Monday, April 29, 2013

A Little Taste of Heaven

The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22) and I believe that to be true because I have felt His presence surrounding me when I have been in a church service where the people are praising their Lord and I have felt Him when I have been in my home, alone, praising Him. If you want to feel Him near, start praising Him. Start by thanking Him for Who He is. Then move on to what He has done for us. Sing to Him. Sing not just to hear yourself sing but actually sing for Him and to Him. Sing songs of praise which speak of His love, His mercy and His kindness. Sing Scripture verses; there are many which have been set to music. Singing Scripture is a good way not only to praise the Lord but also to memorize His Word. 

The presence of the Lord is not something that can be manufactured. We cannot achieve His presence by a set number of songs we sing or how great our musical team is. No, He will feel welcomed to be with us when the attitude of our heart is right. I have been in church services where song leaders have purposely tried to 'whip the people up' and I have not felt God near and I have been in simple song services, sometimes even without music, and have felt and seen God's presence being manifested. What was the difference? The attitude of the heart. 

We sing  a simple little song at church as part of an altar medley which says "all I want to do is love You, all I  want to do is worship, all I want to do is lay here right at Your feet, as I lift my hands to Heaven, let Your fire fall down on me, rekindle the fire within me, Lord, once again." I love how that song starts. It starts with the word "ALL", all I want to do is love You. When your focus is purely on God; when ALL you want to do is love Him, then you will feel His presence surrounding you.

When He is near you'll know it and there is no feeling on earth like it. It is so humbling to know that you are in the presence of the King of kings. You are in the presence of God Almighty. Wow! That's amazing! The Creator of the entire universe and everything in it wants to be with you and He feels welcomed to when you praise Him. That's a little taste of what Heaven is going to be like. 

The Bible tells us that Heaven has no need of a sun or moon because there is no darkness there. The Lamb of God is the light (Rev. 21:23). His presence is so powerful there that there is no need of any other light. Revelation chapter 4 paints us a beautiful picture of what is happening in Heaven right now. The heavenly beings are worshipping God. There are four 'living creatures' which  'Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”

 And while these four creatures are doing that there are twenty-four elders who are seated around the throne who begin to worship God by saying:

 '“You are worthy, our Lord and God,

    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.” 

We also know from Scripture that when one person repents and turns their life over to God, all of Heaven rejoices. The citizens of Heaven celebrate when someone asks Jesus to come into their heart (Luke 15:7)! Did you know that you are so important to God that He has all of Heaven celebrate when you come to Him? Isn't that amazing?! 

 The media has portrayed Heaven as being a stark white, quiet place where everyone sits on a cloud and plays a harp, but that is so far from the truth to be laughable! Heaven is a place full of colour, full of the sounds of praising and music and most of all Heaven is a place full of the presence of God. If you have ever felt His presence you will agree with me, I'm sure, that you never want to be out of His presence ever again. When we know He is present in a church service and we see Him moving in the lives of others around us, that is just a little taste of what Heaven will be like. 

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