Summary: We need God’s presence... and we need God’s presence with US as a people if we are to win the lost. God’s presence is not just for the few or the ’keenies’.
God’s presence. WBC 2 April 2006pm. Exodus 33:1-3, 12-23
Read Ex 33:1-3
Here Moses is promised the presence of an angel to guide them as they journey towards the promised land
- not a bad offer! Firstly because many would have craved an angelic guide in those days. Secondly- because if God Himself went with them His holiness might destroy them… so this was a safer option!
- Nowadays many would crave this. In fact- angels are all ’the rage’. Stacks of bestselling books on contacting angels, your guardian angels… ’spirit guides’
o There are such things as angels, of course. But we are not to contact them. If God sends them to contact us, that’s okay
" We are to crave another Presence
o But I wonder if people seek angels for the same reason as those here might have been content with one
" Less moral impact, obligation?
But listen to this:
- Read from John White’s ’When the Spirit comes with power’ p 87
WE NEED THE PRESENCE
We need the presence of God. Himself. Intimate. Powerful. All consuming. Not just an angel!
- v15 ’don’t send us out from here unless your presence goes with us’
- this is all about YOU. Without you it’s worthless
And what Moses pleads for is that God’s presence will go with THEM. All of them
- in v14- God has promised to go with Moses. ’My presence will go with you and I will give you rest’
o but it’s ’you’ singular
Here’s the thing- putting it in the church context- what’s the point if God’s presence is for… or experienced by… ’the few’?
- the elite. The keenies
It’s no good one or two standing out. They are just seen as ’the keenies’, ’the spiritual lot’
- we need to be a people who know God intimately, in power
- It’s what God has always wanted… it’s what He designed us for: to be a kingdom of priests showing His shekinah glory from our faces (like Moses did)
It’s funny how folks read Moses’ story… the power… the ’talking with God face to fact’… the shekinah (which you find in 34:29, as a result of this passage here) and see him as
- a marvellous man! Oh if we could have a pastor like that! I wish… in fact ’pray’ we could have some more people like that
… when in fact- it’s the pattern for all of US. YOU.… not just the elite
What’s the point if it’s the few? How is that going to change the world? You KNOW people in today’s culture will always take on the lowest, easiest pattern they see modelled. If you’re a slug for Jesus they will model YOU rather than ’the higher path’
- Lord- if you don’t go with US. Don’t send us out!
Is God speaking to you? Are you all ’for it’- but as long as ’it’ is for other people?
- we need God’s presence. You need it. Him. Get it
WHY GOD’S PRESENCE?
But why? Well- how are you going to survive and grow without it?
But also… here… how will anyone else know that we are your people (v15)? What will distinguish us from anyone else (v16)?
- truth is there are nice people… world changers… movers and shakers.. in every social group
o so how are we any different unless we are all on fire, changed?
- No wonder the world hasn’t come to believe, yet, (Jn 17:21) when we don’t all have and show this life-transforming loving power in our lives
Lord, we need your presence then others will see. We will be distinct. We will be magnetic to others.
- some think: worship will draw others. (by this they mean ’singing’)
- anointed preaching will draw others
- healing will draw others
- testimonies will draw others
- God’s power will bring in the prodigals
- Prophecy will convict and convert
How wrong they are!! How foolish… and hence why folks spend their time chasing these things (with the best of intentions)
- no! God’s presence is the thing that matters… and then these things happen as a by product of that
o electric ’worship in song’ happens. Otherwise it’s just ’singing’
- and when God’s presence is there- you get the people
o get the cloud and you’ll get the crowd!
- …. And these other things… symptoms… will just happen in their right place. They aren’t the issue. Jesus’ presence is! Get His presence and you get the outworkings, consequences of it!
We must have God dynamically present among us by His Holy Spirit
- and I’m telling you: worship leading, preaching… doing anything is so different when that is the case
- even ’crying’/grieving. (Discussing with someone recently about ’grieving in the presence of God’. When the anointing is there)