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God’s Presence

Last time you heard me preach, we were talking about the wilderness. When paradise was no longer an option for Adam and Eve, the wilderness is where they found themselves. But more than just a desolate physical place, the first couple had been removed from God’s presence.

But not forever. Because of God’s mercy and grace, He offered his presence to his people again – first in the Tabernacle. “Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34) For forty years of wandering in the wilderness, God traveled with His people.

Then, once Israel moved into the Promised Land, God moved to a more permanent place, as well: the Temple in Jerusalem. “…and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)

So, where are we today? Eden is long gone. The Tabernacle is gone. So is the Temple. Where can we find the presence of God? Paul tells us: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? …for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17)

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’” (2 Corinthians 6:16)

And “… Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

During my own recent wilderness wandering, I was looking everywhere for God’s presence. I turned to external sources to lead me back to Him. But I was looking in the wrong place. He was with me all along: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5–6)

Set your clocks back, sleep in an extra hour, then join us Sunday and we’ll talk about it!

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New Life Church, Denton