Keeping in step with Jesus

Oswald Chambers – “The abiding consciousness of our life is to be God.  The whole of our life inside and out is to be absolutely haunted by the Presence of God”.

Enoch (Genesis 5:24) walked with God and one day as he walked in close fellowship with the Lord – one amazing day as they walked together, God took Enoch home with Him.  We know very little about Enoch – just that he walked with God and had a great-grandson named Noah.  Was Enoch’s faith in God taught to his family until it reached Noah?  Enoch’s name and lifestyle are recorded in the eternal Scriptures still on record (Hebrews 11:5) that he pleased God.  Enoch is one of only two men who haven’t yet experienced physical death.

John looked at Jesus (John 1:36) as He walked along and said – Behold the Lamb of God. I can find no common-sense explanation for this recognition.  To all outward appearance Jesus was an ordinary Jewish man.  He wasn’t preaching a sermon or performing a miracle – just walking along the street.  I’m sure He wasn’t the only man on the street.  How could John have known Who He was?  John didn’t know Jesus (John 1:32-34) but the Lord had told him that he would recognize the Son of God when Jesus was baptized.  John would actually see (John 1:32-33)) the Holy Spirit descending on Him and hear God’s confirmation.  No matter what Jesus was doing – walking among other people – cleaning His teeth – helping in the carpenter shop - - - He was so in step with His Father that He had unbroken union with God.  Also, God in His Sovereignty had appointed the time for Jesus to be revealed as the Saviour of the world.  Not common sense recognition but only Divine Revelation.

Oswald Chambers – “Getting into the stride of God means nothing less than union with Himself”.

Apart from His sinlessness, Jesus had nothing going for Him that we don’t have going for us.  Everything that was available to Him in His humanity is available to us because of the atonement.  We can walk in step with Jesus – with our hand in His nail-pierced hand in the ordinary mundane things of life where we are never noticed.  When we get into the stride of God – only the stride and the power of God will be manifested.  Every detail of our lives is under God’s sovereign control.  It is only by the Holy Spirit that the Son of God will be revealed in and through us.  He must (Matthew 3:17, Colossians l:18) have the pre-eminence.  The Father is to be glorified (John 14:13) in the Son by Jesus being preeminent in all we think – say – do - have.  Then He will not be hindered from doing in us (John 8:29) always the things that please the Father.

God’s justice and our safety and security are only possible because of His Sovereign Omniscience.  There is nothing God doesn’t know and He is willing to teach us the mind of God.

Dr. Charles Stanley – “God is willing to reveal to us more of His mind than many of us are willing to receive.”

Consider (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, 16) what we don`t know and what is available to be known if we are surrendered to the Lord.  If we have a Bible in our hands and the Holy Spirit in our hearts – He will teach us all of the mind of God that we need to know.

Could anything be more valuable?

If we are aware that the Lord is working in us and also using us in some way, we must be on high alert.  It is when we are seeking the Lord with all our hearts, obeying Him and trusting Him to touch other lives through us, that we are in the most danger.  We have a crafty, wily, evil enemy who is so determined to make us useless for God’s purpose.  He is too cunning to waste time trying to tempt us with sordid sin.  But – maybe – a sly whisper - - just a slight touch of smugness – a tiny vestige of pride – a little seed of self-importance??  BEWARE!

Beware Esau – he despised (Genesis 25:34) what God loved.  He could handle it and make it on his own in his own way.  He didn’t need any religious stuff.

Beware Uzzah – he meddled (2 Samuel 6:6-7) where he had no business.

When the Philistines returned the Ark of God it was put (1 Samuel 6:3) in the house of Abinadab who was Uzzah’s father.  Once each year when the high priest only went into the holy of holies (where the Ark was at that time) he knew he was entering the very Presence of God with all its Shekina glory and he went with fear and trembling.

Uzzah knew the holy significance of the Ark – he knew it was carried by poles through the corner rings and never touched.  It had been in Uzzah’s house (1 Samuel 7:1) for 20 years.  Because of that did he think that he had higher knowledge and privilege than other people – including the high priest?  Did he pompously dare to think that he could protect or be familiar with the Presence of the Living God?  God doesn’t need his help.

God dwells (1 Timothy 6:16) in the terrifying glare of the blinding, brilliant Light of His holiness and no one dare approach.  No one could dare and survive.

Beware Uzziah – (2 Chronicles 26:3) I think this is probably the most frightening and graphic warning against pride in all of Scripture.  We are amazed that a 16 year old boy could be such a good and loved king and (1-5) walked in the way of the Lord.  We are impressed by his skill (9-10.15) in strategy and weapons for war.  We are stunned by the lavish riches and power God lavished on him and (15) his name spread.  This guy was famous!

But – what happened?  He decided to go into the holy temple to burn incense.  The high Priest took 80 priests with him and went in to rebuke and remove the king but Uzziah was enraged.  How dare they rebuke him just because he was transgressing the holy law of God!!!  Suddenly all the priests were silent and stood perfectly still as they looked in horror at Uzziah.  They saw the leprosy on his forehead (2 Chronicles 26:19) before Uzziah realized God had smitten him.  From being a fixed star Uzziah became a despised leper – living in a separate (2 Chronicles 26:21-23) house and when he died he was buried outside the royal tombs.

As I ponder these cases and sense all the fluctuating emotions which dominated these men throughout their lifetimes – I wonder – I wonder – I wonder – is pride spiritual leprosy?

Isaiah began his ministry (Isaiah 6:1) in the year that King Uzziah died and warns us (Isaiah 42:8) that God will not give His glory to another which Paul (1 Corinthians 1:29) confirms.

To me, pride is the greatest of all sins because I think it is the root of every sin because every sin is all about ME!

I take great comfort in God’s Omniscience.  He knows the thoughts and language of my heart even when I can’t find the words.  He knows everything in every detail about everything.  He never has partial knowledge but full knowledge from beginning to end of everything He created – humans – animals – plants – space –everything everywhere.

He knows (Psalms 139:1-6, Psalms 139:15-16) every personal detail, even the tiniest.  He knows what thoughts I’m going to think (Psalms 139:2) ages before I think them.  He knows what I’m going to say (Psalms 139:4) before I do.  He knows how every physical problem and difficult situation will turn out and because He loves us we have nothing to worry about.

God’s Justice and our safety and security requires His Sovereign Omniscience.  If we grasp the personal significance of God’s Sovereign Omniscience we’ll understand why Paul called himself the prisoner of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:1) when he was in Caesar’s prison in Rome.

Isaiah didn’t know that he would be a prophet.  That he would write one of the longest books in the Bible or that he would be sawn in half by order of wicked King Manasseh.  John the Baptist didn’t know (Matthew 14:10) that one slice of Herod’s sword would usher him victoriously into Paradise.  Paul didn’t know (Acts 9:6) that he would be beheaded.  Peter didn’t know (John 21:17) that he would be crucified.  The Apostle John didn’t know that the enemies of Jesus would try to kill him by boiling him in oil and he didn’t know (Revelation 1:1) that he would survive to write the glorious Book of Revelation.  But our Omniscient God knew all from before the foundation of the world when He had chosen them.  These men served God’s purpose (Acts 13:36) for their generation and their God-given ministries were completed.  Nothing ever was or even will be out of God’s control.

I know you’ll agree that our hope – joy – peace is based on God’s Omnipresence.  What about our approach now to the (Hebrews 10:19-20) holy of holies?  The old hymn says: -

“I’ve found the way through the Blood past the veil

To the holy of holies with God”.

We go with Jesus or no entry.  Remember – remind yourself daily – never forget that every spiritual gift – blessing – privilege is because and only because of the ATONEMENT.  But have we lost the AWE?  Are my thoughts – words – deeds- attitudes fit for the holy Presence of God?  There is nowhere where God is not.

Dr. Charles Stanley – “We say that God’s Presence is everywhere.  It might be better to say that everywhere is always in God’s Presence”.

There is nowhere in earth or space or anywhere else that is not in the Presence of God.  He sees perfectly in the darkness (Psalms 139:7-12) as He does in the light.  If I ride on the rays of the sun, the wings of the morning and go to the farthest place sunlight can travel, God’s Presence is not only there but has been with me all through my journey.  Jonah discovered God’s Presence (Jonah 2:1) even inside the stomach of a huge fish. This promise to Moses (Exodus 33:14) is also for you and me.  My Presence shall go with you and I will give you rest – the rest which means perfect peace (Psalms 119:165) in response to obedience.

I think for believers there is a deeper and very personal and loving awareness of the Omnipresence of God.

Oswald Chambers – “The abiding consciousness of our life is to be God.  The whole of our life inside and out is to be absolutely haunted by the Presence of God”.

Now we can understand why worry is sin.  God’s Presence makes our shield of faith an effective barricade against all the onslaughts of the devil.  In the midst of the very worst – our lives (Colossians 3:3) are hid with Christ in God.  So we have abiding companionship with God our Refuge.

No matter what happens in our lives – we need (Daniel 2:20-23) to be totally caught up with WHO GOD IS!

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