Reflections on the Power of the Presence of God
2 Corinthians 2:14-17 The Message (MSG)
14-16 In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. 16-17 This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.
I got this word really early in the morning when in a rare occasion I can’t sleep and I believe God wants me to just pray. I was led to this verse and as I was reading it, I became so excited with what God has in store for me, my family and the church.
1. God leads us to victory.
In Christ, I am being led to victory. The battle has been won. We will go through wars but the end of the story is that the good guys win. God wins, Satan loses. The church is victorious. It is a powerful truth that we must embrace and declare. God has called us to live a life of victory. So when I come to God in prayer, I come boldly with a winning attitude because He has won it all for us.
2. I am a carrier of God’s presence and the gospel.
Through us, He brings the knowledge of Christ. We are given the task to hold and live out the gospel. It should exude in us. The love, mercy, grace and power of God must be evident in our lives. For that to happen, I have to be close to the source of love, mercy, grace and power. If I want people to experience God’s presence, I must be in His presence.
Where we go, the people can smell the fragrance of God’s presence. There is healing where I go, there is a proclamation of freedom where I go. We teach the presence of God, we share the presence of God, we impart the presence of God to the people we meet everyday.
We are to be a pleasing aroma to those whom God is saving and even to those who are perishing. The world needs to smell the gospel in us. Can they see, touch and experience God’s love and power in us?
3. We can’t cheapen the gospel
I love that Paul tells us that the gospel cannot be cheapen. You can’t sell it on the streets for a price. The integrity of Christ lies in how we preach, proclaim, declare and live out His word. For some of our friends, we are the only Jesus they will see. They won’t read the Bible, go to church or worship till they see a living evidence of how God transforms people.
So how do we go about praying?
1. Pray for the presence of God and the anointing of the Spirit to come to you. But don’t stop there. If you are a parent, ask the Lord to fill your kids with the Spirit of God. Create an atmosphere of faith, love where the Holy Spirit can freely move in your household – neighborhood, church and city.
2. Find your secret place. I call it my place of strength. It is a time and place where I can be alone with God or with my spouse and kids where we just dwell in the presence of God, worship, pray, speak in tongues and get refresh in the Spirit. Because after we get the presence, we share the presence of God to others that we meet.
Give it will come back to you. Be filled with the Spirit. Enjoy His presence but don’t stop there.
3. Ask God to use you to make disciples.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to be witnesses. Acts 1:8 was clear about that. Don’t just seek an experience – bring the presence of God in the streets, out of the walls of the church. Make the gospel real to the people you meet. We are the light. It is not meant to be hidden, enjoyed only by God’s people but by everyone we meet.