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From time to time, I will open up the Bible and read something that I have never seen before. Yesterday, I came across the theological term Shekinah. The translation of the Bible that I have relied upon most of my life, the NIV (New International Version), translates this word into English. This skipping over of Shekinah makes me feels cheated, unaware of the glory of the divine presence until this week.

For they are Israelites, and to them belong God’s adoption [as a nation] and the glorious Presence (Shekinah). With them were the special covenants made, to them was the Law given. To them [the temple] worship was revealed and [God’s own] promises announced, Romans 9:4.

The original Hebrew term šekīnah was Romanized to become Shekinah. The English transliteration of this term denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God. According to the apostle Paul, this was revealed to Roman Christians in the temple as believers were worshipping the Lord. My awareness of this expression from rabbinic literature has inspired me to seek Shekinah as I worship the Lord going forward.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship, Romans 12:1.

Three chapters later, the apostle Paul provides instructions on how to achieve Shekinah. Worship shouldn’t be limited to a building on Sunday. Rather, worship should be a constant state of mind, seeking to become a living sacrifice devoted to God. While this is an objective goal to pursue, the book of Psalm is filled with acts of worship. Whatever advice from the Bible that you follow, make sure this includes bowing down and kneeling before the Lord, Psalm 95:6, waiting for Shekinah to arrive.

by Jay Mankus

Let It Flow

As I was attempting to have my morning quiet time with God, I felt rushed.  Instead of naturally engaging God in prayer, listening to words of the Bible and seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit, my intentions became skewed.  Unfortunately, treating God like a daily check list has become the norm in recent weeks.  The emotional connection I long for has been hijacked by a selfish soul desperately wanting to get in the way, Galatians 5:16-18.

This struggle is nothing new as I wrestled with a similar issue during my 10 years as a teacher.  If I am expected to stay on task and fulfill the requirements of my Bible curriculum, when do I make room for God?  What do I cut out, shorten or eliminate if I want to entertain the presence of the Holy Spirit in my classroom?  While my superior’s goals and objectives were met, the connection with God’s power and the spiritual realm gradually lost reception, Galatians 1:10.

Like public schools in America seeking better results, if leaders truly want to see change, you must make room for Jesus.  Political correctness is not the answer nor are years of trying to appease everyone’s feelings.  Rather, if believers want to see a genuine example of Joel 2:28-30 fulfilled today, a switch in priorities is a must.  Americans need to learn to take a back seat to Jesus, allow the Lord to take the wheel and set your GPS to the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.  Once God is fully in control, let it flow!

by Jay Mankus

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