Pastor’s Blog October 2019

I’ve been thinking a lot about the presence of God recently and I have been struck by the words of Luke in Acts 4:13, as Peter and John stood before the Sanhedrin he notes that they, “realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Hanging out with Jesus had transformed Peter and John into men unafraid to testify before the greatest intellects and most powerful rulers of the people. They had lived with Jesus, listened to him, followed his example and finally they had received his Holy Spirit. They had been transformed by him.

We believe that week by week as we gather that we gather in the presence of God. That in our services God meets with us. That Jesus is present by the Holy Spirit and through the Spirit Jesus ministers to us. We believe that we too have been with Jesus. If that’s the case should we not perhaps expect that like Peter and John people might begin to notice that we have been with Jesus?

There is something about being in the presence of God that is transformative. If that’s the case we should long for the presence of God. In the Psalms there are many examples of this longing:

Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”

Psalm 84:1-2, “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord.”

The truth is this that both the church and each of us as individual believers are homes to the presence of God. God lives in us, personally and corporately and when revival happens the presence of God invades the world around us. Duncan Campbell who led the revivals in the Hebrides says, “Revival is a community saturated with God.”

Do you and I yearn, even feint for the presence of God?

Phil Dixon