The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week’s Bible reading comes from 1 Kings 6-11; 2 Chron. 3-9; Ps. 97-99 and 135-136; Prov. 1-3; and Rom. 1-7.
God is at work right now, everywhere. I recently visited with a friend in Madrid who pastors a Spirit-filled church in the cradle of the Spanish Inquisition. The church had felt the spiritual opposition and oppression that had long been rampant in the town where they serve. They wanted to see a breakthrough and decided to go to a hill on the outskirts of town to pray over it.
Through the collective prayer of the whole church present on this mount, they felt prompted to humble themselves before the Lord and to ask forgiveness on behalf of their ancestors for the atrocities and sins of the past that had been done from this place. Soon after that, they started seeing change and a release of the Holy Spirit, beginning in their own congregation. I believe God is sending healing power and salvation not only to that town, but also to the whole nation of Spain, where there has been a collective oppression for centuries.
Psalm 97 begins with a declaration in “the present”: “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles and coastlands be glad!” (Amplified Bible). Whether it’s beyond the coastlands of the Old Continent or from coast to coast in our own land, we rejoice and declare that the Lord reigns, and we are glad!
Meanwhile, we can’t avoid the prsent, which is right in front of us. The past is gone; the future is not yet here. The present is now.
“God is” and “I am that I am” are references to a God who is present in the now. It brings so much balance and assurance to know that—more than what He was and will be—He is, and He is not only in the present tense. He also is the God who helps me understand and connect His presence with the present, right now. What is happening at this second? He is. That knowledge and declaration brings comfort and peace.
The first seven chapters of Romans are a catalog of things that are in the present and are clear signs of decay in our world. The more I watch the news happening right now, the more I’m reminded of the decaying condition of the human race. Our land is sick. It needs healing.
I’m reminded of 2 Chron. 7:14, which tells us that God’s people need collectively to humble ourselves, to pray and to ask for forgiveness on behalf of our fellow citizens, to seek God’s face and to turn from our wicked ways. If we do these things now, the Lord will listen, forgive, and heal our land. Our present condition as it is requires us to act right now, in the present—just as my colleague on top of that hill near Madrid did with his congregation.
The Lord reigns!
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