Summary: We haven’t fully experienced God’s presence in our life because we haven’t been actively seeking it. In other words, we only seek God’s presence when we find ourselves in tight spots, or when we want something. Why do we act this way?
A great truth about life is that at times things that happen can hold us back. In other words, sometimes we experience situations, or we have to go through circumstances that weaken and/or discourage us. Sometimes we have to go through situations that rob our peace, and attempt to make us lose sight of the solution. In other words, circumstances or situations that make us question God's purpose. I would say that the main reason why this happens to us is because most of us have not fully experienced God’s presence in our life. Why haven’t we fully experienced God's presence in our life?
We haven’t fully experienced God’s presence in our life because we haven’t been actively seeking it. In other words, we only seek God’s presence when we find ourselves in tight spots, or when we want something. Why do we act this way? We act this way because we haven’t become completely convinced that God’s presence is the only thing that can strengthen, and help us overcome the obstacles that arise. Now the question we must ask is: How should we seek God’s presence in our life? Let’s now turn to the Word of God to explore this issue.
Exodus 33:13-15 - Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” 14And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”
Like I always say, in order to have a better understanding of the message that God has for us today, we will need to conduct a brief history review. The verses we are exploring today are part of Jehovah's promise to be with Israel, and to cast out the people who occupied the Promised Land. But prior to these verses we find that the Lord says that He wouldn’t be with them because of the hardness of their heart. This is something that is very clear in Exodus 33:1-3 when we read: “…Then the LORD said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ 2And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. 3Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked (stiff-necked: from the Hebrew word: “qasheh” that means: “hard, cruel, severe, obstinate”.) people…” Needless to say, this produced great despair among the people. This is something that is very evident in Exodus 33:4 when we read: “…And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments…”
Something that also happened is that the hardness of their heart led Moses to in a certain way separate himself from the main population. This is something that is clearly reflected in Exodus 33:7 when we read: “…Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the LORD went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp…”
Why do we need to know these details? We need to know these details because in them we find a clear reflection of what can stop us from fully experiencing God’s presence in our life, and the results that this will produce. What do I mean by this? What I’m saying is that being stiff-necked, in other words not to being humble and not being willing to get rid of our pride and arrogance, will result God’s presence to distance itself from us. And once this happens, just as in the people of that time, we will feel bad and distant from the church, which is the Body of Christ. So keeping these things in mind let’s now continue our study for today.
The first thing that we see here is that Moses tells God: “…Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people…” What we are seeing here is part of the conversation that Moses had with God, that is, Moses’ prayer, and the key words here are: “…show me now Your way…” Why do I say that these are the keywords? I say that these are the key words because as I said at the beginning, most of us seek God only when we find ourselves in a tight spot, or when we want something. What do we do?