Power of God’s Presence

We Will Never Journey Alone

Perhaps one of the most challenging leadership roles in the Bible was that of Moses leading the nation to the promised land. He certainly had his share of glorious encounters. The burning bush, multiple face-offs with the mighty Pharaoh, parting of the Red Sea, and intimate mountaintop meetings with God. But Moses still needed assurance. He asks the question: You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Ex. 33:12

As an audience member viewing this story, I am tempted to reply to Moses, “Isn’t it obvious that God Himself has been with you all this time?” But then I remember times I have asked the same type of question over the forty-eight years of my Christian pilgrimage. We all need a reminder of the power of God’s Presence. God’s reply to Moses: My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Ex. 33:14

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Ex. 33:15-16

“My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.” (MSG)

Crossing Over

Following in the footsteps of Moses was Joshua, and God’s Presence continued to accompany His people. The ark of the covenant was one of the ways the glory of God was housed. It was carried on the shoulders of the priests. There was one occasion, when the journey led by Joshua was blocked by a river at flood stage.

Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away…The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. Josh. 3:15-17

We are all faced with “cross-over” experiences in life, where the rivers are too high to navigate yet we can’t stay where we are. There’s only one way we can move forward – get the ark in the water! Sounds simple on paper right? We are the priests and we house the glory of God; and we have the tools of prayer, fasting, worship, and loyal friends. I think you can agree, that some crossings are harder than others but all things are possible with God.

Holding God Captive

When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they carried it into the temple of their idol, Dagon. 1 Sam. 5:1-2 The next morning, they found that Dagon had fallen to the ground. They set it back up but the following morning it was fallen again; this time the head and hands of the idol had been broken off. What came next was a plague of afflictions on the Philistines. The enemy learned quickly, that God cannot be held captive, especially in the temple of an idol.

What about the embers of glory that reside in you and me. Can that fire be quenched? Can we, the glory bearers, be held captive. Yes, the Word declares that we are more than conquerors. Rom. 8:37 But haven’t we seen many leave the path of consecration to Christ? These are complex questions; hence no simple answer.

Dagon and the hordes are all around us in our world. Let’s see to it that they fall and not us.

I want to offer a resource that identifies the opposing power of addictions and idols in our culture and how to overcome them. You can check it our HERE.

Reality & Substance of a Person

The power of God’s Presence is a manifestation of His glory. The glory of God refers to the reality and substance of the Person of God. Jesus the God-man, is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. Heb. 1:3 Jesus prayed to the Father on behalf of us: I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. Jn. 17:22 This is all a part of the glorious mystery we have partaken of: Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col. 1:27

The picture I chose for this post is Jesus walking alongside the disciples on the road to Emmaus. It is a work of artist Ivanka Demchuk. I love this story because it depicts Jesus as our journey-mate, unfolding a progressive revelation of truth. His words evoked a burning fire in the hearts of the two disciples, with a greater clarity of recognition as they walked together.

Jesus sustains all things, including me, by the powerful words he illuminates to my heart. 

It’s the power of God’s Presence that will distinguish us from all the other people on the face of the earth. His promise holds true: “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”