Topic: Practice Jesus’ Presence And See His Power
But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. – Jeremiah 20:11
Do you know that the best time to thank Jesus for His presence is when you don’t “feel” His presence? When it comes to the presence of Jesus, don’t go by your feelings. Feelings can be deceptive. Go by His promise that He is Immanuel—God with us!
Have you heard the story of a groom who approached his pastor almost immediately after his wedding ceremony? He went up to his pastor and said, “Pastor, can I talk to you for a second?”
“Sure,” the pastor replied.
The groom said, “You know what, I don’t feel married.”
The pastor grabbed him by the collar and growled, “Listen, boy. You ARE married whether you feel it or not, understand? Just take it by faith that you are married!”
You see, my friend, you can’t go by your feelings. You go by the truth and the truth is this: God promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So the best time to practice His presence is precisely when you feel like Jesus is 100,000 miles away. Remember that feelings aren’t based on truth. God’s Word is truth!
Soon after I graduated from high school, I took on a part-time job to teach in an elementary school where I was placed in charge of a class of 10-year-olds. I remember one day, when I was practicing His presence, I knelt down in my living room and prayed, “Lord, I just thank You that You are always with me.” As I was on my knees, the Lord told me to pray specifically for one of the girls in my class who had been absent from school that day.
Now, it is very common for kids to miss class now and then for various reasons, and I had never been led by the Lord to pray specifically for any of them. This girl was the first! The Lord told me very clearly to pray for His protection to be over this girl and to cover her with His precious blood.
The next day, there was a big commotion in the school and I found out that the girl had been kidnapped by a notorious serial killer that very afternoon when the Lord had told me to pray for her. The killer, Adrian Lim, had kidnapped several children to be offered up as sacrifices to the devil. He believed that Satan would give him power when he offered the blood of these children to him.
Over the next couple of days, this girl from my class was all over our national media because she had been miraculously released. Sadly, she was the only girl released. All the other kidnapped children had been brutally murdered.
When she returned to class, I asked her how she came to be freed. She told me that her kidnapper was “praying” over her when suddenly he stopped and told her, “The gods do not want you.” She was quickly released that evening. Of course, you and I know why the “gods” didn’t want her—she was covered and protected by Jesus’ blood!
Listen to what I am saying here. In America today and around the world, the devil is trying to destroy a new generation because he is afraid that the young people of the new millennium are going to take over the world for Jesus. That is why we have to cover our children with Jesus’ protection.
I am sharing all this with you because I want you to see the importance and power of practicing His presence. As a teacher during that time, my class was my responsibility, just like my congregation is my responsibility today. Think with me: How in the world, with my finite knowledge and intelligence, could I have known that one of my students was in grave danger? It is not possible! But because the Lord, who knows all things, was with me, He enabled me to make a difference in my student’s life.
Similarly, whatever role or vocation you are in, whether you are a schoolteacher, business leader or homemaker, I want you to know that Jesus is with you and He wants to make you a success. Now, remember, all this happened to me before I became a full-time pastor, so please don’t think that this unmerited favor from Jesus is only for pastors. Beloved, His unmerited favor is for you. The Lord Immanuel is with you.