Inundated and Consumed by the Presence of God

“Now this is what the LORD says – the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel – ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and the rivers will not overwhelm you, when you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched and the flame will not burn you. For I am the LORD your God, and the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior” (Isaiah 43.1-3). 

Have I not sinned against the LORD? Have I not been unwilling to walk in His ways or listen to His instruction? And yet God’s mercy and faithfulness preserve me. I am redeemed, called by His name, and the LORD’s unique possession. The waters and the fire are what I deserve. But God is with me. I am not inundated by the waters or consumed by the flames because of my Savior. “Do not fear Jim, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.” 

The waters and the flames are metaphors for persecution, temptation, and chastisement. Those born according to the flesh persecute the ones born according to the Spirit (Galatians 4.29). “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3.12). My adversary the devil seeks to devour me. I must be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5.8). Why the flames and fire? They are needed to wash away the filth and purge the dross. Nobody welcomes affliction in life. However, it is needed to have hope that will not disappoint in life …to experience deeply the love of God poured out in my heart. 

The greatest promise in the Bible is the promise of God’s presence. I am not alienated from Him. I am no longer a stranger. He will be with me in affliction, trouble, and temptation. I am not alone and forsaken because Jesus was alone and forsaken for me. I am hidden in the secret place of God’s presence (Psalm 31.20). Trouble abounds; God’s comfort abounds much more than these. He is the one who created and formed me. I am redeemed. 

I am set free from sin and suffering by my Savior. He died for my unrighteousness; He lives for my newfound righteous standing before His Father. All the promises of God – especially this one concerning His presence – are in Christ. They are established and come to fruition in Christ to the glory of God through us (2 Corinthians 1.20). He is my Shepherd. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death in this present darkness, I will fear no evil. Why? It is because God is with me. His rod and staff comfort me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s