Moses’s journey of encountering and embracing the Presence of God is worth setting our thoughts on as we begin a new year. The first time Moses came face-to-face with the Presence of God was on Mt. Horeb through a curious event. He saw that a bush was on fire, yet it was not consumed. (Ex 3:2) As he turned and looked at the spectacle, he heard the voice of God speaking to him. Moses’s initial response to the Presence of God was fear. (Ex. 3:6)

As God continued to speak with him, He told Moses of His plans to send him to the Israelites as one who would deliver them from the Egyptians. At this point, Moses could only look inward at his own weaknesses and inadequacies (Ex. 3:11), yet God continued to assure him that He would be with him. The problem was that Moses didn’t know God. (Ex. 3:13) How did he know that he could trust what He was saying, and that He would follow through on His promises?
Moses, through continually seeking the voice and direction of God, and his obedience to every instruction God gave him, eventually learned Who God was, and that he could rely on His strength and ability, and not his own. Moses sought to learn the “ways of God” (Ex. 33:13), unlike the Israelites who only wanted to know His works. (Ps. 103:7-8) God’s works are meant to reveal to us His nature, but we have to, like Moses, turn aside and gaze into the display of His power, and see the Wonder-worker Himself. God wants us to live from His Presence. He wants to reveal Himself to us, and through us. He has promised us that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. (James 4:8)

Moses went from not knowing God, to not wanting to take one step without the awareness of God’s Presence going with him. (Ex. 33:15) In his wisdom, he went on to say that if the Presence of God was not with them, how would the other nations know that the Israelites belonged to Him? The Presence of God is what distinguishes us from those who do not know Him. 1 Peter 2:9-10. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. How will those around us know that we are God’s, if His Presence is not evidenced among us?

Yes, the Word teaches that God is always with us. He promised to never leave us. However, we are not always aware of, nor are we always yielded to His Presence. The distractions of life have a way of consuming our attention, and we neglect to protect, value, and honor His Presence. When Jesus was 12 years old, Mary and Joseph took him to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. (Luke 2:44-49) On the way back to Nazareth, Jesus was not with them. A full day passed before they realized that He was missing and they began their search to find Him. How far do we travel without an awareness of His Presence? How far do we go in our own wisdom, strength, and ability before we realize that all our efforts are futile without Him?

At the beginning of every year, I seek God for a Scripture that will be my North star for the entire year. This year, God gave me 1 Chronicles 16:11. “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually (longing to be in His Presence.)” AMP. I invite you to join me in letting this be a year of pursuing His Presence. Just like Moses, as we honor His Presence with our desire and obedience, we will grow to recognize, understand, and love His Presence, and realize that we not only cannot move without Him, but we will not move without Him.
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