THE BANNER OF HIS PRESENCE
Home alone. Not exactly in a time of national lockdown. Families are together more than they ever were. But for some, they are home alone because their company is closed. Home alone because some dare not visit in such times. Alone because we are avoiding large gatherings. Some can be sitting beside another person and yet feel they are miles apart. God’s Word reveals to us we are never alone. He is a God who is always near and not far.
The banner we raise this morning is a reminder of His presence. God’s name is Immanuel. This compound word combines the Hebrew term El for God with Immanu which means “with us.” Believer know that God is with us and we shall always be with Him. In a season where so many feel they are alone because of the loss of a loved one, feelings of abandonment, or the consequences of a societal shutdown, we must preach to ourselves the truths of God’s Word. He is near and not far because He is here among us, within us.
God’s plan from the beginning was to be with man. God made man in His image with the ability to fellowship with Him.
He made him and placed him in a very good place called Eden. He walked with him, talked with him, instructed him, commanded him. But after Adam sinned, God could not continue the relationship in the same way. A covering was necessary otherwise sinful human flesh would be consumed by the holy presence of God. God’s plan to restore fellowship with those made is image began to unfold.
God put on flesh and came to us when Jesus Christ was born. As John says in his gospel, he dwelt with us (John 1:14). Jesus put on flesh and came and walked with humanity for 33 years so that we could walk with Him in heaven for eternity. Before Jesus died on the cross, He reminded his disciples that He would send another just like Him, His Spirit, to be with us while He went to prepare a place for us. We are not alone. God’s Holy Spirit dwells within us reminding us He is near and not far.
We need God to be near us in times such as these. We must allow our faith to govern any feelings of loneliness. We must draw near to God. We need to be near Him! The Psalmist knew the significance of God’s presence. Psalm 73:28 reminds us that the nearness of our God is our good. Draw near to God and read these verses as you raise the banner of His Presence today. Thank Him that He never leaves nor forsakes His sheep.
Psalm 16:8; 34:18; 73:28; 145:18; Jeremiah 23:23; Acts 17:27