GOD’S DESIRE FOR HIS PEOPLE, PART 2

8) THE CALL TO OBEDIENCE. There are several reasons why we should obey God. And most of these reasons have to do for our own good. For example, in Deuteronomy 28, if we obey God, God will bless, prosper, and enrich our lives. But from God’s standpoint, one reason why He wants us to obey Him is so that He can have sweet communion with us. John 14:23 puts it this way, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

You see, obedience is a requirement for communion with God. 1 John 1:6-7 tells us that we can’t have fellowship with God if we aren’t obedient to Him:  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: {7}  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

God’s desire to fellowship and commune  with us—to be with us, at least, in spirit—is the driving force, the motivation, behind His desire that we obey Him. We obey Him so that we can commune with Him.

9) THE CALL TO REPENTANCE. When we sin we lose our fellowship and communion with God. WE DON’T LOSE OUR SALVATION. WE’RE STILL SAVED. BUT WE LOSE OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM. When you have an argument with your husband or wife; or when your spouse does something that you don’t like; the argument or disappointment doesn’t end your marriage. You’re still married. But it puts a damper on your feelings, communication, and behavior. It’s the same way when we sin against God. Our sin puts distance, it puts up a wall, that separates us from God.

God wants us to repent of our sins so that we can have this sweet communion with God once again. Revelation 3:19-20 encourages us with these loving words from our Lord,   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.{20}  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. REPENTANCE RESTORES US TO FELLOWSHIP AND COMMUNION WITH GOD.

10) CHURCH. Our time together in church is meant to be a meeting time and a meeting place with God. It’s a time and place where we, as a group of believers, can be with God and God, in turn, can be with us. Matthew 18:20 tells us, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

11) PRAYER. Prayer is going to God, talking to Him, and listening to whatever He has to say to us.    Matthew 6:6 reads, But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Hebrews 4:16 pictures prayer as us coming into the actual presence of God: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Prayer is a time of sweet communion with God—a time of togetherness where we get to be alone with God, have Him all to ourself, & enjoy the company of His presence.

12) CHRIST’S PRAYER FOR HIS DISCIPLES.  When His life’s work was done here on Earth Jesus was excited about going back to Heaven to be with His Father. But in the midst of His excitement He left this Earth with a couple of burdens that really weighed heavy on His heart. One of these burdens was that the time would come when He would be reunited with His disciples and be with them once again. John 17:24, Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

13) CHRIST’S WORK FOR HIS DISCIPLES. Jesus is in Heaven right now and He’s not about ready to leave just yet. He really wants to be reunited with us. So, in the meantime, He’s keeping busy and getting things ready so that, when we’re reunited with Him, we’ll have a place to stay in Heaven. John 14:1-3, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. {2} In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. {3}  And  if  I  go  and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

14) THE RAPTURE. Jesus said He would be coming back to take us to Heaven. This glad reunion day is known as the rapture. It’s a future time coming when Jesus will descend from Heaven and appear in the skies. He’ll call us up to Himself in the skies. Then He’ll take us to Heaven where we can spend forever with Him. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. {16} For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: {17} Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

15) MILLENNIUM. The millennium is a 1000-year period of time that’s coming when Jesus will literally come back to Earth and stay here on Earth in Jerusalem. It will be a time of earthly reunion where Christ can be with His people.

Revelation 20:1-4,  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. {2} And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, {3} And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more,  till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. {4} And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which  had  not  worshipped  the  beast,  neither  his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The Millennium will be a time of togetherness and communion with God and men right here on Earth.

16) DEATH. Death is often seen as a very sad time when loved ones leave us and are no longer with us. It’s a sad time because we miss them and wish that they could still be here with us on Earth.  But death for a Christian is actually a very happy, beautiful thing because death reunites us with God. Philippians 1:23 puts it this way, For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.

Death is like boarding a car, plane, or train and going on a long trip to a faraway place.  We leave this Earth and go to Heaven to be with God. Death, for the believer, is the consummation of God’s timeless, eternal, undying desire and yearning of God for His people. It reunites God with His people in Heaven.

17) ETERNITY. The eternal state will be an unending time of togetherness with God. It’s what God’s looked forward to all these years since He made men. After thousands of years of waiting,   working,  heartaches,  and  grief; God is going to finally spend the rest of time and eternity being with His people and enjoying them—and they likewise with Him.

Revelation 21:1-3, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. {2} And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. {3} And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Revelation 22:1-5, And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. {2} In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. {3} And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: {4} And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. {5} And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

SELF-EXAMINATION

Now that you know what the timeless, eternal, undying desire and yearning of God is for His people, the Lord would like to know if you too share that same desire and yearning to be with Him. How much of an excitement and enthusiasm do you have to spend time with the Lord? Do you yearn and long to have your quiet, private times alone with the Lord each and every day? How much time do you actually spend with the Lord each and every day in prayer, in quiet meditation, in worship, and  in  the  study  and reading of His Word? Is your private time with the Lord a priority in your daily life?

I know we all have a life to live in this world. We can’t devote every single minute or hour to Bible reading or prayer. We can’t go through the whole day thinking about nothing but the things of the Lord. We can’t spend the entire day in church, in worship, or in the study. We’ve got earthly responsibilities to fulfill and the Lord knows this full well.

But when we have a spare moment when we don’t have to see anyone, talk to anyone, go anywhere, or do  anything  pressing  at    the  moment,  do our thoughts center back on the Lord? Do we find ourselves talking to the Lord? Do we pick up the novel instead of the Bible? Do we choose a movie instead of prayer? Is it shopping or it is studying? Is it hanging out with friends or hanging  out  with  the Lord? When we wake up in the morning are we enthused about having our private time with the Lord? Do we go to sleep with the Lord on our mind? Do we make our time with the Lord a priority in our daily schedules? Do we make time for Him?

We all say we love the Lord.  But one of the earmarks of true, deep, strong love is…love spends time with the people or the person loved. Love makes it a priority  to spend time with the person loved. Love enjoys being  with the person loved. You haven’t met two people who were madly in love with each other who hardly spent any time together. To the contrary, lovers spend a lot of time together and when they’re apart for any length of time they mope around, they’re dejected and depressed, because they’re not with the one they love. Love, I am saying, enjoys the company of the person loved and it makes it a priority to be with, and spend time with, the person loved.

So if we love the Lord, as we all say we do, how much time do we spend with the Lord each day in prayer, study, worship, and  just  plain sweet communion? Can we honestly say we love the Lord if we aren’t interested, excited, or enthused about spending various parts of our day with Him? Can we rightly and truly say we love the Lord if the Lord isn’t a part of our thoughts, priorities and schedules?

All of us would say that we want to spend eternity with the Lord. But if we aren’t spending time with the Lord right now—if we aren’t excited and enthused about being with the Lord right now in prayer, study, and sweet communion; then, when we die, where are we going to suddenly, magically, get this overwhelming urge and desire to spend time with the Lord in eternity?

If we don’t have the desire to be with the Lord right now, how are we going to get that desire when we die? Is the Lord going to give us that desire when we die? If so, then we have a sovereign problem here because, if He’s going  to  give  us  the  desire  to  be with Him when we die, then why doesn’t He give us that desire right now while we’re alive? Doesn’t He want us to spend time with Him with right now while we’re alive?

If we don’t have the desire to spend time with God right now, is it because God hasn’t given us that desire? Or is it because we  just  aren’t  interested  in  spending  time with the Lord? Is it God’s fault, or our fault, that we’re just not all that interested in spending time with Him?

CONCLUSION

Since the creation of man thousands of years ago, the Lord has been waiting, working, yearning, and eagerly looking forward to, a time when He could be with His people and His people could be with Him. I pray that this desire of God is also your desire today. Make it your desire and your priority. Make it happen everyday by spending a part of your day with Him. I guarantee you, when you meet with God, God will meet with you, you’ll be blest and excited about the time you’ve had with Him, and you’ll long for that time coming soon when you will always be with Him and never again be separated from Him. May God bless you with the heart and desire to be with Him.

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