Carriers Of His Presence, by Brother Yemi Ojo

Carriers Of His Presence, by Brother Yemi Ojo

Text: Joshua 3:7-17

  1. The origin of the Ark of covenant: The origin of the Ark of covenant can be traced to Exodus 25:10-22 where God instructed Moses to make a chest of acacia wood of two and a half cubits long, a cubit and half cubit wide and a cubit and half high. In verse 16, He instructed Moses to put in the Ark, the Testimony and on it is to be written and of course which is written on it the words of God – His commandments. In a summary view, the Ark has in it the Word of God. The Ark of covenant signifies His presence. And, this is necessary because the people of the Old Testament have not really understood what it means to serve God by faith. They are mostly convinced when they see a symbol, signs or wonders representing or pointing to God. In the new Testament, that same word found in the Ark of covenant is established as Jesus Christ. In John 1:1 (NIV), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Just as the Ark received Him, so we now can receive Him into us as established in John 1:12.

  2. Who are the carriers of His presence?

  1. The priests: In Joshua 3:3, 6, it is established that the carriers of His presence are the priests, who are Levites. They are charged with the responsibilities of carrying it.

  2. Royal priesthood: In 1 Peter 2:19, it is seen that you, as far as you receive Jesus Christ and you believe and do His will, you are a priest already – a royal priesthood. You hence have the right to carry His presence.

  1. Becoming the carriers of His presence.

Joshua 3:3-5 emphasised what it takes to carry the presence of God. It can be seen that the people are to consecrate themselves, but still have to keep a distance of 900 metres between them and the Ark of covenant. In addition, they were warned not to go closer! If the people that were consecrated are still strictly warned to keep such distance, how much more are the priests carrying the Ark, purified? This shows a great seriousness of what it means to be the carrier of His presence and this is applicable to us today if we want to become the carriers of His presence. In summary, in becoming the carrier of His presence, the following are needed:

  1. Consecration: Just as in Joshua 3:3-5, 2 Timothy 2: 20-21 emphasised the need for the ignoble vessels to cleanse themselves of filthiness so they can become instrument for noble uses. Whether gold, silver, wood, or clay, the most important thing is purging yourself of every filthiness (sins). You cannot become His instrument without His presence in you.

  2. Receiving Jesus Christ: In John 1:12, to carry Him in you, you need to receive Him into you and also believe in Him with the whole of your heart, without holding anything back.

  3. Submission: In Joshua 3:3, the Ark must have been carried on the shoulders of the priests. This signifies submission to the dictates of God to stay worthy to carry His presence. Paul admonished us in Romans 12:1 to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him. You offer yourself when you must have accepted to submit yourself.

  4. Indwelling of His word: Psalm 119:9-11 shows that for you to keep sin out of your life, the word of God must be put in place in your heart. The journey to holiness starts when sin is kept out of our lives and by this His presence will abide in us.

  5. Putting out idols: In 1 Corinthians 10:18-22, Paul charged us that why should you who share the cup of the blood of Christ still go ahead to share in the cup of the demons? He emphasised that our body is the temple of God. You need to know that it is not as though idols are anything in themselves, but that sacrifices offered to them are made to demons. Whatever has taken the place of God in your life is an idol and the more you service it, the more you are offering your propriety to demons. This never bring in the presence of God into you, rather it provokes Him against you.

  1. Benefits of being a carrier of His presence

  1. They possess the audacity of authority and power

  1. In Joshua 3:15, though the Jordan was at a flooded state all through the harvest, as soon as the feet of the priests carrying the Ark of the covenant touched the water’s edge, the water was cut off. Not only that, it was rolled off to stay a far off in a town called Adam. By this, the Israelites were able to pass through on a dry ground. This scene showed that power and authority to cut off the Jordan river goes with the priest carrying the Ark. If they were not there, nothing would have happened.

  2. King David is a carrier of His presence. This gave him the audacity to declare in Psalms 120:7 that he is a man of peace, but when he speaks they are for war. This shows those words are filled with arrows, power and authority. With this, he was able to declare war on his enemies. Even his enemies knew this. Besides, in Psalm 118:6-7, 10-12, David boldly declared that the Lord is with Him, who will he fear and what can man do to him. He recounted the victories he had got which was due to the presence of God with Him. He said that all nations surrounded him but in the name of the Lord He cut them off. They came on Him on every side, but in the Name of the Lord, he cut them off. When the enemies saw this was not possible, they adopted the tactics of swarming on him like bees. But still, they got burnt out as thorns and by the Name of the Lord, he cut them off. Receive the power to cut off anything militating against the manifestation of the will of God in your life in Jesus Name.

  3. Revelation 11:3-6 talks about the two olive trees and two lamp stands. If anybody tries to harm them, fire comes out of their mouth to consume their enemies. And they are so strong that they have the power to shut up heaven so it will not rain when they are prophesying. These two olive trees are men and women who are the carriers of His presence and it is we. Elijah operated in this realm in the time of old, shutting up the heaven so there will not be rain (1 Kings 17:1).

  4. By the authority of God, His carrier, Joshua, spoke of Jericho that whoever rebuilds its wall will do so at the expense of the lives of his first and last sons. During the reign of Ahab, when evil was at its peak in Israel and people fear not God, Hiel dare to disdain the words of Joshua concerning Jericho’s wall. Hiel rebuilt the wall of Jericho. Right before his eyes, he paid with Abiram, his first son, who died at laying of the foundation; and Segub, his last son, who died at the putting up of the gate (1 king 16:34).

  5. Even though Hiel rebuilt the wall of Jericho, what was been declared in the spirit still holds. The land of Jericho was abortive and the water bitter. Therefore, another carrier of His presence, Elisha, was brought into the picture. Elisha declared healing upon the bitter water by the words of his mouth and not actually by the salt thrown into the water (2 Kings 2:21-22).

  6. In Mark 16:17-18, to many that believe are given the power and authority to cast out demons, pick up serpent with their hand, drink deadly poison and not be hurt, speak in new tongues and lay hand on the sick and be healed.

  1. Audacity of make disciples of all nations: Matthew 28:18-19 – preaching the gospel is same as taking the battle to the enemy at the gate, which is the heart of men. You cannot take up the strong man’s house without first tying down the strong man himself. This is why Jesus first declared in verse 18 that all authority has been given to Him. Therefore, in verse 19, He empowered us to go and make disciples of all nations. It is a command with an empowerment.

Conclusion: If you have not received Him, I am sorry to tell you that His presence is not in you and you cannot manifest in the audacity of power and authority as stressed above (Mark 16:17-18). Settle it in your heart today to confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ I believe You and I receive You into my heart as my Lord and Saviour. Amen

The sermon Carriers Of His Presence, by Brother Yemi Ojo, was delivered on Special Youth Service on July 17, 2016