“And Moses said to the Lord, ‘If Your Presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here! For by what shall it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight? Is it not in Your going with us so that we are distinguished, I and Your people, from all the other people upon the face of the earth?'” – Exodus 33:15-17 (AMP)
I am moved by the passion of Moses. He learned something after all those years in the wilderness, climbing mountains to meet face to face with the Lord himself. He learned if the Lord isn’t in it, it’s not worth doing. He came to value the Presence of God above absolutely everything else. I want to have that same passion.
Every morning I have a decision to make about how I will live out my day. Will I be the kind of person who gets out of bed, pours the coffee and turns on the auto pilot? Will I bound out of bed with my eyes and mind fully fixed on a self-made to do list, unhappy with the day ending until I've ticked every box? Or will I be the kind of person who wakes up seeking God and his heart, committed to staying in step with his heartbeat all day long? To choose the latter isn’t easy, but it’s possible. And it’s worth it.
To choose God’s Presence above all else means we might have to ignore anxiety; we might have to tell worry to take a hike. To choose his Presence means there may be things we would really like to see happen today, but being okay with them not happening. It may mean more time spent with people who aren’t our “favorites” and a bit more serving all around. It may even mean more waiting, especially on God himself. I’ve found that, many times, God moves slower than me. Do you find that, too? If we want his Presence above all else we may have to change our way of going about things; we may have to reconsider whether we go at all.
David was taken with the Presence of God much like Moses. His songs to the Lord reveal a heart that couldn’t content itself if God wasn’t with him. In Psalm 84:4 David exalts, “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all the day long.” And in Psalm 55:11 he says, “Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.” There is something to be said about living in oppressive, lonely situations such as the ones Moses and David found themselves in. It seems that there they found the Presence of God in a way that compelled them to seek God out and keep him close all of the days of their lives. They wouldn’t go anywhere without him. Even if it meant staying in those oppressive and lonely situations a little longer than they thought they could stand. Even if it meant not going . . . yet.
Each morning when I get up, my prayer echoes those of Moses and of David. “If your Presence doesn’t go with me, don’t let me move one step further. I only want to go with You. Without You, my movements are meaningless. Without You, my words are useless. Without You, I have no breath. I’ll only go if You go with me.” What will your prayer be this morning?