How His presence transforms life
Please imagine this scene: It’s Sunday morning, and you are in church. Sunlight streaming in through the windows of the garden. People are entering, and the organist is playing a prelude. Suddenly, there He is, sitting on the first pew. At first, not everyone sees him. But quickly, by whispers all are soon made aware. “Look who's here!” Could it be? I’m sure it is. See the scars on his hands. It has to be. It is JESUS!!!
What will happen next? What would happen if Jesus were bodily present among us? Our life may never be the same. Jesus himself promised he would be with us whenever we gather in his name. Even though we cannot literally see him, He is present among us as we worship Him. All we need to do is open our eyes, the eyes of faith, to see him.
What would happen in our church and in our lives if all of us become more aware of the presence of the unseen Jesus?
1 — We will worship Him with genuine enthusiasm
Probably we would drop to our knees before the King of King and Lord of Lord in reverence. Or we would stand up and lift up our hands. We would get excited. Genuine songs of praise would be sung. We would praise Him with deep emotion and great joy. Because worship is an encounter with God.
The God creator of all the Universe and of our lives. The giver and the source of every great blessings, especially the salvation of our sins.
We are not going to church to see a performance from the worship band, neither the choir nor the pastor. We go to meet Jesus, and we together should be excited to exalt His holy name. As a result, we may leave this time and place determined that not just our lips but also all our lives should bring honor and glory to God.
Psalm 40:3 “He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord”.
2 — We will lavish his love on others
Jesus says if we are his true sons and daughters, we also should love our enemies, even praying for those who persecute us.
Matthew 5:44-45 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Because the love of God has been spilling over our life we would share this love with others. We would not be quiet but instead we will be moved to be Jesus’ hands, feet, voice, ears IN and TO this world. Nothing would stop us from lavishing his love with others
3 — We will embrace righteousness and renounce evil
People would come under intense conviction of their spiritual situation: eternal death. And would find relief only as they confess their sins
1 John 1:8-9 “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness”.
We will renounce the devil and everything for which he stands. And embrace what is right, even if that means to stay alone.
4 — We will serve Him with gratitude and eagerness
Being busy is a characteristic of our culture. Most people are extremely busy. It’s hard even for the church to have volunteers to help in the ministry. But, what if the risen Jesus himself came and made an appeal for us to work in some ministry at the church. Do you think that would work? What if Jesus reminded us that He had personally, gifted each of us in special ways?
Romans 12:4-6 “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well…”
What if he lifted his hands as he spoke, and you saw the scars where the nails had been driven through them? I guess the overwhelming response would be: “You have done so much for us. How can we reply to you in any way other than to say: It’s a privilege to serve you”.
5 — We will surrender to the truth of God’s word
The Scriptures would come alive with great authority. The Word of God truly will be the: Wisdom of God. The Power of God. The Bread and the Light for Life. The voice and the will of God
Psalm 119: 9 “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word”.
6 — We will experience the privilege of authentic prayer
Matthew 6: 5-6 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you”.
The prayer will be far less superficial. Seeing Jesus more clearly, even when it is through the eyes of faith, will reduce the number of self-centered petitions. Practicing the presence of Jesus, delighting in his closeness, waiting to please him will make the privilege of prayer an integral part of our everyday experience.
7 — We will delight in introducing Jesus to others
When a celebrity visits a town, it’s normal to hear that name dropped into numerous conversations. It's also true that when churches experience an overwhelming sense of the Lord’s presence, the name of Jesus comes up much more often. We would not be able to stop to talking about Jesus. We will say like Peter and John said in Acts 4:20 “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard”.
Does the name of Jesus come up frequently in our conversations?
The reality of the unseen Christ:
- will redefine our relationship with God and with others
- will redefine our own behavior
The overwhelming sense of Jesus’s presence has been one characteristic of time of genuine revival. And I believe, it is what needs to be rediscovered in our days.
Pastor Norberto Obermann