“…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” Heb.13:5 (see also Matt.28:20).
God has promised never to leave us. His presence is always with us (Psalm 139:1-12; Isaiah 43:2; Deut.20:1). The question, however, is not whether God is in our presence, but whether we are walking in His presence.
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord” Psalm 89:15.
The Heart of Moses
“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ 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?’” Exodus 33:14-16.
Moses’ heart was after more than just the power of God. He desired to know the ways of God (Ex.33:13; Ps.103:7). He didn’t want to have just an angel – a representative of God – to go before the people of Israel, even though this would have fulfilled all the promises God had given Israel concerning the promised land. Moses wanted God’s own Presence to go with them, because he knew it was the Presence of God that would distinguish them from all the other peoples of the earth.
As Christians, this is also what distinguishes us from the rest of the world. We are different – not because of something we believe in, but because we walk in the Presence of God.
A Friend of God
“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” Exodus 33:11.
Because Moses walked in the presence of God, he had a face-to-face relationship with the Lord. God spoke to him just like you would speak with your closest friend. Many of us have come to know God as our friend (we can pour outour hearts to God at any time), but does God know us as His friend (where He can share His heart with us)?
The Heart of David
“One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” Psalm 27:4 (NKJB) (see also 23:6; 26:8).
David was called a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). God, who does not look on the outward appearance but upon the heart (1 Samuel 16:6-12), is still searching out heart-people – people who, like David, have one driving desire – to be in the presence of the Lord.
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord…” Psalm 84:1-2.
The Secret Place
“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock” Psalm 27:5 (NKJB) (see also 31:20; 32:7).
There is a secret place in the presence of God where we can hide in the time of trouble. As you walk in the presence of God, you can find yourself “hidden” from the world (Col.3:1-4). In this “hiding place” you will discover rest (Exodus 33:14-15; Psalm 91:1-16), peace (2 Thess.3:16) and joy (Psalm 16:11; 21:6).
Secrets of the Heart
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?…Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls” Psalm 2:2,7.
True friendship means sharing the deep things of the heart (Proverbs 18:24; 20:5). As we walk in the Presence of God, the Bible describes two “searchings” of the heart that take place simultaneously:
God searches our heart
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit…” Romans 8:27 (see also Psalm 139:1,23-24).
The Holy Spirit searches our heart, sifting through our desires and priorities, drawing from us a heart after Himself.
We search the heart of God
“The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” 1 Cor.2:10-11 (see also verses 12-16).
Through the Holy Spirit, we have a link to the heart of God. And through the Spirit, we search the “deep things of God”. God desires to disclose the depths of His heart, but He will only do this with heart-people – those who come close to Him (1 Cor.4:1). And it is in the depths of our experience that we begin to understand the depths of God’s own heart (Phil.3:10). As we search out God’s heart, we will touch three things:
|· Wisdom||God’s Way||(Romans 11:33)|
|· Purpose||God’s Plans||(Ephesians 3:8-11)|
|· Desires||God’s Love||(Ephesians 3:16-19)|
A Dwelling Place
“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” Ephesians 2:22.
God has always desired to have us live in His presence without it destroying us (Exodus 33:3,20). In times past, God did this by commanding His people to build special structures that would contain His presence. These included the tabernacles of Moses and David, and the temple of Solomon. But God’s desire has always been to indwell people’s lives (Acts 7:48-50; Revelation 21:3). As Christians, we have become temples of God’s Spirit. Our lives are now the container of His presence.
“…For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people’” 2 Corinthians 6:16.