Sun rays filled the Visual room, streaming in through all the open windows. Pastor Rex hugged every one of his students as they prepared for their first class in 2021. He noticed Ngozi’s demeanor. It wasn’t lit like the room.
They were all sitting on the floor with the Pastor when Ngozi asked the question.
“How do we experience the fullness of joy?”
Pastor Rex smiled, happy she opened up.
“You can only find that in the presence of God.” He replied.
“Are we not all in the presence of God, right now, all the time?” She asked.
The others nodded as they all waited for the Pastor’s response. He looked at them, then around the room and stood.
“Femi, Christian, and Tony, please help me close all the blinds. I want as much darkness as possible in the room.”
The guys stood and went to do as he asked.
He nodded when they finished. “Thank you. I want everybody to sit on the floor as before. Close your eyes tight. Let no light penetrate.” He instructed.
They all sat. Pastor Rex gave them a minute in the darkness. With his eyes closed, and his voice low, he started the class.
“What if you were standing in the presence of God? What if, in His presence, the concept of time has no meaning and changes at His will? He made all things according to the counsel of His will. You stand before the throne of His majesty. The one before whom the sun dulls, and the moon withers.
“Imagine you are standing in the presence of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The solution, the source of life, the fountain that never dries out. Before Him, petitions are granted, life is restored, and transformed. Truth prevails. Imagine. Ngozi, if you were standing there, what would you ask our Father?”
A whimper. “Father, have mercy,” Ngozi said, crying softly.
“By mercy, we are not consumed. We are in His presence because of it. Tell Him what is in your heart.” Pastor Rex said, prodding her on.
“2021 is supposed to be the year of relief, but every new day dawns with bad news. Where do your children run to, Father? Are we to be affected too? When do we feel the joy of your presence in our lives?” She said, crying out.
Pastor Rex allowed a minute to pass after the outburst.
“Open your eyes.” He said.
They all did, and he motioned the guys to the blinds. They opened them and returned to their seating positions.
“God told Abram to journey into the unknown to seek Him. However, His covenant with Abram was established years later, with God’s command, to walk before Him and be blameless. God established a covenant with Abram and transformed him to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah. Abraham believed in God and was circumcised with every male in his house, disregarding the exercise’s intense pain because he had faith in God’s faithfulness.
“The earth is the Lord’s and its fullness, yes, but to be in the presence of God is an intentional act. It must be your top-most priority because you have articulated its necessity in your life by the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know what you expected from 2021, but I have thought you to be led by God. This year, we will practice remaining in His presence at all hours of the day.
“In His presence, you abide under His shadow. You experience the fullness of joy regardless of your external environment. You learn to wait, knowing that there, you are made strong for every situation life throws at you.”
“How do we practice His presence?” Ngozi asked.
Pastor Rex smiled. “Remain in the place of prayer all day, regardless of your daily activities. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Practice this every hour of every day. When you forget, return. When you err, ask for forgiveness and return. You are a son, return, and the Father will accept you with love. Keep at it until it becomes your life.”
“Will our lives change?” Funke asked.
Pastor Rex smiled again. “Your lives will show the result of where you’ve been in the spirit. You can’t hide transformation; it comes with God’s glory. So, journal your experiences, keep tabs on your daily encounters with God. Change is coming.” He said and walked off.
Till next time, be transformed!!