Dangerous Living?

"Show me your Glory, show me Your glory, yeah!

I long to look on the face of the One that I love

Long to stay in your presence, it's where I belong"

- Jesus Culture

We often sing this song during worship at my church on Sunday mornings. It is one of those songs that everyone loves to sing because when most of us imagine God's glory and His presence we imagine a place of peace, happiness, and love. We sing, and lift our hands, and smile, and in the comfort of the sanctuary, we invite the Lord's presence in our lives. However, as we were singing this song one morning, it struck me that inviting the Lord's presence does not guarantee a peaches and cream life. In fact, James tell us,

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-3

Longing to stay the Lord's presence means a willingness to go where He calls us, to act how He tells us, and to speak the way He calls us. It is the best thing for believers, however, it can also be the hardest and most dangerous request we ever make. Being in God's presence is not the guarantee of peace or happiness for which we often search. Some of the most famous, faithful, and mature Christians I know have been through intense amounts of pain and trials, sometimes at the height of their ministry and influence. Yet, they remained steady and unchanged in their faith. When life is at its absolute worst, what does it take to remain faithful, to persevere through the trial and to still be able to say, "I long to look on the face of the One that I love, long to stay in your presence, its where I belong?"

In the presence of the Lord, we are transformed.

Trials and challenges make us feel out of control, they make us feel weak, and oftentimes we feel alone. But, if we are in God's presence, during our weakest and lowest moments, He is transforming us through His grace. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us,"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." It is when we are weak that God's presence and power transforms us and gives us strength. If you have ever been in a Bible study group with me, you have heard me repeatedly encourage journaling and specifically journaling your prayers. The act of writing actually slows down our thought process and the speed at which we "talk." It gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to speak to us in our pauses. Additionally, it gives you a tangible history of your walk with God and God's work in your life. This weekend, Clayton King, said your scars tell your story and remind you what God did for you and how you survived. It is the ability to look back at this history and these scars that remind us of God's unwavering faithfulness. This reminder draws us closer to Him, it is where we can truly say "I long to stay in your presence" and where we allow God to transform us.

If you are tracking with us on the Scripture Memory Challenge, our current verse Romans 12:2 specifically speaks to this and says to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. This is a dangerous song and these are dangerous words because being in God's presence so transforms our lives that it will affect our relationships and friendships, how we spend our time, what we watch, what we read, what we say, where we go, and every other area of our life. However, this I know, and I have the scars to prove it, staying in God's presence is the only place we will see His glory, it is the only place our wounds are healed, and it is the only place we find hope. So, sing the words of this song with abandon, spend your time in God's presence and allow Him to transform you to change you from the inside out. Its dangerous but it is also the safest place to place your life.

 

Posted by Amanda Savage at 11:52 AM