Teaching Your Family To Live In The Presence Of God
By Kim Butts
Probably no one else in Old Testament history understood the presence of God with more richness than Moses, the man who met face to face with the Divine. When Moses entered the Lord’s presence to speak with Him, he removed the veil he had put over his face until he came out. And when he came out, the Israelites “saw that his face was radiant” (Ex. 34:33-35). Moses understood that the place God chose to dwell (the Tent of Meeting) was the place where all worship was to take place. He told the people, “There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you” (Deut. 12:7).
The Boy Samuel
Samuel grew up ministering in the presence of the Lord from the time he was a child (1 Sam. 2:21). Young children are especially tender toward living in God’s presence, if we will train them to hear His voice at very young ages. Your children can absorb deep things from God…do not think they must wait until they are mature to do so! If you will help them to live victorious lives in the midst of trials because they know that the presence of Jesus Christ is within them, they will live powerful and fruitful lives for the kingdom!
When the temple was built in Jerusalem, God’s people connected with His presence there. Read Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple: “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain You. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to Your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant is praying in Your presence this day” (1 Kgs. 8:27-28).
God still has a temple today, but its location was changed on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church. The Shekinah glory of God that originally came to rest upon the temple, had now come to hover over the heads of the believers. It is amazing to realize that He now dwells, not in a building, but in us! We, His people, are His temple. This is indeed a great mystery, but should fill us with awe and reverence toward the Father, who has brought His very presence to dwell in us. It is a fact that should fill us with confidence, strength and boldness! Jesus Christ lives in us, and His presence fills His temple – us! Yet, how easy it is for God’s people to forget the power of His presence when life turns difficult! Teach your children to continually live in the awareness of the presence of God, who will never leave nor forsake them (Deut. 31:6). There is nowhere we can go from His Spirit or flee from His presence because He is always with us (Psa. 139:7-10).
Yet, there is one thing that can separate us from God’s presence for a time or a season – sin! Teach your family the importance of confession and repentance so that they might stand before God with clean hands and pure hearts. As Christians, we need to understand completely that we cannot stand in His presence with unconfessed sin in our lives. The God who created us also knows everything about us, including every secret sin: “You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence” (Psa. 90:8). “No one who practices deceit will dwell in My house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in My presence” (Psa. 101:7). Fortunately, Jesus is able to set us free from sin: “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36).
As you teach your family to dwell in the presence of God, they will reap many blessings, and they will gain the strength to withstand the storms of life. Parents who are faithful to usher their children into His presence will see them grow into confident, loving, passionate believers, in touch with their Heavenly Father. “All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace. In righteousness you will be established…” (Isa. 54:13-14).
– Excerpted from an earlier Herald.