Ministering His Presence
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.
What is to be said about the presence of God? Only this: Things are worked out in His presence! There is nothing the presence of the Lord will not cure! His presence is all that matters; therefore, we must minister from, through, and into His presence. His presence helps us. We, as disciple-makers, are to minister His presence to others. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The word Jesus used for temple literally meant the Holy of Holies, where God Himself dwelt. Of course, we know Jesus was speaking of Himself, for He was the very dwelling place of God. Paul uses the same term for temple when addressing the believers: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16) The Holy of Holies held the presence of God; now the believer is the Holy of Holies and ministers the presence of God. In His presence, things are worked out.
Arthur Burt gave this advice, “Never minister to the people before God, but minister to God before the people.” Then he told the story of a great pianist who, upon completing a concert, was overwhelmed by reporters asking how it felt to be so famous. The pianist pointed to 371 an old man leaving the balcony and said, “That old man was my first piano teacher. He knows more than I ever will, and one nod from him means more than the praise of all the world.” The pianist was not playing for the crowds but for one man in the balcony.
The believer is not ministering to the crowd but ministering to Him before the crowd, and it is true that one smile from our Father in heaven means more than all the approval of man. Preaching is very simple. Many have anxiety attacks from the thought of speaking to others. I remember driving to a church for my first preaching experience and the many stops along the way caused by a nervous stomach. I was nervous because I wanted to come up with something to say to the people. I wanted to speak to the people a blessing. However, preaching is not speaking to the people, it is speaking to God before the people. The easiest way to preach is to stand before God and tell Him the things for which you are grateful in front of the people. In a sermon I am talking to one person—God. I talk to Him about His mercy, love, compassion, forgiveness, help in time of need, and the blessing of my marriage. As I speak in His presence, His presence ministers to others, and things get worked out in His presence. Have a personal conversation with God in front of the people.
As we move into His presence, things are worked out. Often those in the Church move to doctrine, creeds, thoughts, or Scripture, and yet nothing is worked out. Why? They have not moved to His presence. Many a counseling session has analyzed the past, personalities, coping, denial, and co-dependency of the couple, and yet nothing is worked out. Why? Life is worked out in God’s presence.