Reading: Psalm 16
Immanuel. God with Us.
Since the dawn of creation, it has been in God’s character to dwell with His people. It has been His desire to make His presence known amongst those He has called His own. He is committed to His people, and His intentions are to be with them.
When God revealed His name as Yahweh to Moses, He presented Himself as an “I am with You” God.
In Exodus 3, Moses asks God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Before He reveals His name as Yahweh, He responds, “But I will be with you.”
It seems like the identity of Moses was dependent upon the God whose presence was with him. John Frame writes, “Who is Moses? He is the man with whom God is. God has covenanted to stand with Moses in his confrontation with Pharaoh. So Moses is Yahweh’s man; that’s who he is.”
One of the central themes of Scriptures is God being with the people He has predestined to be adopted as His sons and daughters through Christ Jesus. He is committed to His people. From Bible cover to cover, God desires to be with His people. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
As you approach the first day of your fast, remember that God saw fit to grace you with His presence daily. It’s more than a feeling; it’s a reality. God desires that you experience His goodness not just through saving you from the penalty of sin and the presence of sin in heaven. God is committed to His people and He desires that they experience fellowship with Him as a daily reality that will carry on to eternity. True happiness in this world begins with knowing that God has graced you, as His blood-bought child, with His presence daily.
Prayer: God, I approach this fast with confidence that You will satisfy the deepest needs and desires of my soul and body. At Your Word and by Your grace, I choose to trust in You, my God, regardless of how I feel. Lead me to know You more intimately over these 21 days. As I approach Psalm 16, in Your presence, show me who You are.
Go Deeper: Read Psalm 16 noting the various character traits of God (example: preserver/sustainer, refuge/safe place, chosen portion and my cup/satisfies, etc. )
Suggested song: “Your Presence Is Heaven To Me” by Israel Houghton.
Suggested Daily Memory Verse: Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaNmBN_ki8o (“Experiencing the Presence of God’s Spirit” Francis Chan)
http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/god-is-most-glorified-in-us-when-we-are-most-satisfied-in-him (“God is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him” John Piper)
http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/1035.htm (“The Real Presence, the Great Want of the Church” C.H. Spurgeon)