A LIVING ON THE PREMISES LORD!   – by John Beaumont

I recently used the above wording on a card for my sister and her husband as they move into a new home . . . like this:

“May your home be filled with love and laughter, peace and plenty, comfort and care. And may Jesus be your living-on-the- premises Lord, Helper and Friend.”

AN ABSENTEE LORD?

Living-on-the-premises is an unusual phrase, but it came to mind after I recently talked to a friend about having an ‘absentee Lord’ – or living as though he did. I’ve never thought in quite these terms before and have been asked for some explanation.

I’m not thinking of a house being a dwelling place for the Lord, but rather, of believing residents living out the reality of His presence. Some have used the term ‘Practicing the Presence of Christ,’ no doubt indicating that we can be much more aware of our Lord’s nearness than we may currently be.

For the redeemed the truth is that God is with us . . . He IS here! The challenge is to live out the reality of this wonderful fact, and avail ourselves of being blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, for His glory. It would be tragic is we lived all our days with a huge unfulfilled potential in our spiritual lives, wouldn’t it?

I’ve printed our cards for Mary and me to enjoy. The top half of the card has: ‘He’s Here!’ in word-art. Beneath that each card has a different statement typed on it and I’ll share them with you in case you want to follow my idea. Then you could keep changing what’s on the front of your fridge, on your mirror, table, or wherever. You well may wish to use your own wording. Here are ours at the moment:

HE’S HERE! And He encourages us wonderfully!
HE’S HERE! And He is our strength!
HE’S HERE! And we enjoy pleasing Him!
HE’S HERE! And His companionship is wonderful!

HE’S HERE! And He cares for us obviously!!
HE’S HERE! And we are resting in Him!
HE’S HERE! And He satisfies completely
HE’S HERE! And we are enjoying His love!

HE’S HERE! Makes you smile, doesn’t it?
HE’S HERE! So we bathe in His peace!
HE’S HERE! And we are trusting HIM!
HE’S HERE! So today is special day!

HE’S HERE! Because He loves us!
HE’S HERE! So we are really living!
HE’S HERE! And we revel in the thought!
HE’S HERE! What refreshing blessing!

HE’S HERE! Because we are precious to Him!
HE’S HERE! And He satisfies completely
HE’S HERE! And we are resting in Him!
HE’S HERE! And we are enjoying His love!

Actually, if you’d like me to email this list as I have printed these cards for us, feel free to let me know. Give me the pleasure of sending it to you. Let me know if you prefer singular or plural. That is ‘We are precious to Him’ or ‘I am precious to Him’ and so on.

I have no doubt that every believer holds to the truth that Christ lives within them. As a doctrine that’s fine, but have we taken up the privilege of living out the amazing reality of God-with-us?

MAKING THE WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

Here are questions and comments that may help us come to a greater realisation of Christ’s presence with us in the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit. These are not given to be judgemental in any way, but hopefully to open the eyes of our understanding to the ‘much more’ that Father desires for every one of us.

Do we live most of our day as though He is NOT here? This means seldom thinking about Him, thanking Him and looking to Him for wisdom, strength, grace, encouragement peace and assurance. Are we daily expecting to ‘hear’ the Holy Spirit’s inner voice, sensitive to His promptings and quick to respond to Him?

Do we talk to Him as though He is far away, and speak about Him like that too? This can even happen in church services and fellowship gatherings. At times I feel I’m in a God-with-us kind of gathering, and at others times it seems like an ‘absentee Lord’ kind of occasion.

Do we sing about Him, or even to Him as though He is right here listening, enjoying and responding to us . . . or not?

Does a fragrant awareness of God?s nearness make a difference in the way we read the bible?

I’d like to share a couple of my own experiences. Years ago I was asked to speak at a house meeting. We had quite a few miles to drive from the place we were staying. When we were almost there I realised that I had forgotten to bring my bible. Sure enough our host was quick to comment, “Brother John, you haven’t brought your bible!”

I could have asked to borrow one, but simply told them I’d forgotten my bible, but had brought the Author with me, asking, “Is that ok with you folk?”  You know what? Having the printed page didn’t matter because I could share God’s word from my heart, relying on the Holy Spirit to be my very necessary Reminderer and Helper.

Then again, the brother in whose home we were staying in America on one occasion told me that he’d been called away for the evening so that he would appreciate me leading their home group that night. I was totally happy to do that.

For a number of weeks He had been using one of my small books as the basis for their teaching. I was simply introduced as John [or was it ‘brother John?’] which suited me perfectly well. At least some there had no idea that I had written the study book.

At one point a sister became very vocal, telling others that they weren’t getting the message, and declaring that she’d tell them what the author meant. It was quite amusing really, and I didn’t enlighten her! She was quite adamant that her viewpoint was the only one, looking to me as leader of the gathering, for endorsement. I was able to suggest she look at it in a different light, sharing what I thought was clearly written, though she hadn’t seen it.

Well, Scripture’s Author indwells us and seeks to illumine the ‘now’ truth He wants us to catch hold of at the present time. It is important to read the Book with the Holy Spirit bringing fresh life and blessing to us from what we are reading.

ANOTHER UNUSUAL QUESTION

I asked a friend recently, “How much of God is with you here and now?”  What would the response be to such a question? After all, I am an old man!!!

Don’t we usually have an underlying [orthodox?] understanding that most of God is in far-off heaven? That’s where His throne is. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, how much of God was here? If that seems to be a silly question, then you may be surprised by Colossians 2:9,10, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ . . .” An amazing Scripture.

As further emphasis to the thought that just as the fullness of Deity lived in Jesus on earth, let me state that because God is one God, all of God was in heaven, while all of God was in human form on earth . . . and all of God is with us day by day. We cannot understand this, but we can marvel at it. One of the early church leaders spoke of God being able to “go there, without leaving here.”

Years ago I heard someone commenting on Jesus’ words In John’s Gospel from chapter 14, saying that to a casual observer it seemed that He was a bit muddled up in His remarks about His going, the Holy Spirit being sent, and His Father’s involvement with His followers. He wasn’t dividing God up as modern teachers and theologians are prone to do!

I’ve been thinking about the attributes of God. God is love, and Scripture applies that attribute to the Lord Jesus, and also to the Holy Spirit as well as to the Father. The same applies to God’s power, holiness, peace, mercy, grace and so forth.

A TRANSITIONAL PRAYER?

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray He did so, commencing with what many of us memorised in childhood, “Our Father which art in heaven. . .” Perhaps that’s been enough to make us believe that most of God is in Heaven, and that’s where His headquarters are.

Nowadays I wonder if that prayer was only intended as a transitional one. The New Covenant hadn’t yet been ushered in by Christ’s atoning death and His glorious resurrection. Just prior to going to the Cross Jesus spoke to His disciples about coming changes such as, “Up until now you haven’t asked anything in my name,”  introducing a different dimension to prayer. Another dimension given as New Testament provision is that the Holy Spirit will teach and lead us in our praying, so that the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is now very inadequate.

Trouble is, it really is too easy to divide up God too much. He is one God, albeit in 3 persons. I’ve never heard anyone pray something like, “Father, you are also Jesus my Saviour, and you are also the Holy Spirit the Comforter.”  I’m not saying that we should pray like that, but simply want to stress that just as all of Deity [KJV: the Godhead] was in Christ on earth, it is equally true that the Son and Spirit are in the Father and the Father and Son are in the Spirit. God is one God. Though we can never understand Him we can know Him in His fullness as God-with-us each and every day of our lives.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Please don?t get tangled up with anything that you can’t quite ‘see’ in what I’ve written. Can you hear my heart in all this? Surely, my dear brothers and sisters, it is all too easy for things visible, natural and temporary to dominate our thoughts and activities. Let’s not be robbed of delighting in and being blessed and strengthened by the wonder of Christ’s presence in us and with us day by day. As believing believers we are spiritual beings, ‘people of the horizon’  as mentioned in my booklet ‘He’s Here!’ which was written over 10 years ago. I pray that you may be stirred and encouraged by what I’ve sought to share, as you really, really enjoy the wonderful blessing of God-with-us and so bring further joy to Him, the worthy One.

[by John Beaumont]