Dear Central Members & Friends,
I pray you are experiencing God’s grace, peace and love despite what struggles you may be encountering in life. One of the comments you often hear me say is that “there is no such thing as life being void of struggles, the key to life is struggling well.” Joseph in the Old Testament is a great example of someone who encounters numerous struggles. However, when Joseph struggled he struggled well, and never turned his back on God or did anything contrary to word of God. He is a perfect example for us to follow when we encounter struggles; we should remain faithful and obedient to God during our struggles.
Last week during our sermon series on “Understanding The Manifest Presence of God” Part II, I ministered and discussed several reasons for the loss of the Manifest Presence of God. As we are aware, God is always omnipresent, but He does not always manifest His presence to us. We examined four areas that can cause the “Loss of the Manifest Presence of God” and they are:
1. Disobedience-----which is sin (Isaiah 59:1-20)
2. Defilement--------(Psalm 101:3; 119:37)
3. Distractions-------Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)
4. Drifting------------The Church at Ephesus left her first love (Rev. 2:4-5)
I sometimes refer to the above areas as the 4 deadly sins that turn us away from God. Some of these areas are less obvious to us and we become victims without realizing it. Especially as it relates to distractions and drifting. I remember being out with my family when we resided in Chicago and I took them out in a very small boat on Lake Geneva near the Wisconsin border. The boat had no motor and before I knew it, the wind came up and I was drifting out several miles from the shore. It was a major struggle for me to get the boat back to shore and I didn’t want to alert my family on the difficulty I was having rowing against the wind and waves, the only thing I could do was row and pray and ask God to grant me the grace to get us back safely. After 1.5 hours of struggling, I made it to shore with my family and the boat safely.
The lesson here is to be careful and very astute because we can find ourselves drifting away from God and following the wrong moral compass before we realize the danger we have gotten into!! I hope you take a moment during your devotional study over the next couple of weeks to examine the attached PowerPoint slides and enhance your biblical insight, by reviewing the biblical text that is highlighted in the slide deck for each of the 4 D’s highlighted above!!
We will examine Part III of this Sermon Series on Sunday and you definitely want to be in attendance, as we go under the spiritual microscope and examine I Kings 19:1-18. We will look at how God manifested His presence to Elijah while he was exhausted and going through a state of depression as Jezebel was trying to have him killed.
Remember what Romans 8:28 tells us “And We know that All Things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!!!
Grace & Shalom!!!