Exodus 13:21, 22 NKJV And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.
I love to read the stories of God’s presence, protection and provision for His people that are recorded in the Old Testament. I see such encouragement for the challenges that I, as His child, face today when I look back at how He provided for His people in times past. Reading the stories of how God ministered to His people gives me faith to believe for the same for me…..and for you!
From these two verses I see that God’s presence, protection and provision is always with me because it was with the Israelites when they were headed into uncharted territory after leaving the bondage they had been under in Egypt. How many times do we face unknown territory and wonder what we should do or say or where we should go? And yet, God is right there to lead, protect and provide what we need.
We see another picture of His presence, protection and provision through the ministry of Jesus Christ as He walked on this earth, ministering to the needs of those to which He encountered. In fact, the Word says in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus is the “express image of His person”, speaking of God the Father. Jesus is and was God the Father in the flesh! He represented the Father to the people through His ministry. In Malachi 3:6, the Word records that God the Father said “For I am the LORD, I do not change;”. And again we see that recorded through the life of Jesus, who is God the Son, in Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Jesus Himself recorded for us in John 14:16-18 that when He went back to Heaven He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit that we might not be left as orphans but would have the presence, protection and provision of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! We have not been left alone….God is still making provision for His people!
God’s Spirit speaks to the hearts of those who need salvation today. He draws them to Jesus that they can be ushered into the family of God through receiving Him as Savior and Lord. He speaks the truth to our hearts to show us God’s right way of doing things. I’ve had people tell me before that receiving Jesus is not “their way”, but what’s really important is not that we try to achieve salvation through our own way, but through His. Only God’s way works!
John 1:12, 13 But as many as receiving Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Salvation in it’s purest form is being born again, not in a physical form, but of the spirit. We each have a physical man that can be seen as we look upon each other, but the spirit man can’t be seen by the natural eye. That is what John is referring to in this verse. The works of man come from the physical, but the work of God arises from the spirit, being born again, anew through the blood of Jesus and in receiving Him into our hearts, believing that He is God in the flesh and confessing Him as Lord! God’s Spirit draws people to the saving knowledge of Jesus as He convicts them of their need for the Savior!
Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5, 6 that “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
That’s the beginning point that each one of us needs to have to be a part of God’s family…..being born again. Then God’s Spirit leads and guides each child of God in the way they should go. He is described in the Amplified Bible as being our Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby! He is the person of the Godhead that is in the world today, working the Will of God in the lives of people. He is the One who leads us and guides us into all truth; empowers us to do the Will of the Father, ministers through us to touch and impact other people’s lives for God’s kingdom. He is the One who comforts us when we are hurting, who prays through us when we don’t have words adequate enough to express ourselves, who helps us, strengthens us and fellowships with us! He is the One who baptizes us into the Body of Christ and immerses us into the ministry that God calls us to through anointing us and baptizing us with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
God’s Spirit is a real person. Sometimes we refer to Him as “THE Holy Spirit”, but really His name is just “Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost”. He’s not an ethereal vapor, but the third person of the Godhead that makes His home inside our human spirits when we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord! He fills that void within our hearts that is the God-shaped vacuum designed for His presence only. It is through His ministry that we find God’s presence, protection and provision for today’s challenges!
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
God’s Spirit within our hearts is the guarantee that we belong to the Father and that we have been placed in Christ Jesus through salvation. He is the Promise of the Father as described in Acts 1:4, 5:
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Holy Spirit in New Testament Church manifestation is like the wind, baptizing believers with tongues of fire and evidences of a new form of speech, utterances that only God understands that we refer to as speaking in tongues; a new boldness to speak of the mighty workings of God and new manifestations of His power through the gifts of His Spirit as described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. You can’t see Him because He is Spirit, but you can see the evidences of His operation in your life.
It is recorded in Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”
Jesus of Nazareth is Christ’s earthly name. It shows His humanity and how God gave Him the power to minister by anointing Him with His Spirit and “dunamis”, dynamic, explosive power that arises from the Spirit of God to do the things that God had assigned Him to do described as going out to do good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. It is by the power of God’s Spirit that Jesus was able to go to the cross to secure the payment for the sin of mankind. The purpose that Jesus had in becoming our Savior and Lord was accomplished through the anointing of God’s Spirit. And the anointing of the Spirit that was upon Jesus’ human, earthly life is the same anointing that God places on individuals today that He empowers with His Spirit to do the things that He has called them to do.
And so we see God working through the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for God never changes! He is always with us! Each member of the Godhead is a person of the Trinity with different roles to play in the lives of people; God the Father who is the Creator of all mankind; God the Son who paid for the sin of mankind through His redemptive work on the cross of Calvary; and God the Holy Spirit who draws people to Jesus for salvation and empowers them with His anointing to minister in the name of Jesus; who leads, guides, directs and communes with His people. God is still living and breathing new life; new protection and new provision into His people!
In what stage are you in your understanding of who God is, what Jesus did to secure your salvation and who the Holy Spirit is to you and in you? Can you see the role of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you walking in the fullness of God’s presence, protection and provision today? What member of the Godhead do you need more evidence of in your life?
Father, I thank You for the presence, protection and provision of each member of the Godhead in my life. I know You as Father, as Son and Savior and as Holy Spirit. Thank You for meeting my every need through all the roles that You play in my life. Thank you for creating me, for saving me and for living within me! You are my God; my All in All, the One who knows me best and loves me most! Holy Spirit, You live within me and empower me to do the work of ministry that You have given me! Thank You for your fire that burns within me; that fills me to overflowing with Your presence and that anoints me to go forward in the name of Jesus to do the same works that He did. To You, Lord, be the glory, honor and praise! In Jesus’ name Amen.