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 do not know about you, but it happened to me time and again in my early walk of faith.  I reached a low point in my spirit due to my circumstances or my failures.  Foolishness took me over and convinced me that distancing myself from others or even from the Lord was what I needed.   This led to my spending too much time alone and disconnected from the Church, mulling over my disappointments over and over.  It never failed that someone would reach out to me and invite me to fellowship in these times to pour through the word or praise God in song.  It also never failed that I would straddle the line before deciding to go and ultimately giving in and showing 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 brushed aside the dark clouds and illuminated 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.  Refreshment is needed only because 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 and sit 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 for not leaving us to fend for ourselves during the dry and stale times, for making your presence available to us so that we would be refreshed continually.