ISSM Core Values: Presence
(This is the first in a seven-part series outlining the core values of ISSM as represented by the acronym: P.R.E.C.E.P.T. The first ‘P’ stands for “Presence.”)
When my Dad was discharged from the Army, he acquired army cots for us kids to sleep on. Accompanying each cot was a green blanket that was to be tucked snugly around each bed so that if it was made just right, you were supposed to be able to bounce a quarter off it.
I was about four or five years old when one particular night because I was an active sleeper, I somehow got turned around 180 degrees so that my head was at the foot of the bed and my feet at the head—while still under the covers.
To this very day, I remember how disoriented and panic-stricken I felt when I awakened in that position. Not only was I in pitch darkness, but because my head was tightly squeezed between the blanket and mattress, I felt like I couldn’t move!
Why is it so dark?!!! Where am I?!? Why can’t I move?!!? Making matters worse, when I started yelling desperately for help, I was even further confused by how muffled my screams sounded to my own ears.
Luckily my brother Doug (who is eight years my senior) heard me screaming and jerked the covers off me, freeing me from my prison of panic. The whole thing is funny to me now, but I promise you it was deadly serious back then!
Through sin, the human race has been turned around 180 degrees from God’s original intent. We were trapped in darkness, anxiety-riddled and alone when our elder brother Jesus came to our rescue. He ripped off our blankets of oppression and replaced them with the comfort and peace of His very presence.
At ISSM, we understand that true transformation takes place when a person goes beyond knowing God’s presence as a sterile concept—and begins experiencing His presence in reality. Students learn:
- God is with you – cultivate an awareness of Holy Spirit as your constant companion, knowing He will never leave you! (Heb. 13:5)
- God is for you – become deeply rooted in an understanding of His kind intentions toward you! (Eph. 1:5)
- God will move through you – learn to partner with His presence, confident He will flow supernaturally through your life to powerfully impact those you serve! (John 14:12)
Under the Old Covenant, four priests were designated to carry the ark of the covenant (God’s presence) upon their shoulders. This was a foreshadowing of what was to come under the New Covenant—we are a kingdom of priests that are privileged to be carriers of His presence! You are God’s mobile home!!
What would happen if a generation of believers would build their lives around a holy obsession with God’s amazing Presence? I believe we’re finding out!