RELISH GOD’S PRESENCE
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.” (Exodus 24:12 NKJV)
One of the greatest challenges facing believers today in our fast-paced, busy and noisy society is spending quality time daily in a deep and personal communion with God in His Word and prayer without any distraction.
Sadly, many believers today schedule little or no time daily to relish God’s presence. The brief or little time they have to spend in God’s presence (in devotion time) is simply to yell out their selfish requests to God and when they are through, they dash out with a sense of fulfilling their religious obligation for the day.
When God called Moses to come up to Him on Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of stone on which He had written the Ten Commandments for the children of Israel, Moses’ focus was not meant to be on what God would give, but on being with God – relishing God’s presence.
Sadly, when God calls us to His presence (a place of fellowship) today, our focus is mainly on what God promises to give us and not on God Himself.
What a selfish mentality or mindset!
God said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”
Moses undoubtedly didn’t have to wait for forty days and forty nights in God’s presence on Mount Sinai if the only purpose why God called him up to the Mount was to receive the tablets of stone and the law for the children of Israel.
It certainly wouldn’t take the Almighty God forty days and nights to write the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone. The Scripture actually reveals that God had already written them before calling Moses to come up to the Mount to receive them (Exo. 24:12).
Apparently, God’s primary purpose of calling Moses to Mount Sinai was primarily to enjoy a loving and intimate fellowship or communion with Him. Receiving the tablets of stone and the law was only secondary.
This is revealed in what God said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there…” (Exo. 24:12 NKJV).
Likewise for us today, relishing God’s presence should take priority over receiving from God. Spending quality time in God’s Word and prayer daily should be esteemed above running errands for God. Walking daily with God should be set above working for God.
Unfortunately, only few believers and servants of God today understand this pivotal truth.
The Lord Jesus clearly set being with Him as the priority for His first disciples when He called and chose them. The Lord made sending His disciples out for the work of ministry only secondary.
Mark 3:13-14 – NKJV
13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.
14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.
The early apostles never allowed anyone or anything to displace or adjust the priority the Lord Jesus had set for them. Even while under much pressures due to the rapid growth of the Church, yet they set ministering to the Lord Jesus above their service to the people.
They resolved and insisted, “…but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4 NKJV).
Sadly, many believers today wrongly esteem receiving miracles from God and working for God above relishing God’s presence. Their primary purpose, pursuit or priority in coming to God’s presence (a place of fellowship) is only to receive things from God. This is why they remain spiritual babes even after spending several years in church.
Unlike Moses, many servants of God today are always in a hurry to receive things from God and then dash out of God’s presence (a place of prayer) to impress and minister to people.
Apparently, they have no delight in knowing God deeply or intimately. This is why they remain spiritually immature and undiscerning, and vulnerable to spiritual deception and manipulation.
Why should you esteem and pursue relishing God’s presence above anything else?
First, God takes delight in having a loving, intimate and eternal relationship and fellowship with you.
From the beginning, God’s delight has been with the sons of men (Prov. 8:31). God was always coming down in the cool of the day to fellowship with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the advent of sin (Gen. 3:8).
God still longs to fellowship or commune daily with His children today. God delights in speaking daily with you as a loving father delights in speaking daily with the son he loves deeply.
God always looks forward to having you spend quality time daily with Him (in His Word and in prayer) because He loves you deeply and He wants to reveal Himself deeply to you.
It is simply self-centredness to seek God or spend time in God’s Word and in prayer only in your times of troubles, or only when you are in dire need of God’s intervention and help.
Second, you cannot know God deeply or intimately without spending quality time in God’s Word and in prayer daily.
God desires to reveal Himself deeply to all His children, but it is only those who seek God diligently with all their hearts that we find and know God deeply.
God said in His Word, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” (Prov. 8:17 NKJV).
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13 NKJV).
Although the children of Israel saw many supernatural acts of God and enjoyed God’s mighty wonders in the wilderness, yet they didn’t know God deeply because they never sought to know God.
Therefore, the Scripture said, “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.” (Psa. 103:7 NKJV).
The children of Israel were pleased with Moses conveying God’s will and words to them. They didn’t love to hear God speak or deal directly and personally with them.
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They said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Exo. 20:19 NKJV).
Sadly, many believers today, just like the children of Israel, only delight in seeing God’s acts but not in knowing God’s heart; in receiving God’s wonders but not in knowing God’s ways; and in experiencing God’s mighty works but not in understanding God’s deep words.
Like the children of Israel, many believers today are completely pleased or satisfied with God speaking or dealing with them through a messenger or prophet. They have no desire to know God personally, deeply or intimately.
Third, you cannot deeply and clearly understand your new person and purpose in Christ unless you relish God’s presence above anything else.
As a born-again believer, you are now a new creation in Christ. Your old self has been crucified and buried with Christ.
Paul states, “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17 RSV).
The new creation is one spirit with Christ, for “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:17 NKJV).
The new creation “is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” (Col. 3:10 NKJV).
Therefore, it takes knowing the Lord Jesus Christ deeply to know who you are and what you have in Christ as a new creation.
The more you spend quality time daily with the Lord, beholding His glory in the mirror of the Scripture, the more you will see and know your new spiritual status, condition, position, purpose and authority in Christ as a new creation.
Lastly, it is only as you spend quality time daily with the Lord, beholding His glory that you will be increasingly transformed into Christlikeness in every sphere of your life.
Paul states, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NKJV).
Beloved, it is God’s ultimate purpose for you to attain “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13 NKJV).
God has predestined you to “be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom. 8:29 NKJV).
However, without you constantly beholding the Person, Love, Glory, Power, Wisdom, Nature or Character of Christ in the spiritual mirror of God’s Word, you cannot be progressively transformed into Christlikeness in your mind, thoughts, speech, conduct or character (2 Cor. 5:18, 1 John 3:2).
When Moses returned from Mount Sinai where He had spent forty days and forty nights in deep communion with God, he effortlessly radiated and reflected God’s glory in an unprecedented dimension.
Exodus 34:29-30 – NKJV
29 Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.
30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.
This happened because the glory of God had rubbed on Moses while he was communing with God and relishing God’s presence.
Beloved, you also will effortlessly radiate, reflect or manifest the love, glory, power, wisdom, nature or character of God increasingly as you cultivate the good habit of spending quality time daily in God’s Word and prayer, not just to read and recite your favourite Psalms or scriptures, or to yell out your daily petitions to God, but to relish or enjoy God’s presence, beholding His glory and meditating on His unconditional, unending and unceasing love, favour, mercy, kindness and goodness.
Therefore, starting from today, begin to cultivate the habit of scheduling and spending quality time daily alone in God’s presence (in God’s Word and prayer) to relish God’s presence, splendour, beauty, glory, and love. You will be amazed at how this will transform your countenance, mindset, attitude and lifestyle.
The Scripture testifies of Peter and John, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NKJV).
Like Peter and John, when you also begin to spend quality time daily with Jesus (in His Word and prayer), you will begin to ooze out great confidence and boldness that will daze the world.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for taking special delight in fellowshipping with me daily. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to also take special delight in fellowshipping with God and in relishing God’s presence daily this New Year, in Jesus’ name. Amen.