You know, when we consider the challenges of day to day life, it’s so easy and oftentimes justifiable to get caught up in our cares, errands and worries that we lose sight of what matters most. We seem to just be focused on what is happening around us now, so much so that we often lose grip of the more important and then the most important things.
Let us consider a very apt illustration- there’s an interesting little story at the end of Luke 2 about Joseph, Mary and Jesus. For an average Israelite, the Passover was a really big deal, people saved all year to ensure that they were able to afford to make the trip to Jerusalem with whatever animal the law required of them depending on how wealthy they were. So it was that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem for Passover when He was twelve years old. Great move, so caught up were they with the festival that they left assuming Jesus was somewhere in the company. They carried on without even a sense of him being there until after a day’s journey. Made me consider and wonder at how many times we suppose God is with us in our busyness whilst we have wandered off to do our own thing?
What is more striking was that after they realized Jesus was not with them, it took them three days to find Him. Three days! The message here is that it is easier to leave Jesus behind and lose that special presence of God than it is to get it back. Losing Jesus was effortless; they just assumed He was with them (Samson too didn’t know when the presence of God left. Saul didn’t know when God departed from Him either)… but Joseph and Mary needed whole days to find him.
We must be very careful to ensure that we maintain God’s presence because it is much more difficult to restore it relative to losing it. We must ensure that we are careful to remain in the word of God through obedience so that we don’t lose His presence. We choose to refrain from behavior that offends God because we realize how important His presence is and don’t want to lose it. When we do, we make God feel at home in our hearts. We choose to be obedient to God’s word.
My aunt once told me that after over thirteen years of marriage, she was sure her husband had not cheated and wouldn’t cheat because He had too much going on with God to lose. That stuck with me; the presence of God is so rare and dear, that’s all that Israel had, that was what sustained them through the wilderness. Say, what could be worth losing it for? At this point, it is no longer about what your pastor or neighbour has to say about something you intend to do. How blessed it is to act out of relationship. we cherish our relationship with God and value His presence so that we are guided by love for Him and not fear. In the Cost Benefit Analysis, nothing compares to the presence of God!
Let this be an encouragement to us all to preserve the presence of God. That is what will keep me from committing a sin when nobody else is there because I know how important the presence of God is and how hard it is to get the presence of God back when I lose it. David’s cry in Psalm 51 after he committed adultery is a good reflection of repentance and seeking the return of God’s presence after a sin. He grieved for the loss of God’s presence before the presence of God was restored. The presence of God is a gift and we must ensure we bask in it, walk in holy fear and obedience and trust God’s grace to ensure we preserve it.
God bless you!
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