I continued spending time in Exodus 33, this morning. I think we (myself, included) take for granted the access we have to God. And WOW, do we have access!! The One who created us, loves us, rescued us and has a plan for us, very much longs for us to spend time in His Presence. Most of us send up our requests and concerns, in prayer, and then quickly run off before He is even given a chance to respond. We don’t display the authority or power that is rightly ours, as sons and daughters of God, because we don’t remain in His Presence long enough for Him to not only reveal to us who He is, but also to reveal to us who we are, in Him!
Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray you, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways so that I may know You [becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, recognizing and understanding Your ways more clearly] and that I may find grace and favor in Your sight. And consider also, that this nation is Your people.” And the Lord said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest [by bringing you and the people into the promised land].” And Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go [with me], do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that Your people and I have found favor in Your sight? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we are distinguished, Your people and I, from all the [other] people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:12-16 AMP (emphasis mine)
God had commanded Moses to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. We know the relationship between the Lord and Moses was very close because Moses had favor with God and he was known by God (I will write more about being “known by” God in another post). Moses asked God to teach him His ways so that he could continue to find favor with God. And then Moses told God that if He was not willing to go with him (Moses and the Israelites), to the Promised Land, then don’t even bother sending them, because if they went without Him, then the other people groups would not know that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is their God and that they had favor with Him. They would not know that the Israelites were a set-apart people of the King of kings.
How many times have we gone into something without God? It could be a marriage, a career choice, a ministry, etc… It could even be our “Promised Land” (whatever it is that God is calling us to). But what we need to know, and Moses understood, is that if the Presence of God does not go with us, then there is no sense in even going.
God’s Presence is what distinguishes us as a consecrated – set apart – people. Other religions have rituals, sacraments, moral codes, etc… but they do not have the Power because they do not have the Holy Spirit of the living God residing in them. They may have prayers, but they do not carry the Presence.
When we carry the Presence of God, others will know (even if they cannot put into words what they see). When those who do not know Christ see us, they should see something different from the rest of the world. We are to be a people set apart – filled (to overflowing) with the Holy Spirit. We are to spend so much time in the Presence of our God, that we carry His Presence, His Authority and His Power, everywhere we go!
As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:7-8
How many Christians do you know actually do this? If the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead resides in us, then why don’t more Christ-followers, who have received the Holy Spirit, walk in this power and authority?
In Him, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). But do we really display this to the world around us?! I know there are many times that I don’t. And for that, I’ve had to repent.
And are we willing to be still and wait on the Lord? Are we willing to say, “I will not take another step unless You, God, go with me!” Are we willing to surrender our dreams and plans to Him and allow Him to lead?
As Christians, it’s not the sermons we preach, songs we sing, prayers we pray, good deeds we do, churches we plant or missions we go on. It’s about His Presence, His Authority, His Power, His Grace, His Love and His Glory. In our power, we can do nothing. We can’t convince people that they are sinners in need of a savior. We can’t heal, transform or even properly love another person.
But God can.
And He loves to reach others, through us.
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned Him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ Name and the faith that comes through Him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. Acts 3:1-16 (emphasis mine)
Peter freely gave what he had freely received. It was by the Name of Jesus that he had the authority to do these things. Peter knew who he was and knew the power that was in Him because he remained in the Presence of God…and he carried it with him everywhere he went.
(Listen: Jeremy Camp – Same Power)
There is a sermon series that I have recently listened to by Pastor Moe Diggs of Healing Place Church in Waldorf, MD. The title of the series is Hosting His Presence (click on title for the link). I highly recommend spending some time listening to all five messages.
Thanks for joining me, today! May your time with God be filled with His Presence and may you carry His Presence to the lives He places around you. For His glory!