“For Jerusalem has stumbled,
and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD,
defying his glorious presence.”
I read the passage containing this verse a few days ago, and have since been processing this thought: I live in the glorious presence of God. He is here, in my midst, throughout my days.
Hemming me in, behind and before (Psalm 139:5)
Surrounding me in unquestionable strength, as the mountains surround Jerusalem (Psalm 125:2)
Even if I were to venture to the highest heaven or the deepest hell, I would not—could not—be out of the reach of my God. His Spirit is with me continually, providing strength, conviction, guidance, and grace (Psalm 139:7-10)
Yet as I reflect on this reality, I wonder how often we speak and act and live in defiance of His glorious presence.
Distracted by details.
Going about our own way, perhaps with no thought to the contrary.
Holding up our desires and plans and expectations above our delight in the God who is our portion and the One who makes us whole.
Allowing fear and stress and worry to overwhelm and haunt us, lessening our trust in Him.
Giving in to temptations—perhaps even seeking them out—and ignoring the commands of our Holy, Righteous King, who has given us His law for our good, our freedom, and our joy.
If we realized that the abiding presence of our Holy God is truly in our midst—not an abstract concept, but solid reality—how would it alter our perspective, our reactions, our choices, our focus?
Precious Lord, open our eyes today to behold Your glorious presence. May we fix our eyes on You and know that You are a treasure far surpassing any other, that You are our delight and fullness of joy. Holy, Mighty God, our faithful and loving Father, as You reveal to us the darkness of our hearts and those things hindering our relationship with You, strengthen us to follow faithfully and impress on us Your surpassing worth—that nothing can compare to the glory and wonder and satisfaction of Your presence. May we say as Isaiah 50:5, “The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.” I pray, Lord, that we will not be among those who defy Your glorious presence, but rather counted among the few who delight fully in the midst of God our Savior, whose majesty fills the skies.
“Shout and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.”