WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 7, 2022
TOPIC: LIVE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3 New King James Version).
God is omnipresent – He is everywhere. He sees everyone and knows what each person does. Nothing is hidden from Him. Coram Deo is a phrase in Latin, which means “in the presence of God” or “before the face of God.” The Hebrew word panim/paneh is translated as presence and face. Coram means before or in the presence while Deo means God. To live coram Deo means to live in the presence of God.
To live coram Deo or in the presence of God means to live conscious of the presence of God everywhere you are. David said “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7 New King James Version).
There is nowhere anyone can go that God will not see him. Nobody can hide from Him. “‘Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?’ says the LORD; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:24 New King James Version).
In Amos 9:2-4, the LORD said, “Though they dig into hell, from there my hand shall take them; though they climb up to heaven, From there I will bring them down; and though they hide themselves on top of Carmel, from there I will search and take them; though they hide from My sight at the bottom of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them; though they go into captivity before their enemies, from there I will command the sword, and it shall slay them. I will set My eyes on them for harm and not for good” (New King James Version).
Although God is everywhere and sees everyone and nobody can hide from Him, not everyone lives his life with the consciousness that He sees him and, therefore, should live in a way that pleases Him, knowing that he will give an account to Him one day. Some people even think that they can run away from God and live as they please. That’s self-delusion.
That was the case of the Prophet Jonah whom the LORD commanded to go to Nineveh, a great city, and cry out against it because of their wickedness that had come up before Him (Jonah 1:2). “But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3 New King James Version).
Please take note of the phrase “from the presence of the LORD.” Jonah fled from the presence of the LORD. He went in the opposite direction of where the LORD had sent Him. The New Living Translation puts Jonah 1:3 thus: “But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.”
Jonah fled from the presence of the LORD; he tried to get away from Him. But His presence is everywhere in the sense that He is omnipresent. So really, nobody can run away from Him. God will only allow someone to run away as far as He permits the person. Jonah thought he had fled from the presence of the LORD but He met Him on the sea. He hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart.
The crew eventually found out that Jonah was responsible for the storm threatening their lives. He confessed that he was a Jew who worshipped Jehovah, the God of heaven, the maker of the earth and sea, and was running away from Him! At his request, they cast him into the sea. But the LORD had prepared a great fish which swallowed Jonah and after three days and three nights in its belly, it vomited a repentant Jonah on the beach. God gave him a second chance to go and cry out against Nineveh, and he did.
It is one thing to know or believe that God is present everywhere but another thing to live coram Deo – live in His presence. If you live in His presence, you will live under His authority and live to honour and glorify Him. You will live for Him, not for yourself or the approval of others. You will live in a way that shows that you belong to God, and He sees and knows everything you do.
You will also live in constant fellowship or communion with Him, confident that He listens to you (Psalms 34:15; 102:19-20). Therefore, you can pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). You will be aware of His presence, which will assure you of His protection and provision (Isaiah 43:2; Zephaniah 3:17; Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10).
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve went to hide from the LORD among the trees after they had disobeyed His command (verse 8). But they were coram Deo – they were before the LORD. There was no hiding place for them. When the LORD called to Adam, “Where are you?” it wasn’t because He didn’t know where Adam and Eve were. He already knew what they did. He saw them when they were disobeying His command.
God saw Cain when He killed his brother, Abel (Genesis 4:8-10). He also saw David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 12:1-9). No sinner can hide from Him. No creature is hidden from God’s sight; all things are naked and open to His eyes (Hebrews 4:13). Therefore, live in the presence of God, knowing that He sees and knows all you do and all about you (Psalm 44:21; Job 34:21; Proverbs 15:3).
In Genesis 16:13, Hagar referred to the LORD who spoke to her thus: “You are the God who sees me” (New International Version). She said further in the same verse, “I have now seen the One who sees me” (New International Version).
Live in the presence of God. Live knowing that you will give an account to Him one day. It is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Ecclesiastes 12:14 says God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Live in the presence of God. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 New King James Version). According to Romans 2:16, the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
Live coram Deo; live in the presence of God. Submit yourself to His authority. Let your life honour and glorify Him.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to live conscious that I am in the presence of God who sees me and knows everything about me. I shall submit myself to the authority of God and live to honour and glorify Him in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, convict those who are living in rebellion against God so that they will submit to His authority and give their lives to Jesus.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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