EXPERIENCING THE PRESENCE OF GOD
📕Eph 3:14-21; Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 (R.v.5b); Luke 12:49-53
Were you with us when we began reading the Letter of St Paul to the Ephesians? I encouraged us to personalise that letter and internalize the messages therein. If you did, then rejoice because you have a share in St Paul’s five-point prayer today. He prayed that:
👉We may be strengthened with the power of the Holy Spirit.
👉Jesus may dwell in our hearts through faith
👉We may be empowered with the gift of understanding.
👉We may know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.
👉We may be filled with all the fullness of God.
That fullness of God is what Jesus points at when he said that he came to cast fire upon the earth (Luke 12:49). In the Scriptures, fire is often associated with God’s presence (cf. Exod 3:2-6; 13:21; Lev 9:23-24; 1Kings 18:38; Acts 2:3-4).
Considering the different functions of fire which include destruction, purification and provision of light, we can then understand why Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6) went on to say that he has come to bring division on earth (Luke 12:51).
That division begins from the self; it separates one from one’s sinful old way of life, transforming one into a new creature. But that division can also extend beyond the self when the self encounters others who refuse to be transformed.
Moreover, fire normally comes with pains upon its victim. That reminds us that it is not easy to follow the Lord. We can also connect that to Jesus’ saying that he has a baptism to undergo (referring to his passion and death). But we are sure that if we follow him to the end, a crown of victory shall await us (cf. 2Tim 4:7-8).
May the fire of God’s presence ever be before us to lead us on our way, above us to enlighten us, within us to purify us and beside us to destroy any power that distracts us from being in his presence. Amen.
Have a grace-filled day. Peace be with you.