Because it Just Feels Right

I had just finished heating up water for my wife’s instant coffee when I sensed the presence of God about me.  The sun was shining bright through the kitchen window, and my focus was drawn to the rising steam .  I still can’t tell you why, but I grabbed my phone and took the following picture.

When I looked at the photo on my PC, it was then I saw what looked like a dove descending.  One of my favorite things in life, is knowing I am in the presence of God.  Why?  Because it just feels right!

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John 1:32 New International Version (NIV)

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Spook Light

hq25_hornet_spook_lightAs I was reading from the book of Psalms chapter 139, this past week, from The Message I was reminded of, “The Spook Light”.  What?  There is a light near the Oklahoma / Missouri border, just south of Joplin, MO. that has baffled people for 100s of years.  This light will appear on this one road in front of you, and if you drive to get closer it will disappear, but then appear behind you.  I saw this light when I was a young child.  I was supposed to be afraid, but instead, I was intrigued.

Psa 139:5  I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too– your reassuring presence, coming and going.
Psa 139:6  This is too much, too wonderful– I can’t take it all in!
Psa 139:7  Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?
Psa 139:8  If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there!
Psa 139:9  If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon,
Psa 139:10  You’d find me in a minute– you’re already there waiting!

Do not fear God’s presence, but instead, be intrigued.  Look for it.  Seek it.  Embrace it.  Try your best to share that feeling of knowing God is there with you, around you, ahead of you, and behind you.  Even in the times you do not feel God, He is there.  He feels you.  He feels your pain, the moisture of your tears, and the weight of the words you call out to Him.  God is light, but He is no spook light.  His presence is nothing to fear.

The Final Curtain

Torn011The story of Jesus’ death is not a new story to most of us.  We’ve heard it so many times in so many ways.  Whether you first heard it at a church, or saw a version of it at the movies, or heard someone tell you the story through your television.  Perhaps you just heard it again this week as Christians, Disciples of Christ, celebrated Easter.  I’m not going to retell it here, but I would like to share the part of His story that means the most to me.

You see, at that moment, after all the beatings, the ridicule, the mocking’s, the crown, the nails, and His last breath had been drawn He died, and the veil that separated man from God in the temple was ripped from top to bottom.  In the book of Matthew chapter 27, verse 51 it says, “At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom…” (MSG)

The veil, or the Temple curtain, was just no ordinary curtain that perhaps covers the windows of your house, but this curtain was at least forty-five feet tall, and four inches thick.  It was there because God cannot look at sin, or at those who have sinned.  Only the high priest, and only once a year, could go through a long list of rituals that would consider him clean could go around the curtain into the “Holy of Holies” into the presence of God, and offer a sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of sin.

I don’t know about you, but I would hate to walk around all year with unforgiven sin.  Knowing me the very day my sins were forgiven I would probably sin again, and say, “Oh man!  Now I have to wait another year?”  At that moment when the curtain was torn from top to bottom, by God, it now meant that Jesus, who was without sin, became my high priest, and through His death on the cross I now can enter the presence of God any moment I want to, or knowing me, need to.

That’s my favorite part of the story of Jesus’ death, but when the curtain ripped that wasn’t the end of Jesus’ story…three days later He made a curtain call.

 

Looking For God

P1020216This past week, during a team meeting for my trip to Zambia, one of the members shared that she keeps a journal, but not just any journal.  She went on to share how at the end of every day she writes down in this journal where and how God showed up.  The name of this journal is, “Only God”.

Isaiah 40:26 says, “Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this?…”  Oswald Chambers writes in his book, My Utmost for His Highest “The people of God in Isaiah’s time had blinded their mind’s ability to see God by looking on the face of idols.”  I certainly think in our day people are looking at their idols as well.  An idol can be anyone or anything you put in place of God.

When you look for God every day, everything changes.  Your vision of people and events, your conversations, and even your reactions to the annoyances of each day can change.  What a great discipline to look for where God showed up in your day, and then to take the time to record it.  I guarantee you in a moment’s weakness where she might not think that God cares about her or hears her prayers all she has to do is open up her “Only God” journal and read a page or two in order to be assured that each and every day God is there with her.

I challenge you this week to look for God in your life, and to go one step further to record where you saw God and what you saw Him doing in your life, or in someone else’s.

Today He Visited

The subject of being in the very presence of God has always intrigued me.  To think that God is in your midst; wow!  In the Old Testament whenever the priest would go into the portion of the temple known as the Holy of Holies he would tie a rope around his waist, and wear a bell, so if he was found “unclean” by God and died then the other priest could pull his body out from behind the thick curtain.  (By the way, the very moment that Jesus died on the cross that curtain was ripped from top to bottom! (See Mark 15:38)  That means there is nothing separating us from God now.)

I have strived to live a life worthy of having God in my midst.  I have accomplished that from time to time.  Fortunately, now that Jesus has died for our sins, I don’t have to tie a rope around my waist, or wear a bell!  Yesterday was one of those days.  I felt God’s presence all day long as I went about my day taking care of the things in life.  Each time I felt his presence I smiled, and prayed, and chatted with him.  This isn’t saying I consider myself super spiritual, but I desire his presence.  I seek it.  The presence of GodIt is in the presence of God I find comfort, strength, and direction.  There is nothing like talking to the one who loves you more than anything else!  The one big enough to create this earth, and everything in it, and then set it in order, but small enough to make you feel like you are the only one he has to talk to.  I’m glad yesterday I could say, “Today he visited.”