In the Wilderness: Exodus 33

His presence: Exodus 33
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The Lord said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob… but I will not go with you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
Exodus 33:1, 3 ESV

God said… Go without Me… or I might destroy you… The golden calf stirred God’s anger to the point where He was just about done with this stiff-necked people. He told Moses to go on without Him, an angel would go before them, but not Him.

This was disastrous news to Moses and the people. God’s presence is the one thing which makes His people unique among all people in the world. And He would no longer be with them.

“…Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
Exodus 33:16 ESV
His presence was seen as a pillar of cloud. When the pillar was seen at the tent of meeting, the people stopped what they were doing. Rose up. And worshiped.
God’s presence isn’t physically visible to most of us these days. But His presence can definitely be sensed. We who believe in, trust in, His Son as Savior, the One who died for our sins and rose from the dead, have His Spirit, His presence, within us.
Do you sense Him each day? do you allow Him to lead you? are you at a loss, when He seems lost to you?
Not only do we have His Spirit internally, but He still shows up in places. Fills places. Descending into the midst of His people. Wherever they are seeking Him.
When was the last time you sensed His presence and couldn’t help but rise up in worship? raise a hand in praise? have you ever?
The presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Believers makes us unique among all the people of the world. The evidence is seen in our lives. What comes from the working of the Spirit in our hearts. It’s a very different picture than that of unbelievers, those living by the desires of the flesh.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
The question today is: Does your life reflect the presence of the Holy Spirit? Do you think it disastrous if you do not sense Him in your day? in your worship?
The Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, spiritual babies trying to learn how to follow God, how to deal with their fears and reconcile their pasts with their present and future. We are pretty much the same. But they did know the importance of His presence in their lives and mourned when He said: Go without Me… and they repented.
What about you?
Oh Lord, forgive me for the times I’ve taken Your presence
in my life for granted. Forgive me for every time I have grieved Your Spirit or
quenched Your Spirit’s work in my life. Open the eyes of my heart afresh
to Your presence. May I stop. Rise up. And worship.

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