These precious words were spoken by God to his servant Moses in that incredible 33rd chapter of Exodus. The entire chapter is a good read, and I would encourage you to do so. The purpose of God speaking these words to Moses was to encourage him as he carried out the calling of God upon his life. These words of Jehovah to Moses are essentially the same as the parting promise of Jesus Christ at the end of Matthew’s gospel to those who belong to Him. I will never leave you nor forsake you. My prayer and desire today beloved is that you will meditate on those words and let them sink down deep into your soul. You may not “feel” very righteous or holy, but if you are truly in Christ Jesus, The Living God is not against you, beloved; He is for you. He doesn’t save you to condemn you and discourage you, but to encourage you to fulfill His will and calling upon your life today.
The Hebrew word for presence here can be translated with the words “face,” or countenance. Let’s look at a few of these places where this word is used together, shall we? David declared in Psalm 16 that “in Thy presence, there is fulness of joy”. So, if we piece together the words of God to Moses and Christ to us, we learn that we are able to be courageous and full of joy in serving The Lord today. Courageous joy! I like that! But we must be careful that our outward “display” of following Jesus is coming from a heart that prays, “let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in a Thy sight (same Hebrew word for presence), O Lord.” You see, the presence of God that gives courage and joy comes from a heart that has been purified by faith in Jesus.
In one of those divine tensions we often find in Scripture, we also see that the presence of The Lord is something that must be sought. While it is true that He will never leave us nor forsake us, it is equally true that we need to seek His face in a fresh way every day. Again, David expresses a thirst to appear before His God there in Psalm 42.1-3. Like a tired deer running from the hot pursuit of a predator, we often find ourselves weary in spiritual warfare or the simple daily grind of life. Thus, we need to refresh ourselves by spending time in His presence. In His presence is the refreshment, courage and joy that we so need and long for. Psalm 42 tells us that it is the presence, or countenance of The Lord that rekindles the living hope from Him that dispels the disquieting and depressing times in life.
So today beloved, take the time to seek The Lord, but at the same time, never doubt that In Him you live and move and have your being. Cultivate both your assurance of His presence and your need for more of His presence at the same time. As you enter your place of worship, come before His presence with singing, for He inhabits the praises of His people. May the presence of The Lord that melts mountains melt your heart today, and fill you with the courage and joy to do His will. Blessings, beloved!