Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Name and Presence of God (Psalm 68)
Psalm 68:1-4 Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those also who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God; yes, let them rejoice exceedingly. Sing to God, sing praises to His name; extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name Yah, and rejoice before Him. (NKJV)
While David may seem to be wishing that in God's presence, all his human enemies be scattered and destroyed, it is an undeniable fact that evil cannot remain long in the presence of God without being expelled. Either the "enemies" of God become his friends and the wicked repent, or they will perish in their sins. But the point of this psalm is that the Presence of God is a powerful force against evil whether natural or supernatural. When we invite the Holy Spirit into our meetings, we literally drive out demons by His Presence. In this psalm, David exhorts us to sing praise to His name (v.4) and so associates God's Name (YAH, for Yahweh) with His holy Presence.
Did not Jesus promise in Matthew 18:20 that "where two or three come together in my NAME, there am I with them." And also in Mark 16:17-18, "In my NAME they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." We can see that in the New Testament, the NAME of Jesus is synonymous with His Presence. So, when we gather in Jesus' Name in faith, we are also gathered in His Presence. And when Jesus "arises" in our midst, the enemies of God - all evil entities will have to go!
And this is precisely what happens whenever we invoke Jesus' name and invite the Holy Spirit to come into our midst. We expect that all demons will manifest because they will be screaming to get out of the place! Hallelujah! With Jesus' presence in our midst, we can therefore let His power loose to drive out demons and heal the sick. So all who are righteous through Christ should rejoice exceedingly because the wicked "perish" at the presence of God! So, the more our praise songs exalt the NAME of Jesus, the greater will be the PRESENCE of God, and the more the demons will tremble and be cast out of His presence.
Praise and worship songs that contain Jesus' name are powerful medium to drive out the demonic forces of evil. But unfortunately, I've noticed that more and more praise songs are written where the name of Jesus is entirely absent. Let's put back the name of Jesus in our songs so that presence of God may be strong in our congregations of worship.
Father, thank You for Jesus whose Name is above every other name; that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Amen.