Releasing God's Presence in Our Lives
Our love for each other is the eye glasses we use to help us see God better. Loving His creation
enables us to feel His presence to a greater extent.
"No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us" (1 John 4:12).
Love is the
flashlight by which we see and feel God. "The one who loves his brother abides in the Light..." (1John 2:10). We can see or feel God in even the simplest things on this earth if we have His love in our
hearts. If we love one another, we can see God.
If we want to experience more of God's presence in our lives, then we need only to love one another. This is very simple for as we do unto the least of
these we see God. Enjoying each other will lead us to enjoying more of God. One act of kindness can produce more of God's presence in our lives than a whole year of Bible studies. One smile to a child can mean
more to God than a week's worth of fasting.
"Is this not the fast which I chose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? Is
it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh [and blood]?" (Isaiah 58: 6-7).
Ministry Starts at Home
Many years ago I read the book "In His Steps" by Charles M. Sheldon. In this book, many people turned away from their own ideas and plans for their lives and began doing great
things for God. They turned their attentions away from themselves and turned to the needs of others. It gave me a desire to seek the Lord and ask Him what great and wonderful work I could do for Him. I thought to myself,
"Does God want me to sell all that I own and go to Africa to suffer for the sake of the Gospel? Did He wish me to start an orphanage in the heart of New York City?" What could it be?
What He told me
shocked me more than anything He could have said. He said, "Minister to your family." What a shock to me. The greatest thing I could or ever would do for God was to love my own children. What He was saying was
that my love for my own family was foundational. How I served them each day without notice or praise was preparation for a farther-reaching ministry. It was what God used to draw me close to Him, much like David who
"ministered" to the sheep in the field, all the while becoming a king.
I could start the greatest revival the world has ever known, lead millions of people to Christ and set people free though anointed
preaching, yet all would be a loss if I could not first minister to those blessed five who live under my roof.
Sometimes we get so "spiritual" that we forget to enjoy life and the people
in our lives. My mission field wasn't in Africa or New York City. But first and foremost, my mission was right in my own living room watching Sesame Street. If I fail in loving them, how could God trust me to love
Looking for Love
"Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you, the glory of the Lord will be your
rear guard" (Isaiah 58:8).
When we graduate from the school of loving our own, God will trust us with more. In any ministry, love must be our motivation. Without love we cannot see, for we are in darkness
(1John 2:9). With the light of love in our hearts we can see, for we are walking in His light and our hearts are open to see the destiny of God in others. As we begin to raise up one another and care for the needs of
others, we will see the righteousness of God shine forth in our own lives.
Because of love, the very presence of Almighty God will be our rear guard. Where we go He will go; the Glory of God will follow us around.
When we set others free, we will be set free from the yoke of our own oppression. The Lord has linked us together in a chain of love. He reacts to our needs when we act in love towards one another. He answers us when we answer the cries of others. What a wonderful God we serve.
"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and He will say, 'Here am I'" (Isaiah 58:9).
God has bound Himself to love. This is His way of playing hide and seek with us. We can search and search for Him and then, in a moment, when we submit ourselves to loving His people, He says, "Here I am." If you want to find God, then LOVE!
God will be found by those who walk in love. He reveals Himself to those who love, appreciate and enjoy each other. If you want to find God, hug a child or love your neighbor. If you want the power of God to follow you around, take cookies to a friend. If you have a need, give away something you have.
Ambassadors of Love
"By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:9).
God sent Jesus to us to show us what
true love looks like. His idea was that He would send His Son to show us how to love and then we would all model after Him. The Father then intends that, just as Christ was God's ambassador of His love, we would be
Christ's ambassadors of that same awesome love to those around us.
"Love that is patient, love that is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not
seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered..." (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
This might sound like a lot to consume, but God does not expect us to eat a sandwich without first taking a
bite, meaning we simply do what we can, performing the simple acts of kindness even when we don't feel like it. Before we know it, our love has grown and we are fulfilling our call - we are walking in love! When
we are His ambassadors of love, we feel His Presence stronger in our lives.
Offense comes to try to tear up the groundwork love has laid in our lives, but this is only an opportunity to have
more of His Presence in our lives. When we love, even when we have been wronged, God releases a stronger dose of His Presence. He honors us and frees us. Offense seeks to bind us up and keep our love from flowing. But when
we free ourselves from the chains of offense and love in spite of wrongs done, God's love flows freely through us.
It is at these times when our loves grows by leaps and bounds - our love is maturing. It is
inevitable that we go through the valley of offense from time to time, but every time we do, our love grows deeper and we walk closer to our Father. He is, after all, love (1 John 4:16).
The Lord promises us
that He will hear us and hear our cry if we will simply act out of love for one another. We are bound to each other by love, and He is bound to us by our love for each other.
Allow the Lord to change your mind about
those in your life whom you have judged. We may not agree with everything they do, but we still have to love them and treat them with respect. The very people we judge with harshness or disregard could be the ones we
are assigned to raise up and show the awesome love of Jesus Christ.
Pray this with me:
Father, help me to be Your ambassador of love. Show me how to express love to others. Help me to forgive
offenses done to me. Use my love to open the door for others to know You more.