|- Kenneth Greatorex -
It was in the spring of 1961 that I first heard the chorus that begins: "Lord into Thy presence we come." Much has been learned since those days, however, the need for the presence of The Almighty remains. Truly, He does dwell within each one of us, and collectively, in our coming together we have the CORPORATE expression of His presence. In that sense we are conscious of coming into His presence, and only on this basis do we recognize that we have figuratively come into His presence.
Our local newspaper has a Saturday editorial by a very liberal retired United Church minister. He loves to stir the pot for reaction from fundamentalist Christians. However, the edition of January 25 bearing the headline, "Church requires devotion, not gimmicks," was worthy of note and spoke to my heart. He told of one of their ministers praying a prayer that seemed like "a private conversation with God about us. - - The silence was so intense that we thought we heard God say, "Go on Harold, I'm listening." And we knew He was. We were a subdued lot that morning for we had been taken into the presence of the Almighty. We had worshipped."
How often can we really say, “WE HAVE WORSHIPPED.”
As ministry and people there are so many ways we have learned to produce an effect. We have tried, sometimes desperately, to have the consciousness of His presence. We have forgotten that Scripture speaks of CHRIST DWELLING IN EACH OF US, and CORPORATELY in His body. When we recognize that He is in our midst, and seek to do His will, in time we will be conscious of His true presence. This is not something in the soul realm as ours souls can be stirred with music or a pep talk, etc., but in the realm of the spirit where our human spirit blends with The Holy Spirit to produce TRUE WORSHIP in the presence of God.
Norman P. Grubb wrote, "we shall find that our spiritual vitality is sapped at the roots through failure to take a bold grasp of the truth of CHRIST IN YOU, sufficient to shatter the illusion and consequent weakening effects of a FALSE SENSE OF SEPARATION. We know God only at a distance. We know touches of His power and grace, visitations which come and go. - - we have only a variable consciousness of His daily presence with us. The transforming truth is that of our inward fusion with Him,. ”HE THAT IS JOINED TO THE LORD IS ONE SPIRIT.” Can anything describe actual union more realistically than that?”
As children many of us learned to sing the chorus, "Come into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus." Somehow the reality of what this meant never sank in. Perhaps it is because we tend think of God being in a far off heaven, which because God is omnipresent is primarily a spirit realm. The repetition of Scripture such as, “OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN," has tended to alienate us from God's presence within. We must realize that this truth was spoken to a people living under the Old Covenant. It is a fact that He does dwell in the heavenly realms and His purpose is to create His dwelling place, or heaven, in each of us. Sadly, to most of us our Lord seems far off much of the time. It does not need to be that way, for it is “CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY" (glorification - Williams N.T.).
In Colossians 2:9&10a we read, “FOR IN HIM DWELLS ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD [Deity] BODILY; AND YOU ARE COMPLETE IN HIM, WHO IS THE HEAD OF ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER.” " Christ is "in you," and in, "Him dwells." What? FULLNESS of Deity-Godhead. The word complete: Greek PLEROO Strong's #4137, means to be full, or fully furnished. The Williams New Testament puts it like this, FOR IT IS IN HIM THAT ALL THE FULLNESS OF DEITY CONTINUES TO LIVE EMBODIED, AND THROUGH UNION WITH HIM YOU TOO ARE FILLED WITH IT.” To some this can be a very intoxicating statement, but it should be humbling. What is simply said is that within each believer there is the potential to reach fullness in Christ or, to come into SONSHIP, for what we have within is the "DNA" of Christ. Prominent anthropologist, Ashley Montagu wrote: "Blood is in no way connected with the transmission of heredity characters, the transmitters - - are the genes which lie in the chromosomes of the germ cells represented by the spermatozoa of the father and the ova of the mother and nothing else.” We could say the ova represents out humanity, and the spermatozoa represents the Life of Christ within each of us.
Biologically, each of us have chromosomes making up the DNA. We received twenty-three from each parent giving a total of forty-six, with thousands of genes. Genetically we are programmed to have certain characteristics - blue eyes - blood type - size, etc. received from both of our parents. Our life span is built into us. Under perfect conditions we should reach it. Now, consider, the very life of Christ is in us and that the fullness of Deity dwelled in Him. The potential is for each of us to grow up into full spiritual maturity. If as humans we have proper nourishment, rest, exercise, etc. we will grow from conception to adulthood. The same is true in the realm of the Spirit!! Failure to grow into the fullness of Christ is not God's fault for He has programmed us to reach it.
Bishop Moule wrote, "Paul now sets forth His glory. Ver.9. For in Him resides, as in a settled and congenial home, all the fullness of the Deity (Footnote: The Latin word DEITAS was coined in Christian times, apparently on purpose to render THEOTES more fuller than the vaguer DIVINITAS.), the whole glorious total of what God is, the supreme nature in its infinite entirety; in bodily fashion, conditioned now as to its manifestation and communication by His sacred bodily state. - - Ver 10. And you are (emphatically so, not "you may be" but "you are") in Him filled full of the Fullness: in His promise, presence, power, you do possess “All things needful for life and godliness." Just as far as you rely upon Him and draw upon Him, you "possess your possessions," you realize your wealth, you are filled in fruition with what already fills you in potency.” Note: See 2 Peter 1:3,4.
The ultimate word on worship is in John 4:24, “MUST worship IN spirit and truth.” E.W. Bullinger gives the meaning of “IN,” Greek, EN, as "A being or remaining within, with the primary idea of REST in any place or thing.” We are "resting" or abiding in Christ and He in us. When we as saints of the Most High are gathered together He is with us in a corporate manner. Therefore, we need only to recognize the presence of God and allow the anointing within each one to flow to the glory of Christ, and to allow the Christ within to be manifested. In Hebrews 2:12: it reads, “I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN; IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING PRAISE TO YOU.” We now understand that true worship and praise is that which flows FROM CHRIST WITHIN. Many years ago I remember A. A. Anderson singing the chorus he wrote; "Thou Mighty Christ Come Forth In Me." When we allow Christ to come forth in us, and through us, we will always be aware of the presence of The Almighty.
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