S60P5 – The fruit of his holy presence: refreshment

Acts 3:17-21

And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

I don’t know about you, but it has happened to me time and again.  I reach a low point in my spirit due to my circumstances or my failures. Foolishness takes over me and convinces me that distancing myself from others or even from the Lord is what I need.  This leads to my spending too much time alone and disconnected from the church, mulling over my disappointments over and over.  It never fails that someone reaches out to me and invites me to fellowship in these times by pouring through the word or praising God in song.  It also never fails that I straddle the line before deciding to go and ultimately give in and show up.  Each of those times I have entered the presence of the Lord and have been refreshed, my soul and spirit experiencing a change of perspective that brushes aside the dark clouds and illuminates my path.

When I think of something doing the job of refreshing I think of something else getting stale, tired or old.  For example, refreshing a carpet can do wonders to fibers that have become discolored, stained and compressed over the years.  Sometimes the process of refreshing those fibers might even make the carpet look as good as new.  There is wear and tear that, if left alone, ultimately would ruin the carpet completely.  We go through the same wear and tear spiritually.  We enter times during which we feel dry and stale, and we experience circumstances that cause the shadows to fall around us.  If we were to stay in those times without a change it would be to our great spiritual detriment.  God’s refreshment that comes from being in his presence is necessary for us to overcome those times and continue our spiritual growth.

If we look at God’s refreshment as water, then we see it as necessary sustenance.  In this dry and arid world, we need to stay hydrated in the Spirit.  Just like the man roaming the desert who cannot rely on himself to produce the water that he needs, we cannot rely on ourselves to refresh us spiritually.  We must rely on the infinite well-spring of God to do that.  The place we go to tap into that source of refreshment is his very presence, standing before him in awe and fear, knowing that we cannot continue to grow and advance his kingdom without his refreshing power.  Father, thank You that You do not leave us to fend for ourselves during the dry and stale times, but You make your presence available to us so that we may be refreshed continually.