20 May Hosting His Presence
1 Cor 14v20,25
“God is really here among you.”
…As they listen, their secret thoughts will be laid bare, and they will fall down on their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is really here among you.”
With this statement, Paul is revealing a couple of truths that I want to draw our attention to:
The normal reality for the Church is that the KNOWN, EXPRESSED Presence of God is to be found when she gathers.
He wants to be known and experienced in our gatherings.
We are looking at this reality that it is Our Father’s desire to be known in our gatherings.
The word known is a word that indicates His desire to be experienced.
What I want to draw our attention to is HOW His presence is known and experienced in our gatherings.
What are the things we can do to foster and partner with Him to create an environment for His presence?
What can we do, personally and as a culture to Host His Presence?
Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil,
We looked at the first idea…
As we live individually in intentional innocence, when we gather, we are creating an environment for His manifest Presence.
We simplified this aspect of the verse to understand it as having no experience with evil. Today, I want to consider the second half of this verse.
but be mature and wise in understanding matters of this kind.
A. Let’s parse some Greek…v20
Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature and wise in understanding matters of this kind.
1 Corinthians 14v20 has 3 parts and sections to consider. The word, “be,” shows up in every phrase.
a. Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things.
mE (no or not)
paidia (little child)
tais (to the or in the or in your)
phresin (disposition or minds or thinking).
b. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil,
tE (to the or in the regard to)
nEpiazete (be-being-babes or be being infants).
c. but be mature and wise in understanding matters of this kind.
Tais (to the or in the or in your),
phresin (disposition or minds)
teleioi (full grown or mature or ready to apprehend divine things)
From this simple exercise we learn a couple very important things. Note the tense and conjugation:
“Be becoming” is actually an implication of striving toward a future state.
-“Do not strive toward thinking in the manner of children”.
-“However, in your thinking, strive toward being ready to apprehend Divine things (becoming mature)”.
“Be-being” is an immediate state of being…. Right now, BE!….
-“But in the regard to Evil, right now, be infants (implying innocence or a complete lack of familiarity)”.
The extrapolation is in the command to be innocent.
The other two phrase are trajectory phrases. We are to aim our trajectory away from evil and towards the things of Heaven.
If we consider our former analysis, that innocence is, “to have no experience with something,” then we can counter that maturity is to have great experience with something.
From this, we simply understand Paul is creating a line in the sand moment:
Spend your lives developing experience with the works and person of the Holy Spirit.
B. What does it look like to have experience with the Holy Spirit?
Experience is to have perceptible, tangible encounter.
Therefore, Paul is admonishing a consistent, un-grieved, unbroken relationship with the Holy Spirit.
How does that happen?
Psalm 25 declares that, “Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who Fear Him.”
Friendship is rooted in the idea of a face-to-face encounter.
This is easily understood as a genuine conversational and personal relationship.
Fear of the Lord is rooted in the idea of reverence.
This must be understood through the lens of how the scriptures teach it.
Proverbs 14v2 declares:
Those who follow the right path fear the LORD; those who take the wrong path despise him
Psalm 119v105 declares:
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
The Fear of the Lord is living a life that is aligned with the heart and the desires of the Spirit of God.
There is a path and a way that He desires us to live.
When we choose this path, because of our love for Him, our King, it opens the door to experience His friendship.
Our culture declares that the path that feels right, the path that matches my desires…that is the path I should choose. This is the Fear of man.
In Scripture, the Fear of the Lord is always juxtaposed with the Fear of Man.
They can simply be understood as:
If I choose to live in the Fear of the Lord, the Scriptures and His desires are what govern my life.
What God declares and what He desires is the filter I live through.
But, If I choose to live in the Fear of Man, my desires and the desires of others govern my life.
In this place, the Fear of man, My emotions and the approval of others become my filter.
C. Living as a missionary…
We can understand it simply as learning His culture.
If I am engaging in a new culture, one that is not my native culture, I observe and learn the manners and customs of these people. Why?
I want to honor and value what matters to them.
It is the same with this principle Paul teaches.
Living in the Fear of the Lord is simply paying attention to what matters in His culture. What matters to Him. What does he desire?
When we live this way in our personal lives and in our gatherings, we create a place for Him to NATURALLY WANT to dwell.
4. When we worship Him we create an environment for His Presence.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
tehilah – to publicly boast
Boasting requires a bit of exuberance. Have we considered that? One of our great values in worshiping him is to boast or declare His worth.
Your procession has come into view, O God—
the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary.
Singers are in front, musicians behind;
between them are young women playing tambourines.
Praise God, all you people of Israel;
praise the Lord, the source of Israel’s life.
procession – a movement
Our worship creates a place for Him to dwell and for Him to bring His throne room.
Worship is the vehicle that takes us into the revelation of His presence.
Worship takes us into the Throne Room where His glory is revealed
Is there a process in our worship?
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.
Entering His gates with Thanksgiving
Entering His Courts with praise
Seeing His full procession in view
When we gather, we worship, He moves.