Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Is The Sweetest Name I Know"1 (Lyrics)
Exodus 33:15 – Then Moses said, "If you don't personally go with us, don't make us leave this place." (NLT)
She longed for their presence.
The military had called her husband and her son to fight a Middle Eastern war. She worried night and day — never totally focused on anything that she did. What if both were killed? Or suppose that they were critically injured? How would that change the life that 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 brief visits. They longed for him to be released so that 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 His 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 God's 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 weren't by his side.
Emotions can trigger a longing for God's presence. A soul-stirring musical concert or a fiery sermon can easily arouse our feelings. We 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 our emotions are stirred is that the feeling is typically short-lived. Although essential, emotions mimic a roller coaster's up-and-down movement.
A longing for God's presence that results from an inner conviction that we need and want His presence is more permanent. Faith and a firm commitment will carry us further than an emotional experience.
When we long for God's presence as Moses did, we will:
- strive to please Him with our actions, words, and attitudes;
- live a holy lifestyle;
- recognize that our bodies are temples for His presence;
- move closer to Him daily;
- long to grasp the opportunities that He sends; and
- share Him with others.
Are you longing for God's presence?
Prayer: Father, we believe that You are with us always. Help us long to feel Your presence with us continuously. Amen.