When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “who do men say that I the Son of Man, am? So they said, some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, but who do you say that I am? […] I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:13-18)
Jesus says to us that we are built on “this rock” (Himself) and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against us. Why can’t the gates of Hades prevail against the Church of Jesus Christ? It is because we are filled with His indomitable Spirit! Jesus, the God of the universe, lives in the hearts of His people!
There is another passage in Luke which also resonates with the prevailing presence of Jesus Christ. “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance […] I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:6-7, 10). In these passages, we understand that joy comes from God Himself. This joy is so powerfully prevailing that it affects the atmosphere of heaven and even the angels of God, and it will also affect your atmosphere!
The scripture says, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy and strength come in the presence of the Lord. Although we cannot see Him with our natural eye, when we experience God’s presence, we know that He is certainly among us. Strength means a fortified place, force, defense, or stronghold. Therefore, we may safely conclude that the prevailing presence of the Lord strengthens us as a fortified place of defense which cannot be conquered by satan or his agents.
As we move forward this year, let us remember that the Lord will show us the path of life and in His presence we have fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).