Thursday, October 20, 2016

Longing for God’s Presence - Martin Wiles

Then Moses said, “If you don’t go with us personally, don’t let us move a step from this place.” Exodus 33:15 NLT

She longed for their presence. Her son and husband. 

Both had been called to fight a Middle Eastern war. She worried night and day. Never totally focused on anything she did. What if both were killed? Or suppose they were critically injured? How would that change the life she had known?

Another time and place. Another person. She and her husband longed for the presence of their son. He had made some unwise decisions that landed him in jail. Six years had passed with only temporary visits. They longed for him to be released, so he could move back home where they could talk and visit regularly. 

Moses too longed for God’s presence. He had agreed to God’s assignment and led God’s people out of slavery. No sooner had they left Egypt than the rebels rebelled. While Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on a mountain, they were below wondering what had happened to him and fashioning a golden calf to take his place. 

God considered annihilating them and starting over with Moses. Moses, however, interceded for the people and begged God to go with them on their journey to the Promised Land. He didn’t want to move one step if God wasn’t by his side. 

My longing for God’s presence can be triggered by emotions. Emotions are easily aroused by a soul-stirring musical concert or fiery sermon. I can be stirred, feel God’s presence, and be ready to take on the world for Christ. The danger of longing for God’s presence only when my emotions are stirred is that the feeling is typically short-lived. Though important and necessary, emotions mimic a roller coaster’s up and down movement. 

A longing for God’s presence that results from an inner conviction that I actually need and want His presence is more permanent. Faith and a firm commitment will carry me farther than an emotional experience. 

When I long for God’s presence as Moses did, I’ll strive to please Him with my actions, words, and attitudes; I’ll live a holy lifestyle—recognizing my body is a temple of His presence; I’ll move closer to Him daily; I’ll long to grasp the opportunities He sends; and I’ll share Him with others. 

Are you longing for God’s presence? 

Prayer: Father, we believe You are with us always. Help us long to feel Your presence with us continuously.  


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