And now to Him who can keep you on your feet,
standing tall in His Bright Presence, fresh and celebrating
—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master,
be glory, majesty, strength, and rule
before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.
Jude 1:24-25 Msg
The Bright Presence of God. Immanuel. God with us. God Almighty, with me! I remember when it began to dawn on me that God is ALWAYS with me. His Presence with us is the only thing that will never be taken from us in this life. We don’t need to pray for Him to be with us. We just need to turn towards Him. He has promised to never leave or forsake us. A priceless gift.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in Exodus 33.
The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then Moses said to Him,
“If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
Exodus 33:15 NIV
I like it because it took Moses a while to get to this point. It was a process for him as it is with me. He was this mighty man of God. He experienced God through the burning bush, the plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea and deliverance of God’s people. He dined on Manna and quail, spent time with God on Mount Sinai and more. He had seen God do the impossible. Over and over again. Yet it took until chapter 33 for him to say, no more! Nope. No way. I am not going one step further without You, Lord. We need You. I find this an audacious thing to say to God. He was insistent. He knew He needed God with him, as did the people he led.
What a reminder this is for me, as I love to dive into things, go from one thing to the next. Ask questions later. This is a comfort for me knowing that learning to wait on/for God, doesn’t come naturally. I have had to learn the importance of waiting on Him (sometimes the hard way) and in the process have found, along with countless followers of God through the centuries, the joy of being present to His Presence.
I too need to say, “If your Presence does not go with me, don’t send me.” I don’t want to go it alone but I too often find I do just that. The truth is going without God is pointless, powerless, purposeless. It is lonely and empty. Moses learned God with him was the one thing he needed and desired. By chapter 33, he had lived long enough to know, nothing compared to God’s Presence in his life.
I was reading in Matthew 10 this morning where Jesus was ready to send the disciples out on their own to do a bit of ministry. Before Jesus sent them out, it says He called them to Himself.
We too need time with Him before we go out and do for Jesus. In our “can do” independent nature we love to go and do for Him without any thought of being with Him, seeking Him first. Jesus needed to direct them, tell them where to go and how to deal with things they would encounter. He wanted to prepare them in every way. It is the same with us.
Our calling is first and foremost to come to God.
How incredible is it we are invited to enjoy the Bright Presence of God and receive what we need to face our days!
As you consider the fact that God is always near what comes to mind? What feelings arise in you? What is your honest response to the idea of not going a step further without Him? Does that feel confining or liberating?
What would it take for you to be more present to the One Who is Present to you?
Answering God’s call for you to come to Him is worth heeding. We want our lives to be informed and directed by God. Our souls need what only He can provide to nourish and sustain us. And that takes time, day-by-day, step-by-step.
You might take a few days (yes days) to meditate on this phenomenal passage of scripture and contemplate your “with God life.” Don’t let its familiarity deter you from diving into its riches.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:1-4 NIV