Jehovah-Shammah…The God Who Is There
I was reading Ezekiel, and found something which I had not really zeroed in on before, but this time it was quickened in me, and I knew it needed further study. I'm talking about Ezekiel 48:35 “The distance all around the city will be 18,000 cubits (five and one half miles). And the name of the city from that time on will be Jehovah Shammah, The Lord Is There.” This verse is describing the Millennial temple, and the Holy city with the glory of God resting upon it, which Ezekiel was shown by God. Herod’s temple which was standing in all it’s splendor when Jesus was alive, had no glory resting on it, because Jesus was there and He was the embodiment of God’s glory, not the temple.
The temple which will be built in the future, will have no glory upon it, because it will be the Anti-Christ temple, where the man of iniquity, will sit upon the altar of it, and proclaim that he is god. The temple which Ezekiel saw will be built after the anti-Christ temple is destroyed and it is about the restoration of all that God intended for His people, with the Glory within and upon it… it was to be named “The Lord is There”.
When I was a kid in school, every morning as the first order of business, we would say the pledge, and then the teacher would call the roll, and we would answer “here” or “present”, some kids would say “Yo” or just grunt… But the teacher kept score, because you were only allowed so many absences, before Mom and Dad were called in for a meeting, and if you were late a certain number of times, it equaled an absence. So being present was important.
When the roll is called, you can trust Him, He has chosen to come and bring His presence and glory within the dwelling place of the lives of His people. We are now His habitation of choice….He is the God who is there.
John 14:17 "He dwells with you and shall be in you". 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you yourselves are God's temple, and that God's Spirit dwells in you”?
And especially Ephesians 2:21 “In Him the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in Him you too are being built together into a dwelling place by His Spirit”.
I want you to notice that Ephesians is showing us two separate processes that are taking place…
The first describes the building of a house, the second, describes moving into the house and making it a home. There is a great difference between my building a house and my moving in, to reside in that house and make it my home. And there is a great difference between the Holy Spirit's work in saving a soul, and His coming to reside, abide and control the innermost spirit and life of the one who has been saved.
Many have received the house of salvation, and acknowledged Him as the Owner, Proprietor and Keeper, but they have not taken it to the level of "a habitation of God through the Spirit"where He moves in to live! When we move into a house, we immediately begin to put our stuff, all the things we like, and need, and fill it up so it’s not just a house, but our home…. The pictures, the furniture, the paint on the walls, the plants and the carpet, all reflect something about us and our family.
God is no different… He wants to call our home, “Jehovah Shammah” (I am present there”….) He wants to move in and never leave you, nor forsake you. He wants to be with you forever. Your best friend, who never forsakes you. The one whowas where you’ve been, The one who is where you are and The one who is where you haven’t been yet!
So we invite Him in, but we put “No trespassing” signs all over the place. We invite Him to come in, but we want to tell God how to be, what to do and when and where to do it. A God that you control, is not really God at all!! We need a savior, but we don’t want a king living in our home… Because a King expects things to be done His way at His choosing, and in His time.
But when He becomes “Jehovah Shammah”, whose presence is there, He brings all His stuff with Him to make it His home….Too often, the struggle we have is about “JUST WHOSE HOME, AND WHOSE LIFE IS THIS”!!
But when you invite a king into your home, they tend to act like kings! So, He moves in and brings His stuff with Him…
Like the fruit (or what flows out) of the Spirit…
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
So He says, “I want you to love and forgive that person”…. But you have a “no trespassing sign” there…. “What… love them, I can’t stand them, so why should I forgive them”…. And little by little the glory diminishes, and we embrace resentment and bitterness, instead of the fruit of the spirit. And the bitter root grows…The power of the bitterness comes when we keep agreeing with it and we nurture it and empower it….There are many physical ailments which are the product of the root of bitterness… arthritis, heart disease, vascular problems, digestive track ailments, ulcers, headaches, systemic toxicity.. and on it goes….I remember one lady who came up for prayer and the Spirit told me she suffered from acute arthritis because of the root of bitterness. We rebuked it and renounced it and she was healed and set free….
Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. v15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God, and that no root of bitterness springs up to cause trouble and defile many”. (Receive your healing and freedom)
When we obey God and trust Him, we understand that as we forgive, we are releasing that person to God so He can do what we could never do…
When He moves in and makes our house His home… we give Him more and more control of our lives, He begins to do in and through us what only He can do – His presence begins to shape our character and grow us to become more like Christ.
I’ve found that praying in the spirit, sensitizes my spirit, to be tuned in to His voice and His promptings. He invades my thoughts and emotions and allows me to hear and do things that would not be available to me other wise. Begin your day with prayer in the spirit and end it that way. Allow it to become a normal part of your day….
You can’t start a fire with wet wood, but when the wood is dry and cured, it easily catches fire! Praying in the Spirit, makes it easier for God’s fire to ignite your soul!
We desire the Gifts of the Spirit of God, but it is the Fruit of the Spirit that provide the foundation for all the gifts. The fruit are about our redeemed character as Christians under His influence and His rule. Paul tells us that without the fruit of the spirit, we become sounding brass and tinkling cymbals! The gifts are to operate out of love. The gifts are about manifesting God’s abilities and desires through us.….Theyoperate as He desires to operate them. God is giving these gifts to others through us. We become the delivery system, so that others may receive, glorify Him and invite Him in.
It’s a wonderful thing to be friends of the King….
1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. v5 There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. v6 There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people. v7 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.
v8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. v9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. v10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to identify spirits.
To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. v11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit, for He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides”.
A dad was having family bible reading with his wife and 4 kids, and he was reading this scripture when he asked, "Is there anything God can't do?" All was silent. Finally, one boy held up his hand. He said, "Well, Bobbie what is it you think God can't do?"
Bobbie said, "He can't please everybody." This kid nailed it!! I don’t want to pop anyone’s bubble, but King Jesus doesn’t move into our lives to please us, because He will often ask things of us, that the flesh and the natural mind are not pleased with.
Paul talks about this very thing but it’s not a problem, when we let Jesus come in as the ruler in our lives… 1 Corinthians 12:25 “ let there be no division among you, stop taking sides. Begin to take care of one another. 26 So that If one of you suffer, everyone else suffers with them. If one of you is honored, every one shares in their joy”.
He says that when Jesus comes in to rule our lives, we will get along, we will support one another, and we will honor and bless one another. The world should be able to follow the example of those who say they are Christians, when the king is in residence.
One fellow who was struggling with letting God call the shots in his life, wrote the following poem….
O Lord I'm your willing servant, You know that I have been for years
I'm here in this pew every Sunday and I've stained it with many tears
I've given you years of my service, I've always given my best
And I've never asked you for very much, So Lord I deserve one reques
Please don't send me to Africa, I don't think I've got what it takes
I'm just a man, I'm not a tarzan, Don't like lions, or rivers, or snakes I'll serve you right here in suburbia, In my comfortable middle class life. Please don't send me out in the bush, Where natives are restless at night. I'll see that the money is gathered, I'll see that the money is sent
I'll wash and stack the communion cups, I'll tithe 11 percent
I'll volunteer for the nursery, I'll go on the youth retreat
I'll usher, I'll deacon, I'll go door to door, if I can keep warming this seat.
Rick Warren writes “Here’s the amazing thing. In America it’s ok to be passionate about anything except God. It’s not politically correct -- to be passionate about God. I can be passionate about movies. I can be passionate about sports. I can be passionate about politics. I can be passionate about fashions and clothes. I can be passionate about restaurants (and some of us really are). But I cannot be passionate about God. That’s a no-no.”
Paul asks the church an important question concerning what we should be passionate about…. followed by a powerful conclusion….
1 Corinthians 12:29 “Is everyone an apostle? Is everyone a prophet? Is everyone a teacher? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in languages they had not known before? Do all explain what is said in those languages? 31 But above all, you should want the more important gifts. But now I will show you the best way of all”.
I’ve got to ask, after all that we have seen here, what could be the more important gifts? Jesus gives this truth to us….
He has been debating with the religious leaders, the Pharisees and the Sadducees and in this atmosphere, a scribe speaks up. This scribe had dedicated his life to manually copying the scriptures. Then he would count the letters on the page to ensure he copied it correctly. He had more than likely spent years reading, writing and memorizing the Holy Scriptures. But you see, knowing the scriptures and understanding them are two different things. Understanding them, THEN applying them to your life is yet another thing.
So, this scribe knew the scriptures, but wanted understanding. He asks Jesus in Luke 10:26 “What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?” v27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” v28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus said. “Do this and you will live (spiritually).”
We can be physically alive and spiritually dead.
To embrace Christ, is to embrace spiritual life. To embrace Christ is to embrace abundant life! To embrace Christ is to embrace full life! When we read the scriptures with the desire to apply it in our lives, we will read a lot slower… and we will read intentionally….that we may understand and apply it….
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new”!
We cannot say we love the Lord, and not obey Him. We cannot say we love the Lord and not trust Him, we cannot say we love the Lord and not love one another. Jesus said if you hate others, you don’t love me, because if you love me you will love others. He let’s us know that while we can hate sin, we must love the sinner!
When I was a Kid, we had a snake crawl into our well and die. The water started tasting really bad, (I shudder thinking about it)…so we pulled the cover off of the well, and there it was, tainting our water source. Well they let someone down into the well on a rope and pulled it out, and then treated the well for about 3 weeks, until the water was drinkable again.
Is anything in your well that the Lord is trying to remove if you would just let Him….. that might cause the well to be unattractive to someone who is thirsty and is looking to you at their point of need?
We have to protect our well, and guard it from anything that would cause the water to be bitter and undrinkable. Jesus said we should be the source of His living water….And remember, He said that it should be springing up! That means it should be visible and available….
You may remember the college students who smeared limburger cheese under the nose of a fellow student. He woke up and said, PEWWW, this room stinks. He walked out in the hall, and said THE HALL STINKS. He went out in the yard, and yelled, THE WHOLE WORLD STINKS!
Well, sometimes it’s not our family, our marriage, our job, our neighbors or our fellow Christians that stink…. It’s the bitterness, and hurt, and resentment in us that is doing all the stinking…
When we fail to let God rule in the center of our lives, life stinks!!!
Let me suggest that we might use Dr. Gary Chapman’s research on the five love languages as a good tool in growing in our passion about the King of our hearts .
He begins with “Words of Affirmation”… Jesus said the same… He said when we pray, we say “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name..” Do we spend time talking to Him about how awesome and loving He is, and maybe thanking Him for the good stuff, even when you’re going through the rough stuff. The Psalms of David reveal the frustrations of someone who loves God passionately, doesn’t always understand Him, and yet trusts Him, even in the midst of some really horrible stuff going on in his life. David wrote Psalm 3, when he was on the run from his own son. Absalom was taking over the kingdom, and his advisors told him that as long as his dad was alive, he’d never really be the king. Can you imagine the pain and heartache of having his own son trying to kill him?
Psalm 3:1 “O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." 3 But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. 4 Unto the Lord I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. 7 Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! 8 From the Lord comes deliverance. May Your blessing be on Your people”.
The bottom line in David’s prayer is that God is there, present as king and ruler, no matter the circumstance.
2. Quality Time is the second love language. This means you may need to delay and put aside other things to give that time to Him. First things first…and all the other things will work out. Isn’t that what it says in Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”.
I recall that President Kennedy, left instructions with his aids, his secretary, and his security personnel, that no matter who he was meeting with, kings, ambassadors, rulers, or whoever, if his son John, John, came to see him, let him in. Often great men of authority would be interrupted as John, John entered, and climbed up in his father’s lap, to spend time with his dad. God always has time for you!
3. Receiving Gifts is the third love language. I know it’s well worn, but I’ll say it anyway…
We must give the gifts we have received back to God before they can truly be anointed and effective for the kingdom. We do that by using what we have for enlarging His kingdom in the earth. If we look at every gift we have as something God allows to pass through us as a blessing to others, then He gets all the glory….Each day, let us give our gifts back to Him to bless and multiply…
4. Acts of Service. Is the fourth love language. Real love is not an emotion, it is an action which flows out of trust. Jesus asked the question, “How can you call me your Lord, and don’t do what I tell you.”
Matthew 5:16 –“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Many folks may not hear your gospel, but they will hear your acts love and service, with no other agenda but to serve, in Jesus’ name….
Hospitals, shut-ins, transportation, and visits of encouragement are always available means of this love language…
5. Physical touch is the fifth love language. Winnie needs her hugs and kisses… (Come on ladies, am I right) It’s the power of touch. If someone gets here and they haven’t had a hug, or no one has told them “I love you”… then this should be the place where they receive reinforcement, and the Love of Jesus.
Jesus said “As you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto me.”… Paul tells us that Jesus is the head of the church which is his body. A two headed person is in for some trouble. We come under the headship of Christ. How powerful is it to let our hands be His hands, our feet be His feet, our voice to be His voice and our touch to be His touch. Lay hands on the sick and they shall recover… receive one another in the love of Christ.
Information alone doesn’t transform cities. Conferences alone can’t transform a city! Education alone can’t transform a city! Having citywide ministry programs or large networks alone cannot transform a city. Only the presence of Jesus can bring transformation, and only individual people willing to cry out for His presence can become the kindling for God’s fire to ignite in lives. Hallelujah, Jehovah Shammah, His Presence Is Here is what makes the difference!!!
Take a moment right now and find someone and give them a Jesus hug, and tell them, “Jesus loves you and I love you”!
Prayer… Father, I pray that You will visit us, and make Your presence known in our lives and in our city. Give us faith to believe that You can change this city through prayer and through acts of love and compassion. Let Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Help us to cultivate Your presence in our lives. We choose to partner with You for transformation. Remove the distractions in our lives that keep us from Your presence.
Lord we repent of any pride or personal idols that have taken us away from giving you first place and preventing us from being more like You. Take away any luke-warmness in our hearts and set us on fire for You. I thank You for the new spiritual identity and authority as I pray, obey, and reach out to others. Remove any compromise and complacency in my life. I want to bring light into the darkness and carrying Your presence wherever I go.
Lord, I want to know You more. “Blessed are those who have learned to honor you, who walk in the light of your presence” Give me joy in Your presence and help me to bring joy into the lives of others.. I pray Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple… " In Jesus’ name, amen.
We’re going to close with body ministry, that’s when the church reaches out to one another in prayer and petition… Get with someone in these closing moments and go before the Father in their behalf….
Let each other know what you would like them to agree with you on…If any two or three shall agree, it shall be done….