Browsing all articles in Presence

Many people set goals for the New Year. As believers we should prayerfully set spiritual goals. To have powerful and effective goals one should know the heart and mind of the Lord. Before his ascension back to heaven, Jesus revealed his purpose and power for his followers – the church. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Jesus taught that it is imperative that every believer be a witness. He sent the Holy Spirit to fill and empower every believer. Ask yourself this New Year, “Am I a witness? What kind of witness am I?” Let’s consider how we can be a more effective witness.

When you can’t feel God

Detecting God’s presence

When trying to measure time or weight or temperature or speed or any of a hundred other things, we make a huge leap forward whenever we stop trusting our feelings or intuition and start relying on instrumentation. For instance, trying to tell the time by using our feelings, such as how hungry or tired we feel, and our senses, such as how light it seems, is crudely inaccurate compared to using an objective measure of a clock. Likewise, guessing from circumstances or whether we feel guilty or happy or peaceful or excited or lucky, is a most unreliable way of gauging spiritual reality.

Have you ever felt brain dead, burned out, stressed out, or just plain worn out? If not, stop reading, this article is not for you. But if you have experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms – you deserve a break today. A fast food restaurant tells you that “You deserve a break today!” But you need more than a quick and easy break. You need a regular, deep, quality break. You need a time of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

In the Old Testament God commanded His people to honor the Sabbath. The seventh day of the week was to be set aside for rest and spiritual rejuvenation. Perhaps one of the reasons that so many people are plagued with so many illnesses in this “modern” age is that so few people honor the Sabbath, or a day of rest with spiritual rejuvenation. (See Exodus 16:23; 20:10, Isaiah 56:2; 58:13, Hebrews 4:9, Acts 20:7, I Corinthians 16:2, and Hebrews 10:25.) Under the Old Covenant even the land was commanded by God to be left fallow every seventh year.

First – PRAYER EMPTIES THE HEART OF CARES. When we pray, we get rid of weights, worry, stress, frustrations, and aggravations that cause us to sin and pull away from God. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (O Peter 5:7). Many immediately call on family or friends instead of God to help get them in the right frame of mind. Until your heart is empty of care or worry you will not hear from God. We must have a pure heart. (See Matthew 5:8.) When you go to God in prayer, He promises to guard or “garrison” your heart with His peace that “passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7).

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).

Few Scripture verses are quoted more often than Luke 6:38 regarding giving and receiving. Does it really mean what it seems to say? Does God promise to give to us abundantly? Do God’s promises depend on our giving first? What about those who have nothing to give? Does that mean that they will receive nothing from the Lord?