Peace, joy and abounding in love

The Presence of God fills your soul.
His perfect love casts out all fear,
leaving a peace that passes understanding,
and joy beyond measure.

 

“I will not leave you as orphans”—“I am with you always”—“Christ dwells in your heart”—“The God of peace will be with you” (John 14:18; Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 3:17; Philippians 4:9).

The promise that God will draw near abounds throughout scripture.

In the temple, God was enthroned in the sanctuary between the cherubim, sitting on the mercy seat. You are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:21). God is enthroned in you.

Paul encourages the Philippians to be awed at God’s Presence in them, for we should be filled with awe at the idea of the holy God bringing His Presence into our hearts (Philippians 2:12).

What kind of God?

So, we ask, what kind of god is it who is seated on the throne of our hearts? What is His nature? What is His character? Who is it who is seated within us?

The God enthroned in your heart is a god who knows you. He is a god who is all knowing, who can see through you like an X-ray machine (Hebrews 4:12, 13). God knows the secrets of your hearts (Psalm 44:21; 1 Corinthians 14:25). God knows every motive you have. God knows you inside and out. God knows what makes you unique and special in His sight, and God loves you for it. God knows you.

The god enthroned in your heart is a god who calls you. He calls you to a relationship with Him. He calls you to a mission and purpose that He has foreordained for you. He calls you into loving harmony with fellow believers. God calls you. And the call of God is a call to be a son and daughter of a King. You are called for the glory of the godly age.

The god enthroned in your heart is a god who is not willing to merely call you, but will go actively search for you if you’ve gotten lost, wandered off, and haven’t come into the fold. This god wants you to join His fold so much, He will search for you, and He will find you. He will search for you in the countryside. He will search for you in the plain. He will search for you, even if you are in other shepherds’ pastures or in other shepherds’ flocks (John 10:16). He will search you, and He will find you. He is the Good Shepherd, and He will search out every last sheep, to lead them back to His holy flock.

The god enthroned in your heart is a god who is ready to throw a party to celebrate your return. He is eagerly and expectantly waiting for you to return. He is eagerly and expectantly looking for you to be heading in His direction. And as soon as He spies you approaching, He throws His dignity to the wind, and runs, runs, runs toward you and throws His robe around you and pronounces you to be His child and His heir. God welcomes you back. God celebrates your return.

The god enthroned in your heart is the god who has immersed Himself in you. The Deity immersed Himself in humanity through the Man, Jesus of Nazareth. Through Jesus, God took hold of humanity, and redeemed it. And now, through the Spirit of Jesus, God immerses Himself in you. You are immersed in God’s Spirit. You are immersed in God’s Presence. The Spirit of God soaks through every organ in your body. You are bathed and refined and purified and tried in the fire of the Holy Spirit. You are baptised in His baptism of fire, which burns away the weakness and the sin of the flesh, so that He will present you holy and blameless and pure on the Day of Christ.

The god enthroned in your heart is a god who has lavished you with good gifts. This god was present in the Lord Jesus Christ when He was enthroned on high, nails piercing His hands, sins of the world bearing down on His shoulders. This god was present in Jesus reconciling the world to Himself. This god was present in Jesus when the Lord Jesus Christ took up His own life and emerged from the tomb. This god loves you so much He shared the agony of the cross, and death, and resurrection in order to bring you life. And much more than life, for He brings a life awash with gifts. Gifts of the Spirit of God intended for the strengthening of the body of Christ. This God has lavished you with life, mission, purpose and power.

The God enthroned in your heart is a god who is humble. This god is the self-emptying God. The god who would restrict His own majesty and power, so that you may have a God-ordained role to play. The god who laid aside His own royal robes. The god who willingly stepped down from His throne on high. The god who willingly laid aside His glory and His dignity, that He may become a servant of man. For God is a lowly and humble god. The humble God enthroned in your heart.

The God enthroned in your heart is a god who gathers you to Himself. He gathers you into a community who known Him, who love Him, who respond to His Voice, whose every joy is to respond to His commands. You’re gathered into the community of Christ in order to serve and to minister and to strengthen and to encourage the community of Christ. You’re called for your own sake, but not just for you, but for those you see around you. The God enthroned in your heart is the God who gathers you into community.

How should we respond?

So, how should we respond to such a great God enthroned in our heart?

We respond by being like Him. We respond by accepting His transforming grace. We respond by being willing to do His will and His work. We respond by being known, and knowing Him. We respond by answering His call. We respond by willingly being found. We respond by embracing the celebration He throws on our behalf. We respond by willingly being immersed in Him. We respond by joyously embracing the gifts He has lavished on us. We respond by recognising His humility. We respond by being gathered.

And yet this is just the beginning of our response. For the call of God is not only to receive Him and to see Him, but to be as He is.

So, we truly respond by being like Him. For we embrace the grace lavished on us, and lavish that same grace on those around us. We feel His will within us, and joyfully put it into action. We not only are willing to be known, and to know, but to extend our power of discernment into knowing those around us, that they may be fully known. We not only respond to His call, but we become witnesses who call those around us. We not only willingly be found, but we become shepherds who actively search for lost sheep. We not only embrace God’s celebration of us, but we joyfully celebrate those who return to Him. We not only lay our life down in God’s immersion, but teach others to do the same. We not only embrace the gifts He’s given us, but we use those gifts for the benefit of those around us. We not only recognise His humility, but we too willingly lay aside our pride, our position, our status, our rights, and we also become humble. We not only a willing to be gathered into community, but we consider those around us more significant than us. “We shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

The river of life

This is the river of life flowing from your heart. Jesus tells us that this is our birth right in Him, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37). This is how, when God is enthroned in your heart, from you will flow a river of living water. From you will flow calling, searching, celebrating, lavishing, immersing, humility and community. 

From you will flow the river of life that springs out of the Spirit of God. For the great God of peace is with you. Christ dwells in your heart. He is with you always. He will not leave you as orphans. No, you are truly transformed into God’s actual child. His true heir. You are remade into the image of God.

Peace, joy and abounding in love

So now that we know the God we never knew, we understand that in His Presence there is no fear: for perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18); and where He is, you are made perfect in one (John 17:23).

The God of peace lives within you. Be at peace.

The God of joy lives within you. Rejoice!

The God of love lives within you. Love!

May love abound in you life, and freely flow from your heart, bringing endless life and unquenchable healing to everyone in your stream.


References:

This message based on Philippians 4:4–9.

 

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