How can I bless the God who has it all? This question kept coming to my mind as I began to meditate on Psalm 103. It states seven different times that we are to “bless the Lord” for His awesome character, and “forget not all His benefits” to us. The word “bless” means to praise or benefit. But how could I as a feeble man benefit a God who has it all? He owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” and holds the sea in the palms of his hands. But as I pondered on that thought, God seemed to say to me, “I do not have it all, because I do not have all of you.”
Wow! This was so convicting to me, because I know myself. Everything within me wants to hold tightly to my opinions, aspirations, and will. Many times when I say I am seeking His will, I am only waiting for Him to place His approval on my own. God has given me all of Himself, but I have not laid all of myself on the altar.
May I remind you that this is a daily battle between the Spirit and the flesh. It is not a ‘one and done’ decision made at a conference. It is and every day, repentance from ourselves, and a turning to God. It is a constant yielding of our fleshly lusts, and complete surrender to the desires of God.
But do not, my dear brother, be discouraged by this fight. For “…God is faithful, and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Even when faced with the tempest of your own deceitful heart, God has made a way for you to say NO! But what is this way? How can we say no to the flesh?
Last week we talked about being filled with the Spirit. If we are to be empty of ourselves, we must allow Him to fill us. But I would like to challenge you this week to practice His presence. Oh how I wish I could tell you what this has done for me in the past few weeks. Just in dwelling in the state of His constant presence with me has so changed the mundane tasks of the day. Realizing that He is always before me in every decision I make, makes every part of my life worship to Him.
David said in Psalm 100:2, “…come before His presence…” Do you remember what Moses did when God appeared to him in the burning bush? He took off his shoes and low to the ground. You see, all ground is holy ground because of His presence! Do you remember when Christ went into the temple? What did He do? He made a whip and ushered out all the merchants and salesmen because they made the house of prayer a ‘den of thieves.’ When you step into the presence of a Holy God, all the sinful ‘merchants’ of our heart are ushered out. My friend you can’t enter His presence and leave the same way you came! All wood, hay and stubble, are consumed, and only precious stones of God’s eternal work remains.
“All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God, because they reckoned on his being with them.” – Hudson Taylor
How are you practicing His presence in your life today? Do you know that He is with you? Remember that His presence changes will change everything, you just have to choose to abide there.