In all of life’s challenges, God gives us the one thing we need the most: His Presence.
When Moses was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness to the promised land, God personally accompanied them. A pillar of cloud would descend upon the tent of meeting and God would speak to Moses as a man speaks with his friend (Exodus 33:11).
After the Israelites sinned by making a golden calf and worshiping it, God said, “I will no longer travel with you, for you are a stubborn, unruly people. If I did, I would be tempted to destroy you along the way. I will send an angel to guide you” (see Exodus 32).
Some of us might have been happy with an angelic presence, but Moses was devastated. He wanted God’s personal presence. “If you don’t go with us personally, I don’t want to move a step from this place,” he said. Moses knew from years of experience that our security is in God alone.
And the LORD relented. “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest,”
He said (Exodus 33:14 NLT).
At the end of his life, Moses was able to pass on the promise to Joshua. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT).
Jesus repeated the promise to us: “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you” (John 14:18); and the writer of Hebrews reiterated the promise: “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’”(Hebrews 13:5).
“But I don’t feel His presence,” you might say. I’ve learned that our feelings don’t always tell us the truth. They fluctuate with the weather or a good nights sleep. But when we keep clinging to God’s abiding truth—God is with me now– the feelings eventually follow.
To Brother Lawrence, a monk who lived in France during the seventeenth century, practicing the presence of God was a moment-by-moment discipline that resulted in joyful living. He would stop his menial work in the kitchen—or whatever he was doing—and praise God f or the privilege of knowing Him and serving Him. “Remember God never leaves us unless we go away first,” he writes in his book Practicing the Presence of God. “Our choices daily, hourly, minute-by-minute directly affect whether we move toward God or away from Him.”
Thank you, Father, thank you that you are with me now not just in theory but in actual presence and you will be with me all day long. I want to walk in Your ways and do Your will.