By Funmi Komolafe
Brethren, let’s begin with thanksgiving to God for seeing us through the month of April. It’s been 30 days of good and the not so good. That you are alive and in a healthy and happy condition isn’t your making. It is the mercy of God.
As we enter the month of May, I pray that God’s grace and mercy in your life will increase in Jesus name.
Why am I starting on this note? First is that, we do not seem to appreciate God enough but without his support, those goals that we set to achieve will remain unattainable.
Sometime in April, a lone accident was recorded in Lagos and it resulted in the death of five persons. These passengers boarded a bus and were heading for different destinations but five of them ended up in the mortuary. Others wriggled with pains of burns in the hospital but you have been moving from one place to another, travelling by air, by road, during the day and even at every odd hours at night yet, you have reached your destination.
The purpose of this article is not to mock the dead but to enable us appreciate the presence of God in our lives.
When you are in his presence, you are protected. The Lord becomes your shield. You will never be found in the wrong place. Even if the devil and his agents play tricks on you, you will escape.
However, his presence is not automatic. Have you resolved to be in his presence? Have you invited him? Are you prepared to give what it takes to be in his presence? Are you ready to obey him?
Psalm 91 is very detailed about what we stand to gain when we resolve to be in his presence. Let’s consider verses 1, 7 and 10 of Psalm 91.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. When we abide in his shadow, we are protected.
Verse 7 “ A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee” and verse 10 “ There shall no evil befall thee neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling “.
When we are in his presence, we have the special grace to hear from him. With his presence, we are warned of imminent dangers.
Let me share a testimony. A group of friends live in the same neighbourhood and nearly all the women are good Christians. One of them had a dream during which God told her to pray against fire disaster. She prayed . Months later, nothing happened.
One Saturday, she was out for a wedding introduction with her family when her security guard began to call. They were not in a position to even hear the phone ring. Unknown to her, the guard was calling because he needed someone to move the cars from the home. Many neighbours had started doing this because the kitchen of one of the houses in the neighbourhood was on fire.
To shorten the story, the fire was confined to the kitchen and was eventually put out. It was then she remembered her dream.
Now the point is, her prayer not only saved her family from a disaster but it also saved her neighbours. Had she not prayed, what do you think would have happened? Many families would have become homeless. Losing everything they had.
I’ll share with you the thoughts of Pastor Bayo Olugbemi of RCCG during a service.
He said Divine Presence connotes Divine Provision, life abundance. No wonder the Psalmist said in Psalm 23 “ The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”.
With his presence, you are sure that God will fight your battle for you.
Who are those who have ganged up against you because your business is booming? Who are those who have ganged up to limit your promotion?
Hand them over to God. When God is with you, victory is assured. You will do with ease what others are struggling to do. Where others have failed, you will succeed. With his presence, you will testify to joy unspeakable.
However, you cannot be in his presence if you are malicious. You cannot be in his presence when you are unforgiving. Being in his presence means that you have no evil thoughts against your neighbour. Even when you know the person does not wish you well.
When you are able to live in accordance with his words as Pastor Olugbemi said, “ You will enjoy the pleasure of the Lord without pressure”.
Let’s consider the word of God on his presence and its benefits. Isaiah 45 vs. 2 &3 “ I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I the Lord, which call thee by thy name am the God of Israel”.
Brethren, take a few minutes to reflect on this and you will see that with the presence of God, you will have no need to engage in struggles, your deliverance is guaranteed, you are assured he will meet your needs beyond your imagination .
When the Lord goes before you, you cannot be misled. People will marvel at your success.
Brethren, there are numerous challenges in our society today. Anti- marriage spirit is on the rampage; homes that have been at peace are being threatened.
Many are worried about financial limitation. Those who were once considered rich have been going through hard times but our God can turn things around if only we choose to remain in his presence with prayers and worship.
With his presence, the economic situation in our country will turn around for the best and we shall eat the good of the land.
Jesus is the light of the world. John 8 vs. 12 “ Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, he shall have the light of life”.
Are you ready to follow Jesus? Are you following him already?
By the grace of God everything that represents darkness in your life that is causing your sorrow will give way to light in the name of Jesus.
What is that goal that you are yet to attain? Be hopeful.
Hear the word of God to Joshua as recorded in Joshua 1 vs. 9 “Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goes”.
Be not deceived, we cannot walk the journey of life without the presence of God. It may look rough now, but with the presence of God these rough times will soon become history and you will experience joy.
Exodus 33 vs. 14 God speaking to Moses “ And he said, My presence shall go with thee , and I will give thee rest”.
This season, the Lord will give you rest from all troubles in the name of Jesus.
Resolve to be in his presence. Sacrifice earthly pleasures to be in his presence and your life will enjoy peace.
I end this article with this prayer point which is so simple but which we all need.
“Father, walk the journey of life with me this year and beyond in the name of Jesus”.
The presence of the Lord is so important that we cannot do without it if we want to succeed and enjoy life rather than endure it.
The First African Church Mission has as its motto “ My presence shall go with thee”.
Once you feel his presence, you don’t want to lose it.
This year, as you remain in his presence, your testimonies shall be unlimited in Jesus name.