Judith Cairns, CEO of Love for Life, shared on the theme of “Presence” at tonight’s celebration at the New Wine Summer Conference. Here’s and extract from what she had to say:
When I was 18, I spent 10 months in Hong Kong teaching English. In those days, there was no Internet and no emails, and phone calls were far too expensive. Each day I would travel to the office hoping for a little blue envelope from home.
That year was incredible but it was a tough! The first few months were very much about those blue envelopes. I was deeply homesick - looking back to when everything was perfect and looking forward to when I would be home again.
A few months into my time, I was listening to my Walkman and a song came on by Beverly Craven, “Everything we are going through will be our memories, so let’s make them worth remembering for years.” It was one of those moments when everything freezes and you just hear the words.
In that moment, I realised I had a choice to make. I could endure this experience or I could choose to live it, to throw myself into everything God had given me, and to experience fully, squeezing out every last drop. That experience changed me forever I allowed God to teach me to seize the opportunity.
We have those same decisions to make every day. I’m not suggesting that we can’t look back or that we can’t look forward. But we need to be careful not to lose the present and, more importantly, our presence in situations and with those we love.
Everything now is so instant and quick but is it improving our relationships? Are we robbing ourselves of the experience of being fully present in the moment? We know what it is like to be on the other side of somebody that is not fully present. We know what feels like when the person we are speaking to clearly wants to be somewhere else.Young people in our society need us to model presence. In a culture where relationships are breaking down and becoming ever more superficial, we need to be present.
When did you last allow yourself to sit with God and experience afresh how invigorating it can be to soak in His presence.
When did you last allow yourself to get drenched? When did you last intentionally put yourself in God’s presence? When did you last experience the refreshment of His spirit? Things change when they are soaked! When did you last allow yourself to sit with God and experience afresh how invigorating it can be to soak in His presence.
Find a space. Allow that to become your tent of meeting. Physically remove yourself from the day-to-day. Still your minds and focus on God wherever you are. Let the Lord speak.
Sometimes we rob ourselves if we don’t fully disconnect and connect with His presence now and again. God’s presence is not something we can engineer but we miss out when we don’t intentionally create the space and pause…
Seize these moments and allow yourself to be fully present in them. God has promised that His presence will be with us. This is not about a nice feeling. In His presence we receive power! I wonder if some of us have stopped believing that this power is for us. If we only think of God’s presence as an experience, we miss that point that in His presence comes power to transform and to bring hope and peace.
This is not about our strengths and abilities. This power works in spite of us. Even in our weaknesses, God’s power can be at work in and through us. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Are we accessing this power or are we limping along in our own strength? What would happen if all of us allowed God to be fully present in our lives, unlimited by our boundaries and our fears? What would happen if we allow God’s presence to take centre stage?
Have you experienced a power cut? Do you need to plug back in and experience afresh God at work in you? God’s presence is here. Can we grasp that? Let’s not hold back any longer. God’s presence in our lives brings peace and has purpose.