#2523 1231 17A

            After going through a difficult trial, we often say God is still with us, to encourage and remind us that we should not allow the devil to discourage or to hide the fact that God is still with those who still put their faith and trust in His atoning sacrifice.

            The presence of God is to mean everything to us, as it did believers in the Bible. He was close by to do anything they needed or requested—the supply of a need; protection from harm; victory over temptation; freedom from fear, and the answer to every prayer. If God’s presence meant that in the Bible, then it has to mean the same today—because He is the same.

            We know that God is with us; we know that He loves us; and we know that we can ask for the benefit of His power. Jesus told the woman at Sychar that He came to help sinners—anyone who was troubled, worried, depressed, or afflicted—so we can claim the same. He said John 4:10 “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is” with whom you are speaking—that God, through His Son, was talking with her, “You would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

            She needed the Holy Spirit first, so she could believe what God’s presence meant second.  God was still with Israel—when Moses said that he did not want to go unless God went with them; and He was still with them—He supplied every need; protected them from harm; and led the nation to a literal paradise—that is what God wants to do for anyone.

            Two things must be known—that God is still present with us, and His attitude is still perfect love toward us. Matthew 28:18, 20 “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Everything that God’s presence meant then; all that He could and did do—as well as everything He owns, is still ours now.

            His attitude toward us is the same as His love toward His Son—He is waiting to do whatever we need done. James 4:2 “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” Jesus prayed to the Father John 17:23 [Thou] “hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”  Since God gave us His Son, then He could forgive us of sins Romans 8:32 “How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

            When God is given the opportunity, by our willingness to believe and trust Him, He will quickly help us. God wants to do things for everyone, but most people will not trust Him in faith to begin the process. We would have to deliberately rebel, to not let God do things for us. Many turn away from God over a minor issue—which could forfeit their soul and land them in Hell.

            We are anguished over so much unbelief in the world, but how must God feel when He is present with us, to do everything for us—and also knowing and that a real Hell exists for all who will not believe Him and not trust Him in faith!

            God also knows how glorious a place Heaven is, and that His services are free for any-one who is willing to prove they are free. Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom”—but He cannot give the kingdom if we will not trust Him in faith for it.

            How grieved God must feel when people deliberately turn away from Him in unbelief—even though He is right by their side with enormous power, and unselfish love, ready to do things for them—but they will not allow Him, because they will not trust Him!

            If we will give God the least opportunity to help us, He will work to encourage us, and do everything possible to lead us to victory. God is ready to show anyone how valuable His financial plan is, and He is waiting to bless them, but they need to be convinced of His presence and power, so He can bless them.

            We always use the best tool for a certain job. We do not use a stick to write a check; nor scissors to cut a pipe. It is just common-sense to use the benefits of God’s presence, as it is to use the right tool for a certain task.

            The Godhead consists of three Persons who are alike—the presence of One means the presence of All. God is the same as Jesus; Jesus is the same as God; the Holy Spirit is the same as the Father and the Son. 

            The devil wants us to differentiate between Jesus and God; or Christ and the Spirit, when there is no difference—all are one. There is Ephesians 4:5-6 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

            When Jesus was present, God was on earth. When He ascended, He sent the third person of the Trinity. John 16:7 “It is expedient [beneficial] for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you”14:16 “that he may abide with you forever.”

            The Holy Spirit is the power of God who did the work of creation—Genesis 1:2 “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Holy Spirit does the healing; gives all spiritual light and strength we need; and He enables us to resist Satan. The great God of Heaven is still with us! Everything that God in Heaven means to us, God on earth means to us. God is at our side to do anything for us, so Romans 8:31 “who can be against us?”

            Bible believers knew what it meant to have God to defend and protect them. We are safe because God is present, no matter who or what comes against us—as safe as if we were in Heaven with Him. The nation of Israel came to a raging sea in front and had enemy forces in back.  

            There was no human way of escape, but God delivered them with no problem. Hebrews 11:29 “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”

            An army surrounded Elisha, and his servant saw with his natural vision and darkened mind. 2 Kings 6:15 “Alas, my master! how shall we do?” A military force sent to capture and kill you, is far worse than a cross look or a mean lie told on you. Elisha informed his servant that God was still with them. 16 “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

            Elisha believed what Moses wrote. He knew that the presence of God meant safety from attack. 17 “Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.  And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” God defeated that military force.

            The apostle Paul experienced a violent storm for fourteen days—dangerous weather conditions from Satan to destroy him and every-one else. The apostle was at peace, because he had the presence of God. Whether in a boat during a raging sea, or enjoying a walk on a summer day, God is still with us—there is no need to be afraid.

            The apostle said Acts 27:22-23 “Be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve.” God’s presence meant no loss of life, so the apostle testified 25 “I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”

            God’s presence protected them; they all got safely to land; and those on the island heard the Truth for the first time. The words Romans 8:31 “If God be for us, who can be against us” is not a line of poetry, but a declaration of truth about God’s presence—a presence that will lift any burden, or lighten any sorrow felt—it means deliverance, victory, and protection.

            Three Hebrews walked around in the flames of a furnace—flames so hot that they killed the soldiers who threw them in it. The Hebrews were as safe as in a rose garden, and came out of that oven without a hair singed or clothing burnt.

            The king exclaimed Daniel 3:25 “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God [a divine being].”

            The Bible is a revelation of what the presence of God means; and we are blessed to know that God is still with us today. There should be no fear, because God’s presence removes it. The Romans caged lions and starved them for malefactors in Babylon; and because of Daniel’s faith in God, they threw him to the lions, but God’s presence did not allow those beasts to touch him.

            The list is long of those Hebrews 11:33-34 “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” If God’s presence did those things then, He would have to do them today—because He cannot change Mal. 3:6.

            When we deserved the worst, He gave His best. Romans 8:32 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” If we were willing to give a hundred dollars, we would surely give one dollar.

            If God would give His Son to die for us—when we were enemies in our minds—then He will surely give us—“all things that pertain unto life and godliness” 2 Peter 1:3. If we will give God the opportunity, He will show us His love, mercy, and power. He will 2 Chronicles 16:9 show “himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect [in faith] toward him.”

            It will be a shock for those who profess faith in God, but who trust in human help, to realize that the living God of Heaven was at their side and eager to give them everything they needed—all the peace, health, healing, protection, and every other blessing God has promised.

            It will be a sad discovery and the worst of regrets, to find out in the Lake of Fire—when it is too late to change anything—that it could all have been so different—and 100% their own fault—because they would not believe that God was still with them!


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