Revelation of God’s Presence
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Devotional for Day 2
Daniel answered the king and said, ‘No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.
- Daniel 2:27-28 (ESV)
An impossible task: tell the king his dream. Any clues? None. Any context? Not really. All right, go!
But God. God does something. He reveals to Daniel the king’s dream, and in so doing Daniel’s life is saved. Pagan wisemen are saved. Death was foretold by Nebuchadnezzar. But God brought life. But God. Possibly the two greatest words in all of Scripture. In Ephesians 2, the Apostle Paul writes “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…” An impossible situation. Death. The end. Yet Paul continues: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us…made us alive together with Christ.” Life! Hope! God’s grace in Christ Jesus!
The aching desire of a Christian is God’s presence, for “in your presence there is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). We long for God, and we long for the joy that only He and His presence can bring. This is the chief goal of humanity - to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that “sin is the failure to glorify God with our whole lives in all things. Salvation, therefore, is being put into a position to be able to glorify God.” This is what God has wrought in us! We are brought into a state and condition to glorify God, and it becomes our heart’s desire to experience the reality of God’s glory in our lives.
And yet for the Christian, there are seasons when God seems absent. And it feels like death. Darkness descends. Hopelessness approaches. Stagnancy pervades. We reach a point where we cry out, “Things cannot remain this way! I can’t bear your silence any more! I need your presence desperately!” Our stomachs churn and we slog through our days but food and drink and entertainment become of secondary importance. And God responds. He reveals Himself. And there is renewed life. Our circumstances may be dire. Heaven may seem to be made of brass wherein nothing can get through. But God! He comes to remind us of the riches we have in Christ, His eternal presence by His Spirit in us (1 Corinthians 6:18), and our hope is restored to that day in which we will no longer fast, but feast, with our risen Lord and King Jesus. Just as Daniel boldly proclaims to the powers and principalities “God’s mystery is revealed!” We boldly proclaim “I have life in Jesus Christ who defeated sin and death and hell, and He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to be with us forevermore!”
This is where it has all led: Jesus Christ’s reign and rule over all creation. His life-giving Spirit. The Gospel of God the Father. God has revealed the mystery, which is Christ in you (Colossians 1:27). Feed on Him, the manna from Heaven, through this season of fasting, and be renewed by His presence.
Ministry Director, Christian Union at Penn