Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

Habitation of Fire

 

 

                          Habitation of Fire

                              November 17, 2013

 


Matthew 5:6 NKJV

 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

 

The Israelites proved one thing...that God does not abandon us even in the midst of our wilderness experience.

 

In our own lives, the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night can be the description of many of our lives as we live them before the Lord...we  don’t really have direction, we are mostly led by the mercy of God through the roughest parts...

 

But what happens when the believer shifts atmospheres and becomes the pursuer of God’s glory....when he seeks not only the direction and provision of the cloud and the pillar, but also the source of that power?

 

God’s glory is so much more than simply a “heavenly handout”. It defies description as “Jehovah Sugar Daddy”, be becomes the focal point of a love relationship that results in the very manifestation of His presence. That is promised to those who diligently seek him.

 

 

Hunger

 

Psalms 27:4-8 NKJV

 

One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord , And to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord . Hear, O Lord , when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When  You  said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord , I will seek.”

 

When the presence of the Lord becomes the focal point of life itself, there is a paradigm shift in our essential values system. It is defined as “the things of this world growing strangely dim”.

 

The influence of hunger in our lives should be proof enough that “we can be bought.” What is the difference between someone who is simply Christian by label and one who will give his life for his faith in martyrdom?

 

Martyrdom is not the desired outcome of our faith, but could become the determining factor of our belief system. If you have ever read from Fox’s Book of Martyrs, you can see that the choices in those situations were not simply religious conviction; they were a matter of choosing Jesus over denying him to save our own skin.

 

Hunger for God becomes our consumption. It is what really matters...and that level of desire for the Holy one is blessed by his manifest presence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thirst

 

Psalms 63:1-8 NKJV

 

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

 

Years ago, I had a friendly addiction to Coca-Cola. Little by little, I weaned myself off until water has now become my mainstay fluid. Here’s the real kicker...I now love water...couldn’t stand it...now I love it. I later realized that what my body was craving was not Coca Cola...it was caffeine and sugar.  Outside of that great Coke sting...it does very little to quench thirst.

 

Our thirst for God manifests in our desire for His Word. To believers, it is a cool fountain of refreshment that is ever flowing. His word is more than a big egalitarian “high five” from Jesus....it is life cascading into our dry existence from the wellsprings of heaven.

 

Look at how David describes this thirst being quenched... “my flesh longs”... “I will lift up my hands”, “my soul shall be satisfied”...  “ your lovingkindness  is better than life.” This is not someone who is simply smitten by religion...this is desperation for a requirement of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncompromising desire

 

Psalms 42:1-3 NKJV

 

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” 

 

What happens when God becomes your very food and drink? What happens when the salvation experience does not wane in the distancing between finding Jesus and where you stand today? What happens when the desire for His Spirit is that “ONE THING” rather than something that simply stands in line for your attention behind the things of this world.

 

I preach this uncompromising desire because we are a generation of choices. Our choices have gotten us to the despairing place in which our society stands today.  We cannot blame liberals or conservatives or political or religious leaders...we stand and look in the mirror one by one and bear the weight of responsibility of our walk with Jesus. Many of our churches do not have his presence because they simply do not want it...it interferes with casino night and fish fries.

Uncompromising desire lifts up the “one thing I have desired” in all of us. It places the burden of evidence squarely upon each of our shoulders. It causes us to desire Him, seek Him, know Him, on a far more intimate level than can be done in any church service or special speaker series.

His presence is You seeking, You asking, You Knocking...you desiring...hungering....thirsting...giving your all. The rewards are too many to list...the greatest being the peace and confidence of Having Him near.

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