In the early days of my firefighting career with the F.D.N.Y., I feared running into burning buildings; out-of-control fire could be very frightening. However, what gave me the needed courage was that those around me didn’t seem afraid.
My first officer was an extraordinary fireman, a highly decorated, well-seasoned professional with an uncanny ability to sense when things were about to become untenable. I was very fortunate to have him as my mentor. His close presence at a fire gave a sense of security and assurance in a chaotic dangerous environment.
Much of the action I experienced at his side in burning buildings was an environment of tremendous heat and total darkness, so black that you couldn’t see your gloved hand in front of your face. Yet even though I couldn’t see him, I knew he was very close; this awareness of his presence made a critical difference. The power of a person’s presence can change the way we think, the way we feel, and the way we react.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory…” (Col. 1:27b)
The same is true regarding our awareness of Jesus’ presence in our lives. Even though we can’t see Him or audibly hear His voice, He makes His presence known in many wonderful ways.
Imagine if Jesus Christ, in the flesh, was with you all day so that everywhere you went, everything you did, whomever you interacted with, Jesus would be by your side. Would that change your attitude, words, actions, and reactions? Wouldn’t the awareness of His nearness provide a strong incentive to resist sin and strengthen your confidence and faith?
Whether you are conscious of it or not, from when you wake up in the morning until you close your eyes at night, the Lord is with you. Consider:
“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” (Ps.139:1-7).
The reality of Jesus’ presence within, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, “… he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Cor. 6:17), is a sustaining truth that has strengthened my walk with the Lord over the years.
Two have become one. “Christ liveth in me…” (Gal. 2:20), “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5). “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 Peter 1:11). “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom. 8:9).
If you’ve trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul, no matter where you go or what you do or say, Jesus Christ is present; you are never alone. “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). Remember, no matter how bad things get, “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” [the devil] (1 John 4:4). Emphasis mine.
Photo: Cape Cod Times
A. W. Weckeman
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