“And God said, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” And Moses said to God, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
– Exodus 33:14–16
The background here in Exodus 33 is so important. It’s such a potent picture. In response to the sin of God’s people in Exodus 32, God says in Exodus 33, “Okay, I’ve relented from destroying these people who have disobeyed me. Worshiped other Gods instead of me, but I will not go with you Moses nor with them into the promised land. So you can have it. You can have the promised land, it’s yours for the taking. But I will not go with you.”
Exodus 33:14–16 Shows Us That We Can do Nothing Apart From God
That’s what God said at the beginning of Exodus 33, but what Moses did is he stood in the gap before God and he said, “God, I can’t go forward. These people can’t go forward without you. We need you. If your presence doesn’t go with us, then we can’t go into this land. We need you.” Moses doesn’t want to take one step apart from the fullness of the presence of God.
Moses does not want to take one step apart from the fullness of the presence of God. Is the same true of us?
That’s when we come to Exodus 33:14-16 and God says to Moses, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” In the aftermath of that pronouncement, Moses prays that the power of God’s presence will be evident to all the people in the promised land as he goes with them. Based on this picture in Exodus 33:14–16 then, I want to encourage you in your life today in the same way I was encouraged when I was reading this. I thought, “I don’t want to move one step forward without God’s presence either. I don’t want to be living in his presence. Walking in his presence all day long.”
Asking God to Walk With Us in Everything That We do
I want to encourage us to pray accordingly. “God, we don’t want to do anything alone today. We don’t want to do anything alone. We want to walk with you in your presence all day long. Jesus we praise you for making that possible through your death on the cross. Your resurrection from the grave. Your ascension to heaven and you’re sending the spirit. The fact that your presence is with us right now, so God, we pray that you would keep us abiding in your presence all day long. Lord, help us. Help me. Help us to walk in step with your spirit. Led, guided, and empowered by your spirit in everything we are doing. God, we don’t want to do anything in the flesh.
We don’t want to do anything on our own and we don’t want to make decisions alone. We don’t want to speak words that don’t honor your presence and we don’t want to make decisions that don’t honor your presence. Ultimately, we don’t want to do anything apart from you today, so help us, God. Help us we pray to live in constant dependence on your presence and in constant communion with you in your presence.” In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.