Summary: Moses ran FROM the Presence of God and later he ran TO the Presence of God. Are you hungry for experiencing the Presence of God in your life and ministry? Here is tremendous truth about the Presence of God that is life-changing.


Text: Exodus 33

Series: Greatest Chapters of the Bible

Sermon #4

Dr. Larry Petton

Cross Pointe Community Church


A church had a special concert and the worship center was packed. The congregation had one of their greatest times of worship ever! Later that evening, a young mother from the church was putting her little boy to bed. He had enjoyed the concert so much and couldn’t stop talking about it.

The mother said the usual bedtime prayer with her boy, kissed him goodnight and was about to leave her son’s room, when he surprised her with a deep thought: "Mommy, I really had a good time at church tonight! I just wish Jesus could have been there!"

Church is a whole lot more fun when Jesus is there! Maybe we ought to invite Jesus to come to church with us this Sunday! The problem is…….He is not always wanted in every church.


Years ago in the Deep South, a Baptist church was struggling over whether or not to allow a black gentleman to join their church. He had been their janitor for years and decided he wanted to be part of the church family. A special vote of the congregation was called for as the church pondered the issue of integration. Finally, the vote was announced and the janitor lost his bid to be a member.

Later that evening, the old gentleman was sitting in his porch swing thinking about how he had been rejected by the church. He said, "Lord, I don’t understand them folks. I tried to join their church......but they voted me out." About that time, the Lord spoke from Heaven and said, "Don’t worry about it, my child. I have been trying to get into that church for years. They won’t let me in, either!!"

Is the Presence of the Holy Spirit welcome in our presence today? We know He is here….His angels are here.….His people are here……...His Word is here. But, is He welcome here? The Bible says a plethora of things about the Presence of God. It is one of the hottest topics in theological circles today.


In William Hendrix's book, Exit Interviews, he asks why today's generation is leaving the church. He summarizes the views of many young church dropouts: "Perhaps the most common complaint was that worship services were boring. It was not just that these gatherings were not interesting. These young people said…..THEY WERE NOT WORSHIPFUL. They did little to help people to experience God."

That is exactly what A. W. Tozer meant when he wrote: "The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God, and the church is famishing for want of HIS PRESENCE.”

Vance Havner once said: 'Nothing is scarier today in churches than the ABSENCE of the PRESENCE of God'.

I think Moses is the most interesting case study in Scripture in reference to understanding the Presence of God.

• In Exodus 3, Moses is running FROM the Presence of the Lord.

• In Exodus 33, Moses is running TO the Presence of the Lord.

Where is your spiritual life today? Do you find yourself in the desert of Exodus 3 running from God…….or do you find yourself dwelling on the mountain top of Exodus 33 running to God?


In looking at the life of Moses, it seems it could be divided into three distinct 40-year sections:

• The first third of his life, he served as a prince of Egypt, and could be epitomized by self-effort and achievement.

• The middle third of his life, he spent as an assistant shepherd in the Midian desert, typified by solitude and insignificance.

• The final third of his life, the portion most often commemorated through Scripture, was characterized by faith, humility, obedience and the miraculous power of God’s Presence.

D.L. Moody said it this way: “Moses spent 40 years thinking he was SOMEBODY; 40 years learning he was NOBODY; and 40 years discovering what God can do with ANYBODY!.”

After realizing his Hebrew heritage among his fellow Jewish slaves, Moses stepped into the spotlight of leadership for Israel when he killed an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite according to Exodus 2:11-15:

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” 14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”

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