And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. (John 8:29 NASB)
And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. (Exodus 33:14-15 NASB)
I really believe that there is something in each one of us that desires to know the Father's presence. We may not always recognise it but we are all created in his image and made to have relationship with him. We were made to enjoy unity with him. In Genesis, in the garden, there was a longing in the heart of mankind to be with God. That longing, although ruined through the fall, was not totally lost.
How ever far people go from God there is still a desire in their heart to know him. People may look in the wrong place but, nonetheless, the longing is there.
Through Jesus. it has been possible for this ruined, broken relationship to be restored. The longing in the heart of every person to know God can be turned to search in the right direction. Our heart can be satisfied as we discover the depth of Father's presence with us.
Moses longed for the presence of God. He did not want to start his journey on his own so first of all he asks for someone to come alongside him and help him. God goes beyond his expectations and rather than giving him a companion, he promises Moses the reality of his presence. God himself will go with him. You can feel the relief in Moses' response "if you don't go with me, then we aren't going anywhere".
What about us? His presence is always with us as he has promised to never leave us. He is always with us but do we recognise his presence? Are we like Moses? Longing for the Father's presence? Are we like Jesus who knew that his Father was always with him?
I'm pausing the Weekly Signposts over the summer and they'll resume in September. In the meantime if you're interested in reading a good book then check out my Author Page on Amazon. Or you may want to look at the teaching series I did with Barry Adams - Opening Our Heart to Father.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:1-2,12-12 NIV)
Over the last few months the internet has been a lifeline to many people and organisations. It has enabled us to communicate with one another when "normal" communication has not been possible. It has facilitated something which is valuable to us all.
However, communication cannot replace community.
God is a Father. He is our Father and he wants us to live as a family where we care for one another and where we touch one another's lives at a heart level. Zoom has been useful to us but it does create the impression of us all being in our separate little boxes. We must not allow this to become the 'new normal'; if we do, we shall lose out on one of the most important human needs, the need for community.
Today, I want to draw you back to what is really important. That we set our heart (not mind) on things above. That we remember our life is hidden in Christ, in the Father. That we make love our greatest aim so, like Jesus, we live in and are clothed in love. That we break down the walls of our box and remember we are a family.