I am now blessed to serve as the pastor of Christ Alliance Church in Hopewell, PA! One of my favorite aspects of pastoral ministry is leading God's people in prayer. I would like to share with you, each week, an overview of the devotions I use to set the tone for our weekly prayer meeting.
Psalm 16:11 – “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Emphasis added)
When this passage uses the word “presence,” it is the Hebrew word paniym which refers to
one’s face, or presence. Even in our culture, we understand the nature of personal space. The reality is, we allow some people to come close to our face, but if other’s come too close we pull away. The difference is the level of intimacy we have with that person. If our relationship is close, we welcome them to be close. Through Jesus Christ, we are allowed to draw near to the very face of God. In that closeness, we find the fullness, or abundance, of joy.
Certainly, we understand the difference between joy and happiness, but sometimes we put too much space between those two concepts. In other words, we allow there to be too much joy with so little happiness. The reality is, true joy will bring with it the emotion of happiness.
The psalmist goes on to say that at the right hand of God are pleasures forevermore. The right side is known as the place of strength and power. In other words, you will know true delight when you stand at the side of God’s power and strength because there is nothing that can come into your life that God is unable to handle.
The Psalmist speaks of finding this joy and delight in the presence of God. Now, this brings up a question we will explore in the coming weeks. Namely, is God is everywhere present, how can we come “into” His presence?
For now, let us ask God to make us a people marked by living and being in His presence.