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#847 – The Privilege of His Presence (Exodus 40:34–38)

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“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it. And the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night. In the sight of all the House of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”
(Exodus 40:34–38)

What an amazing picture. God, physically leading his people, with a cloud that covered the tabernacle by day, with fire that was in it by night. Can you just imagine seeing God literally lead you. As the cloud moves, you move. As the cloud stops, you stop. As the fire moves, you move. As the fire stops, you stop. Throughout all your journeys, you are following God as he takes you, collectively as a people, by the hand and just leads and guides you every step of the way, with His glory on display in front of you at all times. I give you a picture of the Christian life. God has done so much more than giving you and me, today, a cloud or a fire to follow. He has put his very spirit, the Holy Spirit, inside each one of us. To lead us, to guide us, to direct us, to totally transform our thoughts, and our desires, and our actions according to his will. You have the Holy Spirit of God, the glory of God dwelling inside of you right now.

We have the Holy Spirit of God, the glory of God, dwelling in us right now. He’s leading us, guiding us, and transforming us into the image of Christ.

I don’t know where you are, but that will knock you over if you really think about it. You have the Holy Spirit of God, the glory of God’s presence dwelling inside of you. So live in this. Live with faith. As we think about advent, and anticipation of the coming of Jesus, and what that means, do we realize what that means? God has come to us. The whole picture in John 1 is that Jesus is the Word made flesh who is tabernacled among us. That’s the picture. That’s the exact word that John uses to describe Jesus. He is God in the flesh who has come to us. So it’s not just a building. “We have seen the glory of the One and Only, full of grace and truth,” John says, “Jesus, the glory of God has come to us.”

We think, well, he’s not here anymore. All the better. That’s the whole point of what John 14, 15, and 16, Jesus is saying, “It’s better for you that I leave so that I might send my Spirit to dwell in every single one of you.” Just see the fullness of this picture in Exodus put on display in greater ways than they could have even fathomed in that moment. That you and I, right now, by the grace of God in Christ, have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside of us, guiding us, protecting us, providing for us, transforming us.

God, may it be so, may it be so. Have your way in us. We praise you, Jesus, for coming to us, for dying on the cross for us, for tabernacling among us, that we might be saved from our sins. And we praise you for rising from the dead and ascending into heaven and sending your Spirit so that right now we are indwelled by you.

Ah, particularly as we anticipate the celebration of your coming at Christmas, we praise you for the reality of your presence in our lives right now. You are in us. We live in you. Christ in us, us in Christ, your Spirit alive inside of us. So help us to live in that today. God, I just pray for my life, for every single person who’s listening to this, you’d help us to live in this reality today. That we are indwelled by the very presence of Jesus, the glory of God, living inside of us, directing us, leading us, guiding us. May it be so, we pray in Jesus’ name.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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