God is Always Nearby

September 14th, 2010

Acts 17:28a – “for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’”

Consider the verse above… we all indeed do live, move and exist explicitly at the will of God. But when you seek God, do you look for Him in human made buildings or certain places of prayer?

Do you not know, that God can be found by those who seek Him. The only requirement is we have to willingly seek Him as He is! It is He Who serves us. He is very close to all of us. Some today would equate God and the universe as one. That cannot be, He is a personal God, He transcends time and space.

It is the same principal, that when you enter a dark room (even if you have never been in that room) you begin looking for a light switch. You grope around in the dark until you find it. And when you do, you grasp it to turn it on!

Now, lets read Acts 17:24-28 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’”

So there it is, God is not constricted by place or time like us. He determined the exact place where you are, and He wants you to seek Him.

But did you see it?

He wants you to find Him, though He is not lost. He has put you right where that you are “in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him.” The same principal applies… when you find yourself in any circumstance far away from God, whether a believer or not.  God is always very close nearby. It is those that “feel their way toward Him” (the NKJV uses the words “that they might grope for Him”) that find Him.

It is a diligent, loving pursuit of each of us. Always nearby, our heavenly Father is ready, willing and able to be found by those who seek Him. It really is that simple.

How cunning, indeed!

September 24th, 2009

Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 11:3

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

It is a forgone conclusion, if I am not careful and living in the Word, I WILL be deceived and my thoughts are led astray. I ask myself, is my devotion to Jesus pure and sincere? It really hasn’t been. I mean, I know what the Bible says and all… and I do believe every word, but recently, I was asked “Do you really believe what you believe is real is really real?” Wow, what a question! This is the one that I have struggled with forever in my walk. I mean, I really believe it’s real, or do I?

Paul in Romans 3:17-24 admonishes the Jew who relies on the law and boasts in God. But he asks a very poignant question… In verse 21 he asks

you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”

There I lay on the ground… undone! I got the mercy thing down, man! It is the grace I stumble at every time. I don’t live by faith, how do you do that?

Even worse… in Galatians 3:3 Paul asks,

Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

Yikes, you mean, after my conversion, I have traded justifications. Let me explain, I know it is the finished work of Jesus that justifies all of us. Yes, it is finished work; there is no more to be done.

You see, my conversion was so early. I don’t remember hardly anything of my sin before then. However, without strong Christian leadership at home, it was easy to walk away from God. After all, I had my fire insurance, and you can always presume upon God’s grace, right? This is the seduction, actually deception. Satan said “God will always forgive, right?”

I believed those words, and still do today. But, in my past life as a Christian, I have given the enemy so many weapons to use! It is always the subtleness that will catch me off guard. “Can God really use such a pitiful person as you?” he asks. This is the one question, always coupled with a visual and a quote from scripture. But, the serpent is so cunning! I can’t believe I fell for this… he used the same words on me that he used on Eve “Did God actually say…” (Genesis 3:3.)

I see now, by the grace of God, exactly what is happening here. Satan uses the Word of God for condemnation! Wow, it is immediate, the effect it has on the flesh. This works by going straight through to emotion. How defeating!

These are the tricks I have seen him use in my life. This is the one that has worked for so long, until today! Paul writes in Romans 6:20-22:

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

And further in Romans 7:21-23:

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

He goes on to state in Romans 8:1:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

And further in the same chapter, Romans 8:6-8:

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

And to nail it down, Paul writes in Romans 8:33-39:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is now crystal clear to me. Condemnation does not come from God in any way, shape or form. It is straight from the pit of hell and smells of sulfur. And as Paul asks, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One who indeed is interceding for us!”I shall no longer set my mind on the flesh. Like Lot and his family when they were rescued, who were commanded to never look back, I shall never look back on the destruction that sin has caused. I shall set my mind on the Spirit, with the promise of life and peace.

So now, when someone asks, “Do you really believe what you believe is real is really real?” My answer shall be a whole-hearted, “yes!”