Refuse any mindset that ever places you outside of God or God outside of you. Stop living as a New Creation Person with an Old Covenant, Adamic mentality. Asking God to "be with us" or attempting to "enter His Presence" is an extreme insult to the finished work of Christ.
His Presence is always a given. His Manifest Presence is enjoyed, through our fixed position in Him, as we receive His Love, bask in His Love, and respond to His Love. All things are of Him, through Him, to Him, and in Him! God was in Christ reconciling the ENTIRE KOSMOS to Himself!
As with all relationships, we must acknowledge, practice and enjoy His Presence in order to grow in our experience of His Presence. His Presence is constant. Our acknowledgment of His Presence is the variable.
Beware of Old Hymn References and Religious Clichés that can put you on the wrong track. Let's take "I Surrender All" as an example...
"Worldly pleasures all forsaken"... What does that even mean???...
Good food? Good drink? Good sex? Good vacations? Family fun? Good sports? Good hobbies? A nice House? A nice Car? Having Fun with your Dog? Enjoying the warmth of the Sun on your skin? Laughter with Friends?
Should we really "Surrender All"? Did we lose a fight with a Divine Enemy or did we gain everything that pertains to Life and Godliness through Christ? Hasn't He given us all things to ENJOY within the context of His Loving Instructions and the guidance of His indwelling Spirit?
If we're talking about the Hedonistic perversion, misuse and abuse of physically enjoyable, God-given things and greed...then YES, by all means, grab hold of the GENUINE and ditch the cheap counterfeits.
If we're talking about following a Platonistic philosophy where everything in the visible realm is dirty...and cleanliness is found only in the spirit realm, then we're way off track and missing the point of God's GOOD creation and the beauty of mankind...created in the Image and Likeness of God! It is no wonder that Platonistic minded Christians believe in the absolute destruction of a dirty planet, and want to spend eternity as disembodied spirits in a faraway place!
Walking in the Spirit of Him (LOVE) Who gave us ALL His ALL is the key to living Life to the fullest. All that is His is ours...and all that is ours is His! We were born to enjoy receiving as much as giving, socializing as much as meditation, and earth as much as heaven.
That mindset will take you places where fleshly vows, resolutions, false humility, conjured up "holiness", and self-torture...in the name of "Surrender" can't!
If a wife's conversation was dominated by speaking about her incessant infatuation with OBEYING her husband, instead of walking in a MUTUALLY ENJOYABLE, LOVING UNION with Him, it would cause us concern. The same holds true when we speak about our relationship with Jesus.
Walking in a mutually enjoyable Union is on a much higher plane than obedience. Soldiers and slaves OBEY each and every day in settings where LOVE and UNION are not the motivating forces.
Put another way, to avoid arguments about semantics, if we choose to use the term "Obedience" in a New Covenant context, a mutually enjoyable, loving union must be included in our definition of the word.
For those who may stumble over the word "Enjoyable", I will add the following: Please note that I am not speaking of a perpetual Fantasy Land on earth in the present. I am speaking of enjoying the New Wine and the Bread of Life...through the "ups and downs" of our LOVE WALK....with, in, and through Him...as He is making the world a better place through us and as us!
My Word to you for 2017: You are just as much in Christ as you have ever been or ever will be! He can't possibly Love you any more or less today than He did yesterday or than He will tomorrow! God IS Love! The same benefits that were yours in 2016 (and in all prior years) are still yours! Christ in you is still the Hope of Glory! Amongst many other wonderful things, He calls you His Wife, His Brother or Sister, His Body, His Friend, His Living Epistle, and the Apple of ...His Eye! You are loved, valued, accepted and blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ! Through Him you have access to all things that pertain to life and godliness! You no longer have to rely on your own performance by trying to produce the Fruit or Gifts of the Spirit; and there is no shortage or rationing of the New Wine! You are free to rest in HIS PERFORMANCE...as you function through HIS Faith, which works by HIS Love! Freely you have received, NOW...Freely give!
No rhymes, No limericks, No numerology, Nothing spooky, No fortune cookie messages, No Christianese horoscopes, No 'carrot & stick' words promising to give you what you already have or make you who you already are, and No words coming from a compulsion to perform prophetically, because a New Year is just around the corner. Just Truth!
Regarding New Year's "Words": Trust the Peace of Christ to be the referee in your heart. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Christ is my Life! The truest definition of who I am can only be found in Him! I am not a knock-off or a carbon copy of Christ! I am ONE WITH and IN HIM Who is the ORIGINAL! I am not just a number or another brick in the wall. I am an unfolding, unique, special, beautiful, matchless, spiritual, intellectual, and physical representation and revelation of a dimension of His Likeness and Image! I am ONE with and in Him Who is the Brightness of ...Father's Glory and the express Image of His Person, the One in Whom all things consist and are upheld! I am a part of His Body, which is the fullness of Him Who fills all in all! To truly define me, you must look to Him!
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Have you ever realized that the Word says Jesus: "Lights EVERY man who comes into the world" (John 1:9) and told unbelieving Pharisees that the Kingdom of God was IN them (Luke 17:21); while Paul told pagan Greeks that in the one true God they "lived and moved and had their being" (Acts 17:28)? "Evangelism" is about awakening people to the One Who already Loves, accepts, and dwells in them...allowing them to participate in His abundant Life. He upholds ALL THINGS...to include every cell of every body, by the Word of His Power (Hebrews 1:3). We have spent so much time trying to get God INTO people, instead of awakening them to His Omnipresence...which includes every part of their being. Yes, there is a QUICKENING...but the Power Source is, and always has been, ever-present! The darkness that He calls us out of and translates us from is our ignorance of His ever-present desire for our friendship with Him to be realized and for our sonship to be made manifest. You can't boldly declare that He's omnipresent while claiming that He is absent from the Atheist. Our "witness" comes to bear witness with His ever-present, internal, and eternal tug! While I don't believe that all have come to the knowledge of Him Who is Truth. Truth abides, draws and continues to tug! The Gospel witnesses to the ear He Who is "witnessing" to the heart.