Posts in Priority of His Presence
Seen

In the classic movie, “Casablanca” Bogart says to the beautiful Iisa “Here’s looking at you kid”. These must be some of the most well remembered of all the most meaningless words ever spoken.   But it does matter if some people are looking at us or not.  If you have ever been to an optometrist you know the feeling of having another peer through an instrument into your eyes.  We don’t see their eyes and even their face is sometimes obscured by the instruments of purpose.  But our confidence is not in the fact we can see their eyes but in the fact that we know they can see deeply into ours.

Seeking God’s face is not meant to be the new “works”. Rather it is our greatest delight and privilege but it is still by faith and sometimes we don’t see His face that clearly.  Our faith is not established by how well we think we see His face or seek His face but our confidence is established by the fact that He sees us.  Our God is the God who sees.

Hagar running away from home in the desert finally put her boy under a bush and walked away.  She didn’t want to see or hear her little boy as he died.  God saw and heard them both. Hagar called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You-Are- the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” (Genesis 16:13).  He saw Israel’s trouble and came down to deliver them. “And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt…”( Exodus3:7).  He sees his followers before they are following. “And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen”( Mark 1:16)  He saw us in our need then and in our need now. “Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them so he came to them” (Mark 6:48). None of these people were good at seeing or even looking but He is awesome at seeing and revealing Himself and He did.   When we do get to “see Him” it is because He saw us first.

Plainly it is more important that God sees us than us seeing Him. Yes, looking is vital for he says  “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).  But ultimately our salvation is not based upon our ability to see or to look but is based on the fact that he already looked upon us and decided to be our Saviour. If we are saved by looking upon Him how much more when He looks upon us.

One woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus. After Jesus silenced her accusers Jesus asked the woman who was left to accuse her. “She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more”(John 8:11).  A woman prepared to commit adultery in that society knowing the consequence was public stoning or at least lifelong public shame was a woman desperate for value, not sex.  He said to her to go and sin no more, and because she had met Jesus she found she was able to live differently.  With one look, Jesus the King drove away evil with His eyes. (Proverbs 20:8)   Just one look from her creator told her she was born for better things. She now knew she could live equal to her value because when you know the King has seen you-you can see yourself differently!

Friend, it means a lot to know that He is looking at you kid. It changes everything.

Friends

Jesus headed out of Jerusalem and walked toward a small town called Bethany. Of all the places Jesus went, Bethany was one of His favourite places. He went there often and he liked to lodge with His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. It was a place where He could receive refreshing and support from friends. Bethany had the sort of friends, that Jesus is was looking for.
One was Mary. She was wasteful in her worship. Worship that isn’t wasteful, probably isn’t really worship. Worship is an over flow of devotion to God. It’s not measured out or a set quantity, it not an offering of 27.5 minutes of worship. That may be an offering but it’s not worship. The ointment she poured on Jesus feet was expensive and wiping His feet with her hair was shocking. Worship is costly; it costs you time and it costs you your pride. She worshiped the God who had no need because her need was to give worship and when needy one, gave to the One who had no need she found herself richer.

Not everyone there was happy. Extravagant worship always exposes the cold, pragmatic and practical mindset. While the thief was willing to be generous with someone else's money, the worshiper was generous with her own. Judas the betrayers' question was "why"?… Mary's question and every worshiper's question is "when and how do we get to?" but never why.

Friend, why don’t we make a Bethany for Jesus. He will turn up - He loves to be at Bethany and Hes still looking for friends.

Seven Locks

Samson enjoyed Delilah but while he was asleep in the lap of compromise, he was shorn of his hair; and along with his hair, the strength of anointing that clothed his weakness. We are all weak without Him. We don’t we like weakness and we want to be in control; we don’t want things to be too big for us. We want the walls to be small enough to climb with a ladder if the shout doesn’t work. We don’t want to have to trust God; we want concrete, not water under our feet.
But nothing about being a disciple of Jesus is possible without miracles. It is impossible to live as Christians without supernatural intervention.   The task of changing hardened skeptics into people who will die for Jesus Christ, is, of course, impossible, apart from miracles from God and miracles only happen in the circumstance of weakness, need, and impossibility.

Gods plan is to work through weak vessels so he gets the credit. In fact, he even says “My power is made perfect in your weakness.” When Paul understood this he said, “Therefore I will gladly boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Can we say too, that we are more interested in Gods power being released through us, than in our comfort or ease?  Trials and troubles pull us to our knees but when there is no pressure, we drift toward the arm of the flesh and our spiritual effectiveness withers. Samson was a man who forgot where his strength lay. (Judges 16:17) Without God, he was as weak as any man.

Friend, it takes the full 7 locks of Gods anointing to fulfill our destiny. The saddest thing is that many of us are happy to live with one or two locks. Let's grow some “hair” in His presence today.