Torchbearers for Christ
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Search this site.View the site map.

The Year Ahead

 
Here we are at the beginning of a new year, which will no doubt bring both the bright days and the difficult times. Recently, I have been most encouraged by the Lord’s words to Moses when he told His servant, “My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest”.
 
At this time, Moses was faced with a very difficult situation. He had been appointed by God to lead Israel in their journey to the Promised Land. Well aware of his own limitations and the problems he faced, he felt the need of God’s help in a very special way. He said to the Lord, “You have told me to lead the people to the Promised Land, but You will not tell me who it is You are sending to be my guide” (Exodus 33:12). The Lord reassured his servant with these comforting words, “My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest”, to which Moses replied, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here”. God, as always, was faithful to His promise.
 
Throughout the Scripture, we learn of men who faced seemingly impossible situations, but they overcame by the presence of the Lord upholding and enabling them. Such men included Joseph, Isaac, Jacob, David and others. Take the case of Joseph in Genesis 39. Here he is, a young man despised by his brothers, sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. On four separate occasions (see Chapter 39 vss. 2,3,21 and 23, also Acts 7:9), we read how “the Lord was with Joseph”, enabling him to maintain his integrity under very difficult situations and bring God’s blessing to others. It is also interesting to note that it was obvious to those with whom he was associated that God’s presence was with Joseph. The men we have mentioned were leaders who were assigned to special tasks, but let us be assured as we enter 2011 that God’s presence is available to all of us, provided we know the Lord, love Him and want to please Him. Like Moses, we can claim God’s precious promise, “My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest”.
 
If God is everywhere, we might ask, then surely His presence is automatically with everyone, but we could distinguish between God’s omni-presence and His particular presence. We read how “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord” (Genesis 4:16) and how God, in His anger, “cast Israel out of His presence (2 Kings 24:20). With regard to God’s particular presence, we are encouraged to “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). I have found this verse to be most comforting in times of personal or corporate prayer. We all know the joy of God’s presence in our midst when “two or three are gathered together in His name” (Matthew 18:20).
 
Let us take comfort from the assurance that we too can trust God to be with us in coming days. What an unspeakable privilege it is to have God’s presence with us; His comfort, His peace, His strength and the “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). God’s abiding presence is assured, provided we sincerely want to please Him. Psalm 140:13 tells us “The upright shall dwell in Thy presence”. We read of David, how he “behaved himself wisely in all his ways and the Lord was with him” (1 Samuel 18:14). May this be our experience in the coming year.
 
This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He was a frequent contributor to this column. He lived in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  He has gone to be with the Lord.