Show Me That Our God Is in the Camp Part 3
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Let’s finish today by trying to learn the great lessons which this incident teaches.
The first lesson is that God’s presence is a necessity. I know that you know this. All of you know that we need the Holy Spirit to accomplish anything. But I think that many have put Him on the shelf where He lies unheard. But it can’t be that way with you and me because we must pray in the Holy Spirit, or we do not pray at all. Only the Holy Spirit can make anything we do effective, therefore never begin any work without the Holy Spirit. The "amen" of our prayer must be spoken with the power of the Holy Spirit just as much as the first word of the preacher’s sermon. Let all of your service to God be in the Spirit, or else your time is not well spent.
Next, we must learn that we need to do all that we can to obtain the presence of God in the camp. However, if you are one who is without Christ, don’t think that there is anything that you need to do before receiving Christ. The song says that He has done it all:
“Jesus did it, did it all,
Long, long ago.”
But I believe that I am speaking to God’s people, so let me give you a few suggestions about what you should do to get God’s presence in our midst.
We must confess our helplessness without God, and be honest about it. We need a clear understanding that by ourselves we can do nothing. Jesus told His disciples, “Without me, ye can do nothing.” The sooner that we realize this, the better. When we cease from self, we make way for God.
Next, the desire for God’s presence with us must be from the complete body of Christ. I mean by that, that every Christian man and woman must deeply desire His presence and pray to the Lord, “Come, Lord, and come quickly.”
Then there must be obedience to God’s word and a commitment to Christ as our Lord. He will only bless us if we are obedient to His word. We must, therefore, be careful to avoid those who do not live according to God’s word. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the lord Almighty.”
If we desire to have the sense of God’s continual presence, we must have unity. The Spirit of God does not love fighting, and He will not come to where there is constant strife. We must love one another. In Acts, it says that it was when the disciples were “with one accord in one place”, that the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost. It is still that way today.
Above all else, there must be a healthy reliance upon God, and a childlike confidence in Him. I would recommend that you either believe in God up to the hilt or else don’t believe at all. Believe the Holy Book of God, every letter of it, or else reject it. Be satisfied with nothing less than total faith and total commitment to Him. Believe in God, and that he is everything.
These are the conditions for receiving God’s blessings and abiding presence. If we have these things in us, we will be able to shout, without making any mistakes, “God has come into the camp.”
When God does come to us we should work to keep His presence.
So, how do we do that?
First, by humbly walking with God. If we become proud, because His presence is with us, thinking that there is something in us that attracts God to us, and to cause His face to shine on us, it won’t take long for Him to leave our presence. Always try to be humble in His presence.
Next, we should give Him grateful praise from our hearts. If God is saving sinners, let’s give him the glory for it. If He is at work among us, let’s not talk about what we have been doing, but let’s declare to men what He has done. Let‘s never lay claim to what God has done.
We must always be on the alert, because if God is with us He may give us a great victory, and if we are disobedient, we may be defeated. Unless we are sober and vigilant we may have to mourn because the Lord has withdrawn His presence from us. The Bible tells us that there is a fierce light around His throne. “Our God is a consuming fire.” Can any of us live in the presence of a devouring fire? The scriptural answer is, “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly.” Let’s pray that God will make us men and woman who can stand the heat!
And now I have come to the last point. Each of us must have an individual fellowship with God. It is hard work for the whole church to walk with God, every day and all the time; but if each of us will see to it that our personal walk is pleasing to God, then the whole church will have nothing to fear, and when we go forth to battle, the Philistines will know for sure that “God has come into the camp.” I hope that God will lift each of us up to this great level of personal consecration. Let’s pray that each of us will go on serving the Lord and that He will abide with us in power every day of our lives.