the Lord be with your spirit. grace be with you. [2 tim 4:22]
137 days ago, we began these writings as we embarked in the study of 2 timothy. 137 days. what a journey! the very first writing contained this statement of purpose for these writings:
in a season where we are being made to stay away from the presence of people – we need to make this a season where we press into the presence of the Lord.
have you pressed into the presence of the Lord during this season?
in some regards, this has been a great season to press into the Lord because we have had more time to do so. and, in some regards this has been a hard season to press into the Lord – BECAUSE – we have had more time. we had that time because of less in person meetings, gatherings, small groups, and corporate worship moments. we had that time because we were around a whole lot less people which made us feel alone. there was an unintentional connection our heart made in the middle of that aloneness – at times, we felt removed from God’s presence. truth:
you have not been removed from God’s presence.
“the Lord be with your spirit,” was not a prayer by paul of hope that God would be with us. no! it is a reminder for us to realize and embrace the truth that the LORD IS WITH US!
I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [matt 28:20]
the Lord of hosts is with us. [ps 46:7]
in him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. [eph 1:13]
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; [is 41:10]
we began this season with a reminder, God is with us. let’s end this season with a declaration:
in your presence there is fullness of joy. [ps 16:11]
there is no greater hope, no greater peace, no greater thing your heart longs for than joy that is completely full. and, that thing is a person, the LORD. today, i want to encourage you to do three things.
- thank God for being with you the last 137 days and never leaving or forsaking you, even when you were forgetting him or forsaking him. be specific and be extravagant with your thanksgiving. when, where, how did God remind you of his presence these last 137 days. thank him, thank him now!
- declare what his presence has brought you in the last 137 days. that is, declare that during this month God was hope when things seemed so hopeless. during this time God was loud when things seems so quiet. you get the point. again be specific. how did God reveal himself and what did he reveal. and then, be extravagant with your praise. God loves extravagant praise! so pour it out!
- ask him to wake you to his presence today and to bring joy as he does! pray for the awareness of his presence with you now. pray for that awareness to keep happening all day. and as you pray this, pray that joy would come as you sense his presence.
LORD, we thank you for being present. we thank you for reminding us and for shaking us to your presence. we praise you for being Hope, Peace, Friend, Comforter, and more. we praise you that in all these things, your presence and your presence alone brought us the joy our hearts long for. in Jesus name, amen!
~ john ryan