Pursuing His Presence

There is an interesting verse in Luke.

15  However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16  So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:15-16 (NKJV)

While many of us are ‘busy’ I doubt we have the demands Jesus had on His time. Look at popular figures in our culture and how they try to avoid being hounded by the media and fans. I know I have had the experience of teaching a course or seminar and on a break I want to gather my thoughts and refresh myself. However, that is generally when those who want to talk take the opportunity to ask you questions. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means we need to get away at another time to be refreshed.

Far beyond what we experience Jesus was constantly in demand. Yet as the text says, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” While physically He withdrew to the wilderness, I think practically He was in the throne room interacting with His Father.

In recent weeks my heart has been drawn to the reality and significance of the throne room. It isn’t a place of accolades or recognition. It is a place of hiddenness but more importantly, it is a place of life, intimacy, wisdom, direction.

I believe we need to learn to physically withdraw and get away from noise and distractions. At the same time I also believe we need to learn to inwardly withdraw. We need to learn to deeply encounter Jesus. While others around us may be ‘busy’ in this season we need to develop a familiarity with the throne room and let our relationships and any ministry flow from that place. 

Here is a regular part of my prayer life for many of you. In recent weeks I have felt the weight of the Holy Spirit on it.

  • Awaken our hearts, stir up and release the gifts You have placed within us. Awaken within us a passion to fulfill the purposes You have called us to through Your word. Col. 4:17, 1 Tim. 1:18, 4:14-16, 2 Tim. 1:6, 2:1, 4:5

Let’s pursue His presence and purpose.

Kim Walker-Smith Throne Room https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1Ljl32SqRc

Keeping our Heart

Last week I focused on this phrase from Job 31:7 (NKJV), “Or my heart walked after my eyes,” and the importance of guarding our hearts. Let’s look at what happened to a wise man who failed to guard his heart.

Solomon is generally known for his wisdom. When following his life through scripture we see him recognizing his need and asking God for wisdom and discernment. In his request and Yahweh’s response we can see three things:  

  • Solomon’s request

9  Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours? 1 Kings 3:9 (NKJV)

  • Yahweh’s response

11  And God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life – but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king – 12  wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.” 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 (NKJV)

  • Yahweh’s warning.

14  So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days. 1 Kings 3:14 (NKJV)

Over time we see what happened with Solomon’s heart.

23  So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 1 Kings 10:23 (NKJV)

Solomon possessed a heart of great wisdom. Yet when he failed to guard his heart he failed in life.

4  For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6  Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. 1 Kings 11:4-6 (NKJV)

We guard our hearts by doing two things:

  • By heeding the warning of scripture.

12  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV)

  • By looking to the one who is wiser than Solomon and dwells within us.

42  The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here. Matthew 12:42 (NKJV) May we always look to Jesus so our hearts can freely walk after our eyes!