Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Moses has finally come to the understanding that everything in life is to be about God’s glory. Moses admits to God that life is meaningless and has no purpose unless God’s Presence is visible to everyone. Unless other people can see the reality of God through His Presence in their lives, Moses says that they might as well not proceed with life. The Presence of God is the one thing that distinguished the followers of God from all other people on the earth.
Exodus 33:15-16 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
WOW! What a deep cave for us to explore. I trust that the Holy Spirit motivates you to dig for all the treasures hiding here. Let me start the process by focusing on one gem: the single identifying mark of a Christian is the visible Presence of God in their life. That being said, we can also conclude that the single identifying mark of a church that is truly following God is the Presence of God in it.
We have allowed the influence of the world to change our methods of identification. We have moved from being identified by His Presence to wanting to be identified by the fulfilled promises. We have looked hard for those promises that personally benefit us, and if we can see them fulfilled then we can be identified as followers of God.
For many, prosperity resulting in big bank accounts and lots of expensive toys shows the Presence of God. Big buildings show the Presence of God in a church, don’t they? Why is it necessary to place a humanly tangible product on the Presence of God to prove that God is present? Those tests fail miserably. Aren’t the unsaved as wealthy or wealthier than the saved? Aren’t the buildings of the cults and unrepentant churches bigger and better than those of the saved? Why do we insist on competing for recognition at the world’s level?
So how is the Presence of God seen in people and in the church? It is not through the physical manifestations of God’s power, although that may accompany His presence. It is through the spiritual manifestations of God’s character in the lives of His followers. It is through people who live with merciful and compassionate hearts.
When Moses asked God to reveal His Presence to him in Exodus 33:18, God responded this way in verse 19 – And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
When God did this, and Moses saw His glory, Moses heard these words from God as He passed by – “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”
God reveals to Moses and to us the identifying marks of His presence – compassion, grace, patience, love, faithfulness, and forgiveness. It would be wise for us to reflect on these qualities, and evaluate the consistency of their activity in our lives. It will reveal how well the Presence of God is being seen by others.