THE GLORY OF GOD ON CAPE COD

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This Wednesday 5/25/22: Monthly Cape-wide GOGCC Worship and Prayer Gathering at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship

by The GOGCC team on May 23, 2022


Dear friends, Looking forward to seeing you this Wednesday 5/25/22 for our monthly Cape-wide worship and prayer gathering. We will gather at: Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Forestdale Church Building 110 Route 130 Forestdale, MA 02644 6:30 - 8:00 PM We will gather together as one body and one family from different churches, denominations, ethnic groups and generations, to worship the Lord together in one accord and pray for our beloved Cape Cod. Pastors and leaders in the GOGCC network have been looking together for the last several months at what the Scriptures say about the subject of The Glory of God in the Midst of His People. This is a foundational, not a secondary theme in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. A summary of what we have studied together is included below. Two weeks ago, Mike Allen, the host pastor of this month'sgathering, led us in a devotional/discussion on one of the points in the study: The human agency: How God uses people and how what we do matters.   In some other world religions such us Islam, the belief/theology of the sovereignty of God is understood as "fatalism". Muslims believe that the will of Allah is written on their foreheads, and it's done regardless of anything they do or don't do.    As you know, the orthodox biblical understanding of the sovereignty of God is different. It is not "Fatalism". We understand that throughout the Old and New Testaments God says, "If you do this, I will do that, however if you do this instead, I will respond differently and do that instead.."    The relationship between our efforts/prayers and God bringing revival can be illustrated by this analogy: A preacher passed by a beautiful farm, stopped by and said to the farmer, "God has blessed you with a great farm!" The farmer responded, "You should have seen that farm when God had it. It was a mess!" As you know, the point is clear:  everything comes from God; the seed, the soil, the sun, and the rain. But also, God expects the farmer to till the land, plant, weed, and harvest.    All that we do amounts to preparing the way for God to do what He alone can do.   Pastor Mike Allen reminded us that what we do matters. It matters that we come together as one body and one family. It matters that we come together in united prayer. It matters that we respond to the Lord's stirring to walk in consecration/the fear of the Lord. It makes a difference.   A core conviction of ours is that we are not initiating something on our own to make revival happen but responding to the Lord's stirring.   There are Scriptures that talk about God's people waiting on Him to move/deliver/respond/send revival. There are other Scriptures that talk about the Lord waiting on His people, to do what He asked them to do, so He can move/deliver/respond/send revival.   The statement below summarizes why we gather as regional leaders and churches, and why we do what we do:   We gather in response to the Lord's stirring us with His desire to show His glory in our midst, and the subsequent spiritual awakening/revival on Cape Cod, with multitudes coming to Christ.   By pursuing unity/oneness, consecration (walking in the fear of the Lord), and united prayer, we prepare ourselves for what God wants to do in our midst.   "Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool, what kind of a house will you (plural) build for Me, or where is the place of My rest?" Acts 7:49   "In whom the whole building, being fitted together grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you (plural) are also being built together for a dwelling place of God (The Manifest presence of God) in the Spirit." Ephesians 2:21,22   Looking forward to seeing you Wednesday!   The Glory of God on Cape Cod team     Here is a summary of the 5 points the pastors and leaders in the GOGCC network studied as they looked together at what the Scriptures says about The Glory of God in the Midst of His People:   1.Throughout the Scriptures, God repeatedly expresses His desire to dwell among His people, from as early as when He commanded Moses to build the tabernacle, “And Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8), continuing throught the Scriptures where God repeatedly says “I will dwell among them”, and ends  in the age to come, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev 21:3).   2. We looked at what the Scriptures say about the difference between the omnipresence and the manifest presence of God. What does it mean for an omnipresent God to dwell among His people? God is present everywhere. He fills heaven and earth. So what do these verses mean about Him dwelling among His people? It means manifesting His presence among them, making them acutely aware that He is among them! Moses realized that it was the very presence of God among the Israelites that distinguished them as His people: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” (Exodus 33:15,16)  A.W. Tozer articulated the concept of the manifest presence of God well in his classic The Pursuit of God:   "If God is present at every point in space, if we cannot go where He is not, cannot even conceive of a place where He is not, why then has not that Presence become the one universally celebrated fact of the world? The patriarch Jacob, "in the waste howling wilderness," gave the answer to that question. He saw a vision of God and cried out in wonder, "Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not." Jacob had never been for one small division of a moment outside the circle of that all-pervading Presence. But he knew it not. That was his trouble, and it is ours. Men do not know that God is here. What a difference it would make if they knew. The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same. There can be the one without the other. God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His Presence."   3. We talked about what the Scripture says about God dwelling with His people and what does that look like. First, God dwelled with us (manifested Himself) through the incarnation in the first coming of  Jesus Christ, Second, God dwells within each of us individually through the Holy Spirit, and third, God dwells (manifests His presence) among us corporately as His New Testament temple. All believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit within, which make us individual temples for the Lord. At the same time, we, together, corporately form a temple for the Lord where He dwells/walks among us (manifests His presence). It's not either/or, it's both/and:    "For you (plural) are the temple of the living God, as God has said, I will dwell in them (individual dwelling within) and walk among them (corporate manifest presence).." (2 Cor 6:16)    "In whom the whole building, being fitted together grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you (plural) are also being built together for a dwelling place of God (the manifest presence of God) in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:21,22).   When the glory of God (The manifest presence of God) is among His people, two things happen: The people of God become acutely aware of His presence, AND, unbelievers encouter God in pur midst:   “Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles… And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:43,47).   “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things” (Acts 5:11).    A.W.Tozer articulated well what it looks like when God walks among His people (manifests His presence) in his book, The Pursuit of Man:   “It was this (the sense of Someone there) that filled with abiding wonder the first members of the Church of Christ. The solemn delight which those early disciples knew sprang straight from the conviction that there is One in the midst of them. They knew that the Majesty in the heavens were confronting them on earth: They were in the very Presence of God. And the power of that conviction to arrest attention and hold it for a lifetime, to elevate, to transform, to fill with uncontrollable moral happiness, to send men singing to prison and to death, has been one of the wonders in history and a marvel of the world.......   Some insist upon"naked" faith as the only way to know spiritual things. By this they mean a conviction of the trustworthiness of the Word of God (a conviction, it may be noted, which the devils share with them). But the man who has been taught even slightly by the Spirit of Truth will rebel at this perversion. His language will be ,"I have heard Him and observed Him. What have I to do anymore with idols?" For he cannot love a God who is no more than a deduction from a text. He will crave to know God with a vital awareness that goes beyond words and to live in the intimacy of personal communion. To seek our divinity merely in books and writings is to seek the living among the dead........   Nothing can take the place of the touch of God in the soul, and the sense of Someone there. Real faith, indeed, brings such realization, for real faith is never the operation of reason upon texts. Where true faith is , the knowledge of God will be given as a fact of consciousness, altogether apart from the conclusions of logic.   Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of the original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard.”    4. In contrast, when we don't walk in the fear of the Lord, when we don't treasure His presence and like Esau, make carnal choices and easily give up the blessings/presence of God for the littlest things, we miss out on God's resting among us, and we don't experience the glory of God (His manifest presence) in our midst.   "Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to make Me depart from My sanctuary? " (Ezekiel 8:5)   When we don't experience the glory of God in our midst, we as believers can't see Him or hear Him clearly:   "But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door (outside the church) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in (come in again into the church or manifest My Presence among you)..." (Rev 3:17-20).   Additionally, when we don't experience the glory of God in our midst, unbelievers do not encounter God among us, and their experience when they come in our midst is "Where is your God?" instead of "Truly God is in your midst."   "Why should the nations (unbelievers) say, 'Where is your God?'" (Psalm 115:2)   "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." (Matthew 5:13)   Furthermore, continuing to refuse to obey God's will may result in chastisement/judgment:   "How often I wanted to gather your children TOGETHER, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but YOU WERE NOT WILLING! Behold, YOUR HOUSE IS BEING LEFT TO YOU DESOLATE."  (Matthew 23:38)   5. God created us in His own image (Genesis 1:27). He calls His people a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession (1 Peter 2:9-10). He has given His Body the authority to bind what He binds and loose what He looses (Matthew 16:19). God uses people and it matters what we do. :"If My people.." (2 Chron 7:14). We are here and now on Cape Cod to respond to God in our generation as other people of God before us responded to Him and served Him in their generation, "Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this." (Esther 4:14)
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