Awaken Me To Your Presence

Description

In this message, we learn that His presence is the greatest change agent in the universe.

Everybody Good morning. Want to give a big welcome to our Denton Campus. We welcome them with me.

We are so glad that you guys are here with us. And here we are, first week of our fast, which means you made it through week 1. You are still alive. You know, it’s okay you made it. Weak one is the hard week. This is the week that you have craving and hunger and all that kind of stuff. I had a cracking headache most of this week because of my fast and the things I am giving up, but it’s a good reminder; that means I have been relying independent upon the things of this world. So it’s good to give that stuff up and create space in our lives for Jesus and if you are just joining us, we are in the 21 days. We are praying and fasting together as a Church. I would encourage you just jump right in, right where we are. We are reading through the Book of Acts together, and when you leave if you didn’t get one, there is a little card that explains all that stuff to you, but we are just going to ask the Church praying in the singular prayer. We are just praying “Lord awaken my heart.”

And I really believe, he is actually doing that. In fact this year, more than any other the years of our fast when we have done this together, feels like more people are engaged, more people are believing God for things, more people are pressing in and you can sense that God is awakening people’s hearts that He is doing something amazing and He is showing himself to us. And so man, “don’t be discouraged, don’t give up, press through week 1 is the hard week. And that’s what you need to remember. I promise you it gets better as you get going and God will start revealing himself to you and in both campuses out in the atrium, you will see we have little something called the awaken station. And what we need to do a better job of as a church, is we need to do a better job of sharing our testimony. But we need to share how God is moving in our lives. I don’t think we will do that all that well. I will take full responsibility and blame for that. So we need to come up with some creative ways to find opportunities for us to share what God is doing in our lives. Because when you share what God is doing in your life, it not only glorifies God; it builds our faith. And so what I want to ask you to do is in the next few weeks, when you are here, when you are picking up your kids or getting a cup of coffee or just going through the HM, just walk over there, 30 seconds.

Just tell us, here is what I am praying for. Here is what I am believing God to do. Here’s how I’m seeing God move in my life. Or here’s next steps I am taking. Something as simple as, “Man, I’ve started reading the Bible through the Book of Acts. I never did that before. Share that. Because that glorifies God and it builds our faith. In fact, if you don’t share that stuff? What you are doing is you are robbing all the rest of us from our faith being built. Because my faith and your faith grows when we hear God moving in someone else’s life. Okay? So maybe if you can have the courage to do that, that would be great. Alright. If you got your Bibles – Acts Chapter 9. Acts Chapter 9, we are going to take a lot at the passage. That, we are kind of reading through the Book of Acts together and I am believing it is building our faith in starting up something inside of us and we are in the series called Awaken and we are talking about what is it to look like to live with a whole heart and a passionate life. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I read the Bible.

If I am really honest with myself, it can discourage me. Like sometimes when I read about the people in the Bible and I look at their life and I compare it to my life, I can get really discouraged. Like, man they live with this faith that I don’t seem to have. They trust God in a way I don’t seem to trust. They move with supernatural powers and miracles in their lives that sometimes don’t seem to be around my life. I mean, sometimes when I read it, it actually discourages me. Have you ever had that experience? Something like read the Bible and just feel like, man “I wish my life was more like that or maybe there is a spiritually mature person in your life and you look at them. Man, I wish I was more like that. Okay. What I have learned is that, you can’t look at the end result. You have to go back to the beginning and see how they got to where they are today. And so, here in Acts Chapter 9 – this is the beginning of the story of the Pastor Paul; the guy who writes most of the New Testament. This is the story of how he got to where he is at. So Acts Chapter 9 Verse 1 – meanwhile Saul, remember he used to be called Saul before he became Paul.

Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. Okay press pause for a second here. Do you realize in the first century, Christians weren’t called Christians. They were called followers of the way. They weren’t known as Christians. They were called followers of the way, which I think is really cool because it means their faith was evident in the way that they lived. Their faith was so strong in the way that they lived, that it set them apart and the world around them noticed the way that they lived and so they defined them followers of the way because the way they lived was so different from everybody else around them. They believe Jesus was the way and they were going to live the way that Jesus had for them to live and man I think that’s really cool and may that be two of us. When people see your life, they think you are followers of the way.

A follower of Jesus, because you faith is evident in the way that you live. In fact, I don’t know if you realize it or not, but your actions will always reveal the reality of your faith. Your actions or your behavior are revealing the reality of what you really believe. So what are your actions telling you, about what you really believe. Are you known as a follower of the way and His name is Jesus. Verse 4 – He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. And Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. Jump down to Verse 17. Then Ananias, a follower of the way, a follower of Jesus went to the house and entered it.

Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord–Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here–has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. And at once, he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the son of God. Okay. Here is a great story. You and I, we can read about the Pastor Paul all throughout the New Testament and it can really leave us discouraged. Like he had this amazing faith, he believed the Gospel. He watched God move in power in his life and we read the result of his life, but what we have to do is go back and look at how it began. And it began by having an awakening from the presence of God. Saul’s whole journey came because he was awakened by the presence of God.

He is on his way to Damascus to go and kill followers of the way to destroy the Church of Jesus. And all of a sudden out of nowhere, Jesus interrupts his life with His presence and changes everything. This interruption of the presence of God that changes Saul’s life and sets a whole new trajectory in motion and what you have to remember about Saul, he was a super religious guy. Like, he believed in the law. He followed the law. He wanted to keep the Jewish customs. He was super religious and yet he had never had an encounter with the living God of the Universe, which means you can be religious your entire life without ever having one encounter with the presence of God. He was religious, but he never encountered God. And in this one moment, this Devine encounter, he is awakened by the presence of God. And the presence of God does some amazing things in his life. First thing it does is it changes his identity.

The presence of God literally changes his identity. In this moment, he goes from Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Paul, just like that. He changes from the self-righteous religious dude to a Jesus-dependent follower. No longer is his identity based on his religious performance. It’s now based on his following of Jesus. And that’s what the presence of God will do in your life. It literally changes your identity and sets your apart. Listen to this. Exodus 33:15-16 – “Then Moses says to God, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth? Moses says God, “If your Presence that sets us apart, that distinguishes us, that changes our identity. It was God’s presence that made them slaves into sons. And you will find it all over the Bible. Abram becomes Abraham. Jacob becomes Israel. Simon becomes Peter. Saul becomes Paul.

God’s presence literally changes your identity. Second thing is this, as it changes his desire for sin. It changes his desire for sin. The presence of God shows up in his life and Saul had the sensible desire for sin. He was a murderer, a destroyer, a divider, and yet the moment the presence of God shows up, the longer does he have this desire for sin. He now has a desire for godliness. Titus 2:12 says Grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Grace, it’s not a concept. It is a person, a presence and His name is Jesus and when the presence of God comes in your life, it changes your desire for sin and births within you, a desire for godliness. I mean, you remember the story in Luke Chapter 5 when Jesus comes to call Peter for the first time. And there is this big crowd of people when Jesus is teaching and Peter has his boat over here. Jesus says to Peter, “Hey Peter.”

Let me get in your boat, push off from shore so I can see the crowd better and teach. And Peter says okay. So Jesus gets into boat and He teaches the crowd and when He has done teaching, he says “hey Peter, says lets your nets over the side of the board for catch. And peter looks at Jesus. He says “Jesus”. It’s like dude we have been fishing all night man. The nets are clean. They are folded. They are put away. We didn’t catch a single thing all night. We are fisherman and we know how this deal works. Jesus we aren’t going to catch nothing. Jesus says “Peter, just put your nets over the side.” Because You say so Lord, I will. And they through their nets over the side as they helm in to catch a fish is so large, that it literally starts to rip the net open and fill up the other boats around them and sink them. And in that moment, Peter does something amazing. He hits his knees and he looks at Jesus and he says “Wait for me Lord, for I am a sinful man. Okay time out. Who told me “he was a sinful man.” Who told me, “he was a sinful man. All Jesus said is throw your nets over the side and you will catch a big catch.”
Who told him. He was a sinful man. No one. It was God’s kindness that let him to repentance. It was overload of fish , kindness in his life that all of a sudden brought Peter to this place of repentance. It was God’s presence, that showed up in his life that caught his heart and convicted him of sin and he hit his knees and says “I am a siner, Lord away from me and Jesus looks at him by the hand and reaches out and says do not be afraid. From now on, you will no longer fish for fish. You will fish for men. In other words, from now on you will no longer be interested in this stuff. You will be interested in Me. so the presence of God does. This I am going to tell you for some reason, people think my job is to convict everyone of sin.

Serious. Like man, your job is to convict all of us of sin. Okay. Like time now. No it’s not as the Holy Spirit’s job and the Holy Spirit is really good in doing them. My job is not to convict you of sin. My job is to create an environment where the presence of God is to declare the Gospel with clarity and point people to Jesus.

It’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance and when His presence shows up, people are cut to the heart and all of the sudden they hit their knees and they say “I am a sinner Lord and I need you” and Jesus reaches out His hands and says “do not be afraid. From now on, you will no longer desires the things in the world, you will desire Me.” So the presence of God to us. Okay. And the last thing is this is it, it changes his passions. It changes Saul’s passion. Saul was passionate about destroying the Church. You know he was really good at it, like he was the league MVP 10 years running in the Church destruction league. He holds every record, you know, everything that is measured, I mean, he is passionate about destroying the Church and the presence of God comes in “Wham.” No longer is he passionate about destroying the Church. He is now passionate about building the Church. So, the first thing he does is goes out and starts preaching that “Jesus is the son of God.” That’s what the presence does. I mean, you remember, Isaiah 6.

Isaiah is caught up to the throne room of Heaven. He is brought into the presence of God. First thing he says is, “I am a man of unclean lips.” In other words, presence of God convicts him of sin. He realizes he is a sinner. That’s how it happens. {Laughs} I am just telling you. And then God says, “who will go for us.” And Isaiah starts jumping around saying “here I am Lord, send me or pick me God” and he becomes incredibility passionate about what God is passionate about. In God’s presence, all of the sudden, you will find yourself becoming passionate about the things that He is passionate about. Instead of the things that maybe you have been passionate about. And that’s what the presence does. The presence of God changes the things you can. It will change your identity, your desires and your passion. And so in this moment, Saul is awakened by and to the presence of God and it changes everything about his life. Listen, “It never gets old for me after service, to see new people come up.”

“Maybe they have been here; 1, 2 or 3 times and they come up and they are like sobbing, snot bubbles are coming out of their nose and they can’t even get themselves together. “I am crying, I don’t know even why, I am just, I don’t know what to say to me.” I mean like they are just like uncomfortable. And you just put your head, like okay, take a breath. That’s called Jesus. And what happens in that moment. The presence of God is interrupting their life. So, what happened to Saul and that’s what happens to people here every weekend. The presence of God is interrupting their life. And introducing Himself to them, saying “I am Jesus.” And a little bit of their hard in that moment is being awakened. And God is really good in interrupting our lives and we should become really grateful that He chooses to interrupt our lives. Because when He interrupts your lives, it’s because He wants to show you something of Himself. And so the question I would ask you is this, “How aware are you of God’s presence?

How aware are you of God’s presence? Like how in tune, focused consciousness of the presence of God are you in your life. Remember, I told you last week that a lot of us are alive, but we are not really living. Like we are here and we are breathing, but we are not really living. And if you are not aware of the presence of God, you are not really living. Why because Acts 17:28 says “in him we live and move and have our being. His presence is our life. I mean, think about this for a second. I would bet, everyone in this room, almost everyone in this room has a cell phone. Okay? Think about your phone for a second and think of how aware we are of our phone at all times. Like, I would bet you are constantly aware of your phone. You know where it is, what pocket, what purse, what’s going on with it, you are checking it, you are engaging with it, text messages, e-mails, internet, games, whatever it is {laughs} I mean we are attached to our phones. If it doesn’t buzz like every 5 minutes, we will pull out of pocket and make sure battery is still working.

And is still on and put battery on back {laughs} or like when you lose your phone, it’s like a national crisis. Everybody “have you seen my phone. Has anybody seen, call my phone right now, call my phone, I got to find my phone {laughs} you can be three hours into a four hour road trip and realize you forgot your phone at home and turn around and go all the way back.

Because we need our phones, we are aware of our phones. And I think the reason we are aware of our phone is because we have an expectation of engaging our phone. Maybe, we are not aware of the presence of God, because we don’t have an expectation of engaging His presence. See, I don’t know about you, but maybe you grew up in a Church like me. I grew up and the only presence I knew of was things wrapped under the Christmas tree at Christmas time. Come on, that’s a good joke man. You’ve got to laugh better than that. I worked hard on that one this week.

That’s the only thing, I ever knew “presence is some you got, I can give, I never heard about the presence of God. And so I go to Church. And here is my Church experience. You will be bored and then you will feel guilty. You will be bored and then maybe you will think that was a nice song. And then you will be bored and then maybe you will be a little encouraged and then you will be bored and then you will feel ashamed, and then you will be bored and you think I need to try harder, and the next week when you come in, you will be bored and you will realize you didn’t try hard enough that week because nothing changed. And you will be bored and then you will think where we are going for lunch. And you will be bored.

This is good right? {laughs} you know what I am taking about.

You will be bored, and then you will be bored again and then if you are a teenager, you are bored and then you think I am going to talk to that cute girl over there after service.

Right? That’s what it was. That was the rhythm in the routine, you come, you go, nothing changes. Okay? We need an awakening to the presence of God. Listen to me. How many times do we come to Church and we are unaware of the God’s presence.

[0:18:02.]
Like, do you understand, the worst thing you could ever say after leaving Church is, what was a nice message, what was a nice music. Worth thing you could every say. And yet I think that’s what a majority of American Church goers say every Sunday morning when they leave. What? Because if you didn’t just encounter the presence of God, we didn’t have Church. We sang some songs, we heard some random guy talk about something, but we didn’t have Church without His presence. And I am convinced that we have overemphasized programs and underemphasized His presence. We have overvalued Church programs and undervalued His presence. And all of a sudden, we camp around these programs. And it’s all about gathering around a program. You will gather around a program. Don’t be like the Israelites and the Old Testimony to follow the cloud. Every night, the presence of God is in the center and they all gather around that Church. In fact, if you gather around a program, if the reason you are at a church or that you come is around a program? Do you understand that’s an idol.

It’s taking the place of the presence of God, and this strong, but it’s true. How do you deal with an idol? Swiftly and significantly. You don’t negotiate with an Idol, you don’t compromise with an Idol. You got to get rid of this and that’s the only way you get rid of an Idol. And if all of a sudden, you find yourself being offended because the Church program was removed. It shows you how much you actually idolized that program. If in your past, here or in your future, you are ever offended because the Church program changes, what’s that showing you is you actually worshipped a program and not His presence. And what Jesus is saying is “no, no, no. That thing doesn’t belong there. I belong there.” Because a program will never change you, the presence of God always will.

A program is always going to let you down. Just as you know, it may be great today, but at some point in time, life changes, things change, it’s going to let you down. The presence of God always builds you up. And what happens is, if we gather around the program, what we will end up doing is then we evaluate Church by the natural. We say like, we like the children’s ministry in that Church and we like the student ministry in that Church, and my kids like this thing, that have good preaching and they have good music, and they have a good Bible study. Step back for a moment and listen to that coming out of mouth and say what is that make the Lord think. Can I just tell you. I don’t ever want our Church to be known as anything other than people in the city say “If you want me with Jesus, go there.” That’s how we wanted it. Okay?

I hope the city is like, I don’t even know if they have any programs. I just know that when I go there snout bubbles come out of my nose.

That’s all I know. {laughs} I mean Genesis 28:16 right? Jacob wakes up for a dream, he says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. I was not aware of it.” My prayers, and when people come in this place “God is in this place and I wasn’t aware of it.” And we should be saying that in our own lives all the time. Surely God was in this trial, this situation, this circumstance, this job, this relationship challenge whatever it is, and I was not aware of it. If I just say, okay what is the presence of God. Like it sounds like it’s big. Okay listen. The presence of God is not a thing. It’s not some weird experience. He is a person and the presence of God is when we become aware that He is with us and revealing Himself to us. It’s all the presence of God is. it’s when we become aware that He is with us and that He is revealing himself to us. And there’s different kinds of the presence of God and we need to experience this in ever increasing measure.

Like at the very basic level, and maybe this will really help you. At the very basic level of God’s presence, think of Colossians 1:17 – it says in Him all things hold together. So the very basic level of the presence of God, his presence literally holds the molecules of the Universe together. So His presence is holding the very DNA of your body together right now. His presence is holding the molecules of the chair you are sitting there. So if His presence was removed, the chair will just literally disintegrate and you would hit the ground, so His presence is literally holding things together. And then there is another layer after that. We can say John 20:22. Jesus breathed on them and said receive the Holy Spirit. So not only is he holding us together, but when we become followers of Jesus, His presence is in side of us and upon us. The spirit of the living God dwells in us and is upon us. That’s where His presence is. And then there’s another layer. Matthew 18:20 Jesus says “where two or three are gathered in My name there I am also.

He says “if you are in a small group or Godly relationships, you gather with other followers of Jesus. He says “He himself shows up.” His presence comes into the midst of that and then there is another layer. Psalm 22:3 says “He is enthroned on the praises of Israel.” Or in another translation, God inhibits the praises of His people, which means when we worship on a Sunday morning like this, what happens is in the spiritual realm of your prays makes a throne for him and there is a throne literally sitting in this room and Jesus comes and He takes His plays as master, and king, and Lord over our lives and comes to reveal himself to us.

Okay? And God wants you to experience their presence. To many of us, as Christians we are content with just knowing God is with us. He wants you to experience and that’s why he says “Taste and see that I am good.” More than cognitive understanding. And when the king comes, so does the kingdom. When you are aware of this presence, all of the sudden you realize everything in the kingdom is now here and available to me.

Like so practically, when your life feels like it’s flying apart, your marriage is flying apart, your job is flying apart, your kids are flying apart, are you aware that His presence is literally holding you together. Or when you walk into a situation and you need wisdom and guidance or power, are you aware that His presence is literally in you and upon you. And He is there to give you that wisdom, and guidance and power. Or when you sit down with two or three other followers of Jesus in a small group, a serving team. You get in together for a cup of coffee, are you aware that Jesus pulls up the chair next to you and sits down in that little group and is there to comfort, and encourage and provide. Are you aware this morning that is we worship and prays there is literally a throne being built right in the center of this room. Jesus himself comes and sits in it and He takes his place of Lordship over your circumstances, brokenness and pain.

Are you aware of it. See we needed an awakening to his presence. We need to constantly be like Jacob. Surely the Lord was in this and I was not aware. Surely the Lord is with me when my marriage is flying apart and I was not aware. Surely the Lord is in this difficult job situation and I was not aware. Surely the Lord is in Church and I was just not aware. And what faith says is faith chooses to believe that’s true even if we don’t feel it. Because for some reason, if you have grown up like me, the whole presence of God was always little weird. You know, Pentecostal people down the road kind of thing. Right? I was right Carol? You know what I am talking about.

And so we just kind of what to get rid of all that because there were some weird things that scare us. Okay. That’s not even what he is talking about. What He is saying is that, “I am coming to be with you.” And don’t place this on this emotional high, let your faith say what he says is true even if I don’t feel it.

And your faith will leave you into the experience. Have you choose to believe what He says is true, even if you don’t feel it. At some point in time, your faith will lead you into the experience. And you will experience His presence in the new and profound way. Are you with me so far? This makes sense little bit different, I know. Is this kind of a weird message, but because I don’t necessarily know where I am going with it, but sure you do.

So at the end of work last night, I hope it’s working today too. So, {laughs} where is the presence of God, like what you want 3 points and here is all you find the presence of God #1, you know, like you don’t work like that. You don’t work like that. And here is what so cool about God’s presence. His presence allows you to be present. His presence will allow you to be present because in his presence, you find everything that you are looking for. Like Psalm 27:8 says this – “My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.

Can I tell something by your heart? Your heart craves His presence. Your heart was created to flourish and thrive in the presence of God. And yet because of sin and the brokenness of this world, instead of chasing God, we chased the things of this world. And your heart will always be numb and unsatisfied, if it’s running after the things of the world and the reason we aren’t present like present in the moment in our life is because our heart is running after something in this world to find what we can only have in God. So we are looking for things in the world that we can only discover in Him and you when you become aware of His presence, all of the sudden, you realize you don’t have to look for what you already have and you become present in the moment. So, the word says that in His presence is fullness of joy. In His presence, Heaven comes to Earth, in his presence you live a life of love.

We need to be awakened to His presence. Because, when I am aware, He is holding my life together, even though I feel like this relationship is flying apart. All of the sudden I can be present. Because we spend so much of our lives regretting the past or trying to get into the future, but that’s why God calls Himself the great I am. Not the great I was, but the great I will be. The great I am, because I will be for you what you need Me to be in this moment. And I will allow you to actually live and be alive. So, I think a lot of us were so focused on getting somewhere that we stop enjoying someone, like we are so focused on getting somewhere to the next job, next relationship, next season, somewhere like I can’t wait to get out of here and get some lunch. Like, I am so {laughs} focused on getting out of here.

And we stop enjoying someone. And what happens in that, is we unintentionally then start to seek God for what he can do for us, instead of for who He is.

That was the difference between Moses and the Israelites. The Israelites were aware of what God could do. Moses was aware of his presence. That’s why in Exodus 33:15 – we already read it. Moses says, “God if you don’t go with us, don’t sent us anywhere.” In other words, Moses preferred the desert with the presence of God to the promised land without the presence of God. And the Israelites were like “just get us over that place where there is milk and honey. We really don’t care if You come with us or not.” In Psalm 84:10, the sum is better in one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. In other words, he says I would rather be a servant in His presence than be a king in this world. And the great concern of our lives, should not be fear of failure. It should be fear of succeeding and that which isn’t really all that important.

Your great concern shouldn’t be fear of failure, it should be fear of succeeding at that, which isn’t really all that important, like succeeding at the American dream at the sake of the presence of God. Because His presence is your dream, which are hard graves. That’s why we do this whole thing and next steps. If we don’t take next steps to like earn God’s favor or to get something or to be religious, we take next steps because next step living is the present space lifestyle like wherever He goes, I want to be totally aware and in tune with His presence. And what I love is that our passion will attract His presence. Our passion will attract His presence. What I mean by that is that “God goes where He is wanted.” That’s why He went to a leper colony with 10 lepers and left the synagogue of His own hometown. He goes to 10 lepers on the side of the road, who cry out “Jesus master, son of David have pity on us. We are desperate for you Lord, please come and be with us and He goes to the lepers.

But then in His own hometown in the synagogue, He shows up to do miracles and they are like “Hey Jesus, You are messing with our program man.” We do 4 songs, little turn in great and then we have about 30-minute message that makes us feel good.

You Jack in that whole thing right now.

Bring lepers in here and blind people. It relieves. So I always find Jesus in Bible. He hangs out with broken desperate people, not religious prideful people. I would bet on a whole lot of Sunday mornings the presence of God is stronger in alleys and slums and brothels than it is in a lot of American churches. Why? Because people in alleys and slums and orphanages and brothels on a Sunday morning, they’re desperate for God.

And they are crying out for Him and Jesus goes where He is wanted and there’s a lot of people in American Churches say “You are messing with our program.” That’s really uncomfortable, but man it’s true. I mean, think about would you go where you are tolerated or where people are passionate about you.

Come on, which one? Where would you go? I think Jesus is just saying who is passionate about Me. John 14:21. He says “If you love Me, I will show myself to you. You are passionately pursuing Me. I will reveal so much to you. I can’t wait to show, but are you passionate? You are excited about Me.” And here is the deal, if you love, it’s His enjoyment of us that creates our enjoyment of Him. Like it’s His desire to pursue your presence that creates within you a desire to pursue his presence because I don’t know if you have ever got this or not, but God is desperate to get in your presence. Like read the Bible for a second. I mean, think about Adam and Eve.

Creates Adam and Eve because He wants to be in their presence. Then He goes and He gets Abram. And He says “Abram come with Me to a place. I will show you. I want to be your presence Abram. I want to walk with you and you with Me. And then He goes and He gets the Israelites, that are 400 years of Egyptian slavery and says “Guys, you have been in slave too long and I want you to be my children because I want to be with you and then you get to the gospels Immanuel, which means God is with us. Jesus shows up because He wants to be in your presence . In John 01:14, Jesus moves into your neighborhood with grace and truth because He is so desperate to be in your presence and He shows up in your neighborhood and then in Mark 3 He says – “I called you to be My disciples than you might be with Me because I want to be in your presence. Luke 19:10 He comes to seek and say “If that is which is lost, you to find your presence. He gives you the spirit of the living God to dwell inside of you forever the Bible and then in Revelation 3, He says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. In other words, please open the door because I want to be in your presence.

You can never read the Bible. Take all your religious gobbledygook out, okay, that we have been taught all our lives. You could never read the Bible, just from beginning to end and come to a conclusion that God wants you to follow Him from a far off. You can never come to the conclusion that God is not interested in your presence. And you can never come to a conclusion that God doesn’t invite you into His. And until we understand that, we are just going to come to Church and leave and look for programs. We look for programs because we don’t know how to find His presence. And Jesus says, “It’s really easy. Ask me and I will come.”

Let me close with this, in this kind of weird message. Is this working? Are you getting it? Okay. Good. Then, I am hoping you are getting it too. Alright. Think about this. when Jesus gets baptized, remembers He gets baptized and comes up with a bottle of water and He says the spirit descended upon like a dove. Okay? The Holy Spirit is not a dove, but it descended upon him like a dove. And remember Jesus on Earth is the son of man. So, He left His divine nature, He poured that out, so you can come and live as a son of man. So, the presence of God descends upon Him. And while the Holy Spirit of the presence of God is not a dove, maybe we can learn something from them. Like imagine for a second, if right now a dove came and landed on your arm. It descended upon you and landed on your arm. If you wanted to keep that dove on your arm, how would you have to live. Go ahead and say, how would you have to live? Carefully, you are right. Not only though, would you have to be careful, you would have to be totally aware of the dove at all times and do everything with the dove in mind.

Like, you can get up in the morning and put your shirt on. You will be like, I got to figure out how to do this with the dove there. You know? Or you are going to get in your car to go somewhere, you can’t get it. You are focused on the dove.

Are you go to school or you go to where and you know there is angry in lot of people and you might have to like pull back for a second and it would be like okay. Everything is about the dove. And maybe what God is teaching us in that is that He wants us to be so focused and aware of His presence. If we stop being so focused on ourselves.

Maybe this is what the spirit filled life or walking in step with the spirit relations 5 is really meaning that we are aware of His presence at all times and are concerned about being in tune with His presence over our desires or feelings or routine or commitments or whatever those things maybe.

And let’s say, you move really fast and the dove, you know here is where love about God is. The dove never leaves right here. So all of a sudden, you can go and do all this all you want and the moment you stop and say “Man I miss Him.” Just like that. Because he is pursing your presence. In Church we are learning how to do this together. And so, this is like, we are learning to do this together. To experience the fullness of what he offers us. In Psalm 17:15, it says “Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.” That’s a phenomenon verse worth memorizing. Because I am right just because of who I now I am and Jesus “I will see you to declare it.” It’s truth. It’s a promise.

I will see your presence when I awake, when I become aware of you. I will see you face to face and finally be satisfied, be present, behold, be full of joy. You see, if you want to live this whole hearted passion in life, you got to be awakened by His presence. I think, His presence wants to interrupt your life like it did with Saul, like it does with people who get wrecked by it for the first time. He wants to interrupt your life with his presence and change everything. And He wants you to be aware of Him, with your life He holds it together. That He is in you and with you and you gather in relationships and when we gather it, He wants you to be aware. Psalm 27:8, My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Will you give your part permission to pursue His presence.

David says, my heart says, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. He gives his heart permission to pursue the presence of God. Will you give your heart permission to pursue His presence. And become aware to Him. So you close your eyes with me. So “Holy Spirit in this moment, we just choose to say to you that we are aware of You. That we welcome. We say come Lord Jesus, come. Come and do the things that we can’t do. Come.” We may be with you in your own way give him permission to interrupt your life with His presence.

Maybe you just say, “Holy Spirit interrupts my job this week with You. Interrupt my home and my family this week with You. Interrupt my routine, interrupt my spiritual journey that I have been on for however long, with your presence. And change the things within me, that I can’t change; like my identity, my desires and my passion.” Here is what I think for this service today is I think, you just need to choose to believe that He is pursing your presence. That He is literally knocking on the door of your heart and saying “will you please let me in, because I want to be with you.”

And the more you start to believe that Jesus died, so that the Father could be with you forever, so that you could be with Him forever. The more you start to pursue Him with passion and believe that He is who He says He is. So Lord Jesus, we say “come and awaken our hearts. Come and awaken us to your presence. May this week, as we go about our lives, may we just find moments where we say surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it. May we be aware that You are with us and revealing yourself to us and may we at Church that’s passionate about your presence because when the king comes, so does the kingdom. And so we say come king and bring your kingdom and change us in our lives.

Maybe you can just take a big deep breath and say “Lord I am aware of you.” Thank you Lord. And your name we pray. Amen.

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