Mike Parsons –
God wants us to know Him and to know the reality of how He is revealed in the Word. Psalm 23 is a powerful psalm which talks about the intimate relationship God desires to have with us. We will just look at a couple of phrases but I want to encourage you to take the time to meditate on the whole psalm.
‘The Lord is my Shepherd’
‘The Lord’ is a term that God has chosen to use to describe His character and nature. There are seven Names of God that help us to grasp different aspects of that character and nature. I could probably spend weeks on each one, but I won’t do that. I will just urge you to seek God for yourselves to gain revelation about each of them.
- The Lord my Righteousness. That is right standing with God, or the right to stand in his Presence.
- The Lord my Sanctification. That is the process of transformation and change that God wants to take us through.
- The Lord is There. He wants us to be conscious of His very Presence with us all the time, Father, Son and Spirit.
- The Lord my Peace. his peace is far more than being chilled out. His peace is wholeness, and absolute perfect rest. Everything we need is complete in Him.
- The Lord my Healer. God wants us to come to Him to find perfect health, in body, soul and spirit.
- The Lord my Provider. We no longer need to struggle just to have enough. We can know that in everything – not just money – He will provide all that we need and more. He wants us to look to Him for love, and to know that we are accepted, not rejected. Why would we even look for love and acceptance from the world? The world has nothing to offer us compared to knowing God. He is our Provider in everything we could ever need for our lives.
- The Lord my Banner of Victory. In Him we are overcomers. We can overcome everything that would hinder us bringing heaven to earth through our lives.
We can know Him intimately, experientially, personally. He is wooing us, calling us to come away with Him, to know Him, to surrender all to Him. ‘Be still and know that I am God’. We can find rest. Deep calls out to deep. In our soul we are crying out for Him, longing to know Him, and He really wants us to know Him, ‘The Lord’. ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me’(Rev 3:20). Jesus is saying that He is standing at your door and knocking. He is calling you to that place of love. Open the door to Him every day. Every day, invite Him to come in, find new and fresh revelation in His Presence. Dine with Him: as we have said, that was a very intimate occasion in biblical times.
‘He makes me lie down in green pastures’
He invites us into that relationship every single day. He is crying out to us, wooing us, desiring so much more for us. There is so much more of Him that we can experience and know. As we open the door in our hearts, He opens the door in heaven. And there is so much greater intimacy there in heaven. ‘Come up here’ is His invitation to all of us.
Come up to the Holy Place, to the throne room, the Tabernacle, the garden, the River of Life, to the waterfalls. Come and meet the seven spirits of God. This is what God is doing in our day, inviting us to come. He wants our hearts and He won’t relent until He gets them. We need to surrender completely, wholly, to Him.
‘But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him’ (1 Cor 6:17).
That is an amazing promise. He is inviting us to flow together with Him, to be one spirit with Him. When we flow together His voice becomes our voice as He speaks through us. And we can join ourselves with him every day.
‘Where I am, there My servant will be also’ (Jn 12:26),
And where is Jesus? He is in His Father’s House (Jn 14:2). John chapter 14 is one of my favourite chapters: it is literally falling out of my Bible because I have read it so much. He is in His Father’s House, and the Father’s House is not heaven, it is us, the church.
‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also’ (Jn 14:3).
Jesus was not saying he was going to prepare a mansion for us. The place he was talking about going to for us was the cross, so that we could become a place where God could dwell. And the place where Jesus is? Intimacy, intimacy with the Father:
‘I am in the Father and He is in Me’ (v10).
We can do nothing apart from Him.
‘The works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father’ (v12).
I want you to put your own name into that scripture – you will do greater works than Jesus because it is the Father abiding in you that does the works (v10 again).
‘After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you’ (vv.19-20).
‘I in the Father, you in Me, I in You’. That is where we can be now, in that place of intimacy where we are at one with Him.
‘We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him’ (v23).
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwell in our spirit. Our spirits are like the Tardis in Doctor Who; bigger on the inside than on the outside. Our spirits are connected to heaven, outside of time and space as we know it, and they are connected to earth, in our body.
‘You know Him because He abides with you and will be in you’ (v17).
‘For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you’ (Luke 17:21).
If the Kingdom of God is within us, then we will be manifesting heaven on earth; His power will flow from us; we will shine. And if we are to demonstrate God’s Kingdom, we cannot do it without knowing him intimately.
We are a habitation of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – connected to heaven and to the three O’s of God: Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient. All-powerful, present everywhere, knowing all things. If we are connected to Him, there is nowhere we cannot go, nothing we cannot do: we are connected to all of time and space.
What is it like to know the Presence of God in our lives?
‘The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace’ (Num 6:24-26).
That is what He wants for us, to know and experience Him as He really is, smiling upon us with love and acceptance, bestowing His wonderful peace, wholeness, completeness, and perfect rest.
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