Read an Excerpt
A Touch of His PresenceMeditations for a Richer Life of Faith with Original Photographs
By Charles Stanley
ZondervanCopyright © 2002 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Chapter OneParadise Lost and Regained
* * *
In the beginning, Adam and Eve did live in Paradise. That place of perfection wasn't really about their surroundings, as beautiful and peaceful as they were. It wasn't about their life together, as harmonious as their relationship initially was.
What made the beginning of life on earth so wonderful was the communion Adam and Eve shared with the Creator. They experienced the presence of God in bliss and intimacy. God talked with them and they spoke freely with him. There was no guilt, no shame, no pretense, no violence, no injustice. God reigned and Adam and Eve tended the garden he had created just for them. It was heaven on earth
The imagery of intimacy abounds. Adam and Eve often heard the "sound of the Lord" as he "walked" through their garden spot. I don't know what that sound must have resembled-maybe it was like leaves rustling with a divine breeze-but it was a familiar sound they knew well. A welcomed sound, a blessed presence.
But one day, after devastating disobedience, they "hid from the Lord." Sin had brought death into the world, but it did far worse; it corrupted intimate fellowship with God as he "drove the man out" from the garden (Genesis 3:24).
Communion with the Father was severed. Unbroken fellowship with the Creator was lost. The rest of the Bible and the constant refrain of mankind ever since has been the quest for paradise regained, the restoration of fellowship with the Creator.
Astoundingly, the seeking heart of the Father has made it possible to experience the wonder of divine communion, the delight of God's constant presence. Through Christ, the Redeemer, our sins are forgiven, the Spirit sent, and our relationship with the Creator restored. We can know Christ person-ally, experientially, and he knows us.
We were made to live in the presence of God. As St. Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee." The created order must wait until Christ's return to go back to its original, unspoiled splendor, but we can enjoy the fellowship of God's loving presence in the here and now.
Is there a longing in your heart to sense the touch of the Savior? Do you want to live in the light of his presence? God has made it all possible through the mediating work of Christ, who has reconciled us to the Father and repaired the breach between God and man. All of life can now be lived coram deo, in the presence of God.
There is no better place.
* * *
Lord, I do want to know you more intimately and passionately day by day. Thank you that you have pursued me with your love in order that I might enjoy satisfying fellowship with you. Help me keep this as my focus and goal that I might find my greatest satisfaction in knowing you.
Excerpted from A Touch of His Presence by Charles Stanley Copyright © 2002 by Zondervan . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.