< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Red Sea Rules – Part 7

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Red Sea Rules – Part 7

Exodus 14:19-20 19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

The Lord went with them. The Angel of God appears several times in the Old Testament and it is Jesus who manifests the Father’s presence.

To the Egyptians He was in the form of a cloud and darkness and to the Israelites He was light. Jesus gives light to those who trust Him, but to those who reject Him – darkness.

For His children He is both guard and guide. He goes before, leading the way and behind, gathering up our debris, our failure and our poor attempts at ministry. He is with us. He is all around us.

At the Red Sea, God put His people in a position where His presence had never been so real to them. Using difficulty He cultivated within them a greater appreciation for Himself. One commentator even wrote that, “God’s presence in a trial is much better than escaping from the trial.” Difficult times can sensitize us to God’s presence.

“I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” And Psalm 46:1 says He’s a very present help in trouble.

The author told how his mom really struggled for a while with loneliness after his dad died. And it took awhile but finally she told him that she had adjusted to living alone very nicely because it gave her time to feel God’s presence. She said she talked to Him all day. Her son said that while she had been a Christian her whole life, her later years were marked with a renewed love for Scripture, busy ministry to others, a deepened prayer life and accelerated growth in praise and worship.

So how can we master the practice of His presence?

1. Affirm His nearness in your heart. We see people doing this in the Bible all the time. These verses are Promises of God:

Genesis 28:15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Hebrews 13:5 5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Philippians 4:5-6 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

2. Visualize God’s presence in your mind. Picture Him in the room with you and talk to Him! Visualizing His presence not only bestows comfort, but it restrains sinful tendencies.

3. Access God’s presence through prayer. James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God. How do we do that? We pray! Dwight Moody said there wasn’t any problem or uncertainty in life that he didn’t turn and speak to God as naturally as someone in the same room.

4. Reflect His presence in your demeanor. No matter what we are doing, even cleaning the house, working in the yard, writing a letter or an email, we can do it for His glory: by doing it well, by being happy about it, by being positive, by sharing Him with others… Lots of ways!!

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