The message preached in our church service this morning was a powerful one. It was based out of Chapters 33-34 of Exodus and centered around a conversation between God and Moses.
God was fed up with the Israelites and told Moses that he was going to go ahead and give them all that he had promised. He would give them victory in their battles and give them the new land he had promised; he would bless them and prosper them, but…his Presence would no longer travel with them. They would enjoy all his blessings except that one, the presence of the living God. That’s when Moses said no to God. He refused to lead the people, even into victory and prosperity, if he had to give up the presence of God.
What an amazing thought. If you could have all the blessing of this life and perhaps even a life eternal, but void of the presence and relationship you have with God, would you take it? That was the question posed to us this morning.
Have you truly tasted what it is to live daily in the presence of God? To KNOW his presence? To commune with the creator of the universe on an intimate, personal level?
I have. And that question this morning ripped my heart apart. It grieved me, even frightened me. The thought I could continue to be used of God and be ‘blessed’ of God, but lose that personal experience of his presence in my life is a horrific thought to me.
I don’t have a great fear of hell like many people do. It’s just not a motivator for me. I can’t relate to that, and I can’t relate very well to preaching and teaching that tries to scare people into repentance to avoid hell or the wrath and judgment of God. But the thought of losing the presence of God in my life — THAT scares me.
There is nothing more frightening to me – not cancer, not suffering, not death, not even the death of my own children. For I know that I can live through anything WITH Him, but don’t know that I would survive many days at all without Him or that I would want to. The thought is one of hopelessness and utter despair.
Do not take your presence from me, my God. I cannot live without you.
Do you know and love the presence of God in this way? What is the most frightening thought to you?