There is no place more wonderful than the loving presence of God. We enter through faith in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the will of the Father, and there we can enjoy precious communion with God, Three in One.
But it needs to be said that we should not enter lightly. We must go with a heart that is willing to receive and obey His instruction. The Lord delights in His people spending time with Him, but that is also where He instructs, corrects, and leads us. In Psalm 32, David declares, “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance” (32:7). The LORD responds directly with a promise: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with Me eye upon you” (32:8). We make the Lord our hiding place, and in that place His eye will be upon us; that is where He will instruct and counsel us.
Do we have a theology of action? Of course we believe in forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ, as in Matthew chapter nine where Jesus forgives the paralytic man. But do we regularly expect to see forgiven folks miraculously walking in the love and counsel of God? We should! Along with forgiveness of sins, Jesus released the power to take righteous action. Our theology of resurrection life may need some strengthening!
Proverbs 6:3 begins with these words: “Do this, my son, and deliver yourself.” Verse 5 commands us, “Deliver yourself,” once again. We know that we must go to Jesus for deliverance, but is there space in our thinking to allow that Jesus may first give us instructions to carry out? Do we consider that, when we obey Jesus in this way, He is certainly delivering us, but in another real sense, we are delivering ourselves? Pastor Jeff and I recently had the privilege of praying with a man who was done with sin, sickened with it and asking for prayer. To my surprise, during the prayer time, the man began to deliver himself! I expected it would be our responsibility to take authority over spiritual wickedness and kick it out. Instead, he began boldly renouncing Satan and commanding every demon to flee from his life because of the blood of Jesus!
God calls us to specific action, because He knows the freedom it will bring; He wants us to engage our will to take the step or steps that will secure the blessing of freedom. As in Proverbs 6:3, the first step must always be, “Go, humble yourself….” The power and value of humbling ourselves before God and each other cannot be overstated. May I ask, when was the last time you and I willfully humbled ourselves? Should this not become a regular choice before God, even a daily one?
See, by humbling ourselves, we avoid much unnecessary trouble. In Psalm 32, after God promises to give His counsel, He says, “Do not be as the horse or as the mule…whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you” (32:8). In other words, do not wait until the consequences of disobedience are affecting you before you turn to God’s wisdom. Serve Him willingly! We can humble ourselves today by saying, “My way is not sufficient; Your ways are perfect, Lord, so teach me Your ways.” Seek wisdom before there is a disaster or a crisis. Put His words into practice now, because the Lord longs to get our attention with His still, small voice, rather than an earthquake. This is the heart of the warning against laziness in verses 12 to 15. Don’t lie down in your own ways, moods, or desires today; don’t put off listening to God’s wisdom until your need is so bad that it confronts you like an armed man. Stay spiritually awake and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit today. Listen to the warnings against adultery, falsehood, and pride; let them sober your heart and direct your path. Get up and begin to do the will of the Father, and if you have no strength, believe that He will give it to you! Jesus says, according to your faith, it will be done to you (Matthew 9:29).
The Rock Church