May 21, 2013
May 18 - Jon & Jolene Hamill
The Presence War
“For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their actions are against the Lord, to rebel against His glorious presence. The expression on their faces bears witness against them, and they display their sin like Sodom; they don’t even conceal it!” (Isaiah 3:8-9).
The prophet Isaiah clarifies this “presence war” in our hour. With the diplomacy of a white hot bolt of lightning, he confronted the rise of militant homosexuality in his culture. “They display their sin like Sodom,” observes the astonished prophet. “They do not even conceal it!” (Isaiah 3:8).
Sin is always tragic in that it defiles those made in God’s image. God cherishes each of us, and He takes personally our willingness to continually defile ourselves and others through sin. On a corporate level, when idolatry, sexual immorality, bloodshed, and unjust gain are embraced and tolerated as acceptable behavior, God calls it rebellion against His Presence!
The result perceived by the prophet is tragic. “Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their actions are against the Lord…” Jerusalem, the capital city, stumbled—and God’s covenant land fell.
Beloved, the greatest war we are waging is for God’s presence to be established according to His covenant. This war encompasses and defines our battles against homosexuality, abortion, and idolatry. The governmental endorsement of sin ultimately has the potential to cause God’s presence and covering to lift, even from our land.
Presence & Government
Note that to rebel against God’s presence is to rebel against His government—individually or collectively. That is because God’s presence and His government are inseparable! When we grieve Holy Spirit, and neglect to repair the relationship and return, we ultimately remove ourselves from the protection afforded to us by His government. By default, our gates become open to defilement, hardness of heart, deception and eventually even to destruction.
Far from the Sanctuary
In Ezekiel’s day, this rebellion became so prevalent in Israel that God literally lifted His presence from the capital city! God warns Ezekiel, “Do you see what they are doing—the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, SO THAT I SHOULD BE FAR FROM MY OWN SANCTUARY?” (Ezekiel 8:6).
Can you feel the depth of God’s heart as He prepares to vacate His temple? Like a man whose wife was found cheating, He confides in His friend His sorrow.
This passage has personally fueled my heart and ministry for a decade. My quest began with a “lovesick desire” to experience more of His presence. As I sought the Lord over years, He began to show me just a little of His own desire to dwell with us! Yet this very desire has been blocked by our continual betrayals. Idolatry, sexual immorality, bloodshed, greed… rebellion against His glorious presence!
Beloved, we MUST see God’s presence restored… for His sake and ours! Lets become forerunners of this restoration. Lets remove the stumbling blocks, and prepare the way of the Lord!
Intentionality of Action
“Do you see what they are doing… so that I would be far from My own sanctuary?” In this passage, Ezekiel also exposes the intentionality behind many of these actions. Agents of sabotage performed these abominations with an actual goal to drive out God’s presence from the land.
Why would anyone desire to drive out God’s presence? Here are a few thoughts. First, remember Jesus died to become our Immanuel. Through His shed blood, and our repentance, a way has been made for God to tabernacle with us! Satan vehemently desires to deny God this desire—for which Jesus gave His own life.
Also, remember again that God’s presence and government are inseparable! Satan rejected God’s governance, and he is forever bent on persuading human beings to do the same. Ultimately, this antichrist spirit seeks to establish his own government in place of God’s. And the void of God’s presence makes way for the presence of Satan’s void.
Thirdly, as noted before, rebelling against God’s presence eventually caused Jerusalem to stumble. And when the capital stumbled, the land fell! There is no doubt in my mind the enemy desires to sabotage our nation. Which is why now more than ever, we need to pray… and as required, we need to take a stand.
Pray for His tabernacle to form over you. Repent of any sin that could hinder the restoration of His glory. Lets stand together to see His glory established in our land.
Lord endue us with power! Restore Your glory in a second Pentecost! This is the dream not only of our hearts, but Yours.