In His Presence by Pastor Carl W. Mann, II
Exodus 33:12-15(KJV)“And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence” (Emphasis Mine).
God had allowed Moses to experience His Manifest Presence. His first real encounter with God was at the burning bush as recorded in Exodus 3. In this encounter, Moses not only learned that God was real, but he also experienced the Holiness of God. As Moses removed his shoes to be able to approach the burning bush, he also learned that he would have to remove every obstacle to being able to stand in God’s Presence.
Moses experienced the Presence of God to such an extent that he was unwilling to be placed into any situation that would potentially cause God to remove His Presence. You see, while Moses enjoyed at deeply intimate relationship with Almighty God, he still did not “see” the fullest extent that God would go to provide the means whereby sinful mankind could abide in His Presence. Therefore, Moses was concerned that the Abiding Presence of God was only temporary or temperamental.
The Presence of the Lord was critically important to Moses that he expressed a challenge to God that if His Manifest Presence did not go with him and Israel, Moses wasn’t going to move another step forward. While some may think this was sacrilegious, God received it as a high compliment and worthy of a man who trusted in Him! Complete trust in God is expressed when an individual does not “lean on his own understanding,” but unashamedly admits his total dependence upon God.
God used Moses to introduce His Law. In this, Moses had a difficulty seeing God’s Grace. It was not a lack of Grace that prompted God to reveal His Law, it was the very heart of God that reached out to fallen man so that he would become convinced of his innate inability to remedy his lost condition without Divine Intervention.
In view of the Law, Moses became even more jealous concerning the Manifest Presence of God. He could not understand why the people did not want to enjoy this Wonderful Presence; nonetheless, he became a strong advocate and intercessor for the people of Israel because he could not imagine anyone living outside this Presence!
All of God’s people should have the same desire to be in God’s Manifest Presence. The Presence of God should never be taken for granted or dismissed. When the Conviction of God settled upon David’s heart after his sin of adultery and murder concerning Bathsheba and Uriah, David greatly feared the loss of God’s Presence.
Psalm 51:7-12 (KJV) “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Emphasis Mine).
God was not going to remove His Presence from David; however, David was truly broken by the severity of his sins, he knew that if he were the “King of Glory,” he would have banished such an evildoer as himself from the “kingdom.” God does not deal with us as we would deal with one another. His heart and actions are motivated in Love and Grace seizing every opportunity to render Mercy.
God desires to manifest His Presence in our lives more than we desire it. In His Presence is…
Job enjoyed an intimate relationship with God. He also was favored with God’s Trust. However, when Job reflected on the Presence of God, he said, Job 23:15-16 (KJV) “Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him. For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:” (Emphasis Mine).
Job clearly stated that the Presence of God provoked a reverential fear and awe. I suspect Job never used the word “awesome” about anyone or anything other than God.
Most children have a heightened sense of safety and security in the presence of their father. The weather outside could be exceedingly dark and stormy, but just having dad in the house seems to bring a calming assurance that everything will be alright. So, it is, and much more, in the Presence of God. David wrote the following words amidst a great trial…
Psalm 31:20 (KJV) “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Emphasis Mine).
Regardless of surrounding and internal consequences, the child of God, who is experiencing the Manifest Presence of God, has “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
Psalm 16:11 (KJV) “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Emphasis Mine).
I too cry out like Moses, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”