man will be brought low, the pride of man will be humbled . . . when He arises” (Isa. 2 v17-19).
Idols will be thrown down - “The idols . . tremble before Him” (Isa. 19 v1). Like Dagon they fall before the God of Israel. (See 2 Cor. 6 v16).
Disobedience is dealt with by God - “But Jonah ran away from the Lord” (Jonah 1 v3).
When His Presence has revealed all that is of sin and self in the heart, when all has been dealt with at the Cross of Jesus Christ, when the old things have passed away, then in the full possession of the earthen vessel,
His Presence will be fulness of joy (Ps. 16 v11).
His Presence will be salvation (Ps. 42 v5).
His Presence will be separation (Ex. 33 v16).
His Presence will be rest (Ex. 33 v14).
His Presence will be victory (Ps. 9 v3).
His Presence will hide you from the intrigues of men and from accusing tongues (Ps. 31 v20).
His Presence will be apparent in us and, abiding in us as His unhindered power goes before us, even the mountains will melt like wax before the Presence of the Lord (Ps. 97 v5).
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THE EDITOR’S LETTER.
My Dear Friends,
For the past twenty five years I have had the privilege of editing, preparing for printing and sending out The Overcomer magazine. This is the last edition that I shall produce. One of our Trustees, Mr Mark McNaughton, is taking over from me and his first edition will be for March 2021. I have full confidence in him and ask your prayers for him as he takes on this new role.
I shall continue with the ‘office’ work for the Trust, so the contact details will remain the same, until a new secretary is appointed. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement over these years and sharing your walk of faith with me.
As we soon go forward into the Christmas celebrations and then a New Year I pray God’s blessing on you and His presence with you.
Yours in the Saviour’s Name,