I WOKE up one morning with questions about the day that awaits me. And also about the days that are ahead. Out of the blue, the words came to my mind, “My presence shall go with you.” I believe it was a loving whisper from God, as I did not engineer these six precious words to pop into my consciousness.
Exodus 3 is one of my “landmark” passages. In the past few years, I believe that the crowning lesson of my Christian life is that we can lose everything else, but never lose the presence of God in your life.
Moses must have also gotten up from his bed, with questions as to his day and the days ahead. Perhaps he looked around and cast a longing, backward glance at the opulent bedchamber he used to occupy at Pharaoh’s palace. But he had killed an Egyptian and he had to flee and settle in some backwater place called Midian.
He would then emerge from this tent and survey his flock, musing, “What a joke. Before I used to command men, now I command sheep.” Then he would gaze towards the horizon, not of Midian, but of his own life, and mourned over an uncertain future.
But God met him that day. Today, God was the shepherd. Moses was the sheep and a lost one at that. Through the burning bush, God drew Moses lovingly to Himself and assigned His man a formidable task: “So now go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10).
Moses stammered his first excuses. God’s next reply was beautiful, “I will be with you” (v 12). God did not immediately promise words and power, although they did come later. God promised Moses with the most valuable asset: Himself.
I am learning again and again that what really counts is the presence of God. True, we are to do our part, maximize our resources, and make wise plans. But at the end of the day, this singular question should haunt every Christian: Is God with me? Do I have the presence of God in my life?
The presence of God is particularly poignant when you are in your own “Midian,” torn between a wounded past and an obscure future. His presence is wonderful: He redeems the past and assures a significant future -- if you surrender your life totally to Him.
In my particular life, being conscious of the presence of God had overcome my personal doubts about my capacity to serve Him -- whether at the Bible class or the office. His presence infuses a sweet aroma to what is otherwise a bland, dreary existence.
Where is your Midian? And has the presence of God invaded your days?
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