BLESSINGS OF HIS PRESENCE
Consider these Old Testament examples of the blessings that God's presence brought to the lives of His followers:
- God's presence was so evident in Abraham's life, even the heathen around him recognized the difference between their lives and his: "Abimelech . . . spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest" (Genesis 21:22). This heathen king was saying, "Abraham, there's something different about you. God guides you, preserves you and blesses you wherever you go!"
- God promised Joshua that no enemy could stand against him when His presence was with him: "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of good courage" (Joshua 1:5-6). When God's Spirit is present with us, we can be strong and courageous and no enemy can harm us!
- God told Gideon: "The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. . . . Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel" (Judges 6:12, 14). The phrase "thy might" in this verse refers to verse 12 that says, "The Lord is with thee." Do you see what God is saying? "Gideon, there is a might in you so powerful that it can save Israel. And that might is My presence!" Scripture reveals Gideon to be a coward, so why did God call him a "mighty man of valor"? Because he wanted to prove to Gideon what an ordinary person can do when the Lord's presence is with him!
- God warned Jeremiah that the whole nation would turn against him and reject his prophecies. Yet He promised, "They shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee" (Jeremiah 15:20). God was saying, "It doesn't matter if the whole country turns against you, Jeremiah. All that matters is that My presence is with you. Be confident I am with you!"
- God told Isaiah of a special promise He makes to those He loves: "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God . . . and I have loved thee. . . . Fear not: for I am with thee" (Isaiah 43:1-5). God was saying, "With My presence abiding with you, you can go through any flood or fire and survive. Yet you won't merely survive. You'll be blessed and favored through it all, because My presence is with you!"