By Pastor Bob. This morning I would like to talk about “where the Spirit of the Lord Is” or “where the presence of the Lord is”. There are two things that I would like to discuss:
One is the omnipresence of God. God is everywhere at all times.
Have you ever been out and about early in the morning in the country, and you see that mist hugging the earth, permeating into everything, touching everything that you see. That is how I see the Spirit of the Lord on the earth in the Spirit. And even though I know that He is everywhere, all the time, yesterday, today, and tomorrow – I can forget.
When emotions of fear, or anxiety, sadness, or any of those emotions, He may feel far away from me and my situation. Luckily, I am not the only one that can happen to.
Psalm 139:7 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light becomes night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
I love this scripture, and it makes more sense to me today then earlier in my life. There was a time in my life that I was literally running from God! I, at times, even denied His existence. There are times also that I blamed God and thought I could shut the door on him.
It kind of reminds me of the old Coyote and Road runner cartoons. You know, the coyote has rockets attached to his feet and he is on the way to get the road runner, then from behind, road runner is running alongside him, kind of smirking, effortless in what he is doing. “Beep, beep! Then the coyote jumps off the cliff.
We cannot run away from God, no matter how hard we try. Amen to that. The darkness in our life cannot stop God from being present in our life. He is with us in the highs, He is with us in the lows, and every single place in our life. Hallelujah!
In Genesis 28, we find Jacob on a journey, running away from his brother Esau who wants to kill him, and he is asleep in what is now called Bethel. He has a dream and then in the bible it says this:
Genesis 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.
I think that is a good reminder for me, that I need to wake up to the presence of God. I do not know what you may be going through in life. Health issues, financial, familial challenges that seem to leave you in just a desolate and dry place. That is where Jacob was too.
Not like the typical places we think of when thinking about where the Spirit of the Lord is. It’s easy to be reminded of His Spirit in a beautiful sunrise, or perhaps a rainbow after a beautiful rain, or the waves crashing on a serene beach of water. But like Jacob, no matter how desolate we may feel, we too need to awaken ourselves that truly, even in this dry place of our life, Surely the Lord is in this place.
And in the minutia of our day to day trials and tribulations, there is extreme comfort in knowing that the same God that spoke it all into existence, that is busy attending to the universe that he made, still cares about us.
Luke 12:6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two [b]copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
There may be times that I may not “feel” His presence , but I can remind myself through His Word that He loves us so much that He even knows how many hairs we have on our head. And I had a question as too how many are there? The answer is more than 100,000. Your results might vary.
And as I remind myself about where the Spirit of the Lord is, I can remind myself that His fullness is there as well. His love is there. His blessings are there, His ability is there, and His power is there.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
And what is that liberty? For me it is freedom. Freedom from the fear of death, because we will have an everlasting life in Heaven. It is freedom from the guilt and penalty of sin because Jesus died for our sin, and freedom from fear of death, hallelujah and amen.
Mankind has been running from God when we mess up, literally, since the beginning of time. After Adam and Eve had failed to obey God, what did they do?
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
Isn’t that like us sometimes in our life, as well. I thought, “You really did this time, Bob. You really messed up. That’s unforgivable.”
And just like back in Genesis there is an enemy in our lives that will agree with us and may put things in our mind like, “you are not worthy to be in God’s presence, you don’t deserve it!”
But unlike Adam and Eve, we can say, “you know what you’re right. None of us are worthy, but my Jesus is.”
Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
We don’t have to run; we can stay where the Spirit of the Lord is because Jesus paid the price for our sin. We can press into his presence because Jesus tore the veil. And because of all that Jesus did, not only are we allowed to be in his presence, we can receive and let God speak to us and heal our hearts and heal our minds.
And being where the spirit of the Lord is why we are here today, amen?
2 Chronicles 5:12 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets: 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
There is nothing more powerful, nor sweet, nor awesome, then when The Spirit of the Lord fills his sanctuary and He ministers to His people, amen. When we come together and praise and worship Jesus, we get to experience all that He has to offer. And there is a great lesson in that for me when I am going through a rough patch.
Just the other day I was working with Pastor Jeff and Diana sent me a text. I called her right away, the shot that we had been waiting for her to get some much needed relief got canceled an hour before I was supposed to take her. I was mad, I let it get under my skin. But I can tell you that when I was driving home, I intentionally put on some praise music and declared that He is good, no matter if Diana got this shot we were so hopeful for. I praised His mercy that no matter what, he made a way to Heaven, where there will be medicine to take, no more heating pads, no more pain shots, no more pain, and no more sorrow! And whenever I do that I have a sense of peace fall over me. I felt the presence of the Lord.
And that got me thinking that while we are waiting on the promises of God, we can seek Him to be with us in the Spirit while we wait. There can be a lot of things that may delay the realization of a promise or an answer to a prayer, but we have a Savior that will be with us until it comes. And when I got home and talked to Diana about it she said, “God can just heal me so I don’t need a shot.” And to that I say, “amen!”
So there was a cloud that appeared in the house I mentioned in 2 Chronicles. The Spirit of the Lord showed up in many different ways in the Bible besides a cloud.
There would be fire:
Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
or at Pentecost there was wind and fire:
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Wherever Jesus went the Spirit of the Lord was. During His time he healed, raised the dead, cleansed lepers and cast out demons.
Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all): 37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
That same Spirit is in us when we repent, get baptized in Jesus Name, and are filled with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, [a]keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another [b]Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
I think one of the greatest things about the Holy Ghost dwelling in me, is that the character of the Holy Ghost is what helps me change and to try to be more like Jesus. It challenges my mind and my heart, and it does so in a way I cannot describe.I am so grateful that Jesus sent this helper and comforter to work on such a mess, me, and do it with love.
And while I think it is wonderful that we can gather together here in this beautiful building that God has given us, we need to go out and do good and help those oppressed by the devil just like Jesus did.
Now I will be honest, I don’t think that I have appeared as a pillar of fire. I may have talked a lot and been long winded, but I have never “been” the wind. And I have felt cloudy, but not even a low carb diet will make me look like a cloud to anybody! But that Spirit of the Lord is in us.
1 Corinthians 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
That same spirit that filled the temple, the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to us, is in us. We carry His presence wherever we go. And we need to take it to the whole world.
Pastor Jeff is a Chaplain with the Rock County Sheriff’s Department. He goes on ride alongs and he is there for various duties. I was curious of a Chaplin’s job description:
Police chaplains aren’t there to push a religion on police officers; their role is primarily to listen and offer emotional and spiritual support to those in need. Police Chaplain Alex Evans, who worked with officers in the wake of the Virginia Tech mass shooting, described the job as one of presence. “It’s less about what you say, and more about where you are. You show up.”
I think there is a good lesson there, we need to show up as well, with the body of Christ. God will move here in this building, but there is an entire world out there that needs His presence.
Now does that mean every time there has been a need to visit someone I went. If I am being honest, no. But I am getting better at it.
I’ll be honest, there have been times when God had to literally drag me, and sometimes God used Diana if I am honest.
- There were times that I may have been angry
- There were times that I felt like a failure
- There were times when I was anxious
- There were even times that I was fearful
- But it was not about me, it was about God and what He wanted to do.
- And then when you do show up something can change and it has absolutely nothing to do with you or what you’re feeling, it has absolutely everything to do with the Spirit of the Lord.
- And where I was angry I find that there is a peace that comes over me
- My feelings of anxiousness will leave and the fear that I had dissipates and as I let God work, He has given me words and insights that I am able to share that can help that someone that I am with, and that is a beautiful thing, seeing God move.
Going back to 2 Chronicles again verse 13:
13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
There is something so special when there is such a heavy presence of God’s Spirit, and I have to be careful to give room to let it happen. I think we can get into a kind of groove of OK, Testimonies/Prayers, Worship, Word, altar call – all the check boxes and off we go back into the world.
I want to get to that place where I give the Spirit of the Lord time to speak, to minister all that He has for me. How do I do that?
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
That is where God can anoint us, which means literally to rub or smear, so when I have the opportunity, I need to take a moment and say to God, “Lord Your will be done, what do you have to say?” And rest in His presence. And let whatever He has to say sink in, to let the anointing in.
One of the reasons that we have so much scripture is because what God has to say is way more important than any one of us has to say. The most important word that you can get is the Word you get from God. And that comes from giving God the time to speak to you. He can put things on your heart that need to be dealt with. He can heal mentally and spiritually. He can free you in those moments. He can refresh your Spirit.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is refreshing!
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is fullness of joy. Sometimes we just need to take some time and listen to What God has to say to us.
Even one of the greatest prophets in the bible, Elisha, when he was in a situation that was uncomfortable, and he needed a Word from God, made an intentional choice to do that. n
2 Kings 3: 15 But now bring me a musician.” And it came about while the musician played, that the hand (power) of the Lord came upon Elisha.
Personally, I do not know anyone that plays the harp. But times have changed and we can have music instantly – but I think the critical point was Elisha took a moment to get away from whatever was going on and focused on God, and the music helped him.
Luke 10:39 She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching.
Let us all take the time to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen. God bless you all.