15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15&16
I am challenged by the thought that Moses was not prepared to move anywhere without God. He insisted on following the presence of God himself, saying, “If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here”. He wasn’t satisfied just to make things up as he went, he was not content to keep on going and hope God would turn up at some point. The presence of God was so vital to Moses that unless the presence of God went with him he wouldn’t move, he wouldn’t just guess, he wouldn’t carry on. No matter what the pressure or the embarrassment – he was happy to wait for God.
This is mirrored in my collie dog Gemma. When I take her for a walk she is constantly checking to see where I am. Now and again I try to hide from her, it is very difficult, but if I manage it as soon as she realises she has lost me she comes charging through the undergrowth to find me again. She is not prepared to go anywhere unless I am walking with her, unless she is aware of my presence.
‘We need to pay a price to see God more clearly. Moses’ whole life groomed him to see God. His success as Israel’s leader depended entirely on his ability, moment by moment to perceive and follow the presence and voice of the Lord.’ Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p86
Am I prepared to pay the price to follow the presence and voice of God? Will I lay down everything at the call of His voice? Will I be prepared to wait on God again and again for as long as it takes? Does the desire for His presence bring tears to my eyes with longing? It is challenging to ask these questions. It is easy to be in a meeting full of habits and empty of presence where there are no risks and we are in control. It is easier to follow the clear loud voice of man than the small whisper of God we may have to wait for.
The presence of God is so special we should hold it in high esteem. We should give time to it, cultivate it and enjoy it. In his presence we are changed, set free and find our identity. In his presence we glimpse heaven, see eternal truths, experience revelation and receive dreams. In his presence we find unity, freedom and flow together. In His presence we receive healing, experience miracles, sense his breath, know his touch and laugh with joy. We should never ever undervalue the importance of the presence of God.
‘Moses was the great leader he was because he was not focused not personal success but on the God who could be known. Moses preferred the wilderness with God to the Promised Land without God, a noble choice for sure’ Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p87
Today: How much of your daily life relies on the presence of God?
I have been struck recently as to how ordinary most days are for most people. We try to fillour lives with exciting moments – but our every day life can be mundane. I wonder how ordinary it must have been to wander around the wilderness. There must have been a lack of fun places to go, things on tv to watch or coffee places to hang out in. This is why when God shows up the ordinary day turns into something amazing
On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. Exodus 19:16- 18
In the middle of the empty landscape God comes down and it was rather dramatic! Thunder, lightening, billowing smoke, earthquake – what a sight. I don’t think you could have missed God’s entry into the Israelite camp even if you were the doziest of folk!
Here comes God letting all his people know that shop is open, he is town, the show is on the road and He is in the business of spending time with his people. Tragically the people did not want to spend time with God.
When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” Exodus 20: 18&19
The people had become so fixated on the mountainside dramatics that they had forgotten the tender words of the Father holding them and loving them. God comes as a Father with power. This is who He is. Let us not be so desiring the big experiences, the healings, the manifestations that we miss the Fathers face and His voice. Both come together. The gentle loving Father full of power and wonder.
We sometimes hide from God when he comes to speak with us face to face. Just as Adam hid in the garden afraid to face up to God it can be due to feelings of guilt, shame, having let him down and thinking we are inadequate. Sometime it can be afraid of the demands we feel he will put on our life or of feeling unworthy. But He is the one who calls us by our name, holds us close and carries us when we are weak. He only wants the best for us and to help us in our troubles. We need not fear his response to our mistakes, failures or lack – He only has compassion and love for us.
God calls us up the mountain and wants us to come to meet with him. Spend time with him. Share heart with him. He turns the mundane walk of life into something else! The ordinary becomes exciting, the intimate becomes powerful, the plain becomes a wondrous adventure – 3D into 9D!
Today: Ask the Holy spirit to show you if there are any hindrances in your life that stop you freely talking to God face to face. With his help deal with these issues.
Yesterday we flew back on the plane from Palawan to Manila. We were delayed by 2 hours so arrived just gone 3pm after having left the hotel at 9.30am. We were scheduled to meet with groups in the afternoon and evening. I met with the New Day and we talked about being loved, walking with God and leaning into his presence. We spent some time hearing his voice and practically learning how to prophecy. I then wanted them to just relax in God’s love and learn to lean in to hear him and feel his presence. As I sung and we started to worship the presence of God came down very heavily. We sang in the Spirit but a lot of the time we just sat. It was a precious time together. Trevor spent time with a leadership discipleship group sharing heart on being intimate with God. He says he had a good time with them. In the evening I had the privilege to spend time with the worship group for a meal. I shared heart on what God was doing in the church at the moment. The importance of learning to rest in God presence and soak him up. It was a beneficial time. I gave Eden and Fe the book ‘Culture of Honour’ after we first arrived in Manila and she said she can’t put it down it is blowing her mind. It is all she dreamt the church should be like. Trevor wasn’t with me that night as his stomach is not good – so please pray for him. This morning we met with the church in Manila. It was lovely seeing everyone again and I was very excited as to what God would do. Fe lead a great time of praise and worship, Trevor preached a good word about meeting God face to face. It isn’t enough to hear his voice we need to press in until we meet with Him face to face like Moses did. I then sang ‘I see your face its beautiful’ and again the spirit came and started to touch lives. We prayed and ministered to those who wanted to press in further. God is so good and loving. After all this we had a media presentation and song by the children as it is mother’s day here. We all got a fold away fan and chocolate!! It was lovely and very touching. Then came the photos!! How New Day love having their photo taken!
I would like to share a little about the purpose of the wilderness adventure and then a vision I had on Wednesday night in his presence.
When I was a child I thought that the wilderness was about having no food or water. A place of dryness, hunger and harsh testing. As I read all about the Children of Israel now I see a Father who provided water, food in love and who was calling his children to spend time with him to get to know him. The wilderness is about a Father training his children and desiring heart change.
“He didn’t bring us out of Egypt in order to camp out in the wilderness, but to take us into the promised land of ever-expanding life in the knowledge of him” Face to Face with God Bill Johnson
There is a saying God took his people out of Egypt but then had to take the Egypt out his people. The Children of Israel were so stuck in ways of slavery, oppression and captivity that they had a mind set that need changing. They needed to re-learn sonship, love, honour, trust, adventure etc.
“The giving of the Law at Mount Sinai was intended to facilitate the process by which Israel would unlearn the thinking of Egypt and learn how to walk in their new identity as priests of the Lord. In describing what he required of them God was unveiling His holy and righteous nature, which they would need to emulate in order to walk in relationship with Him. ” Face to Face with God Bill Johnson
We, the church, for centuries have been on a journey of increasing desire for freedom. With the move of the spirit 25 years ago hearts have changed and we have started to journey out of Egypt into a place of water and freshness, now God is retraining our thinking and understanding. For us, this adventure is not about where we are going, but about a Father training his children and sharing heart with them. It is about getting time out to see what is on the Father’s hear and learning to understand our relationship with Him. It is about re-aligning our hearts up with the truths of heaven and re-tuning our voice to agree with what God says. It is a transformation of heart and mind and soul.
As a child we were shown videos about keeping healthy at school which included investigations of a smokers lung full of tar and the damaged kidney of an alcoholic. The organs were wrecked, full of gunk and not malleable. God showed me a picture of a heart that looked like these damaged organs . It was stiff and not able to function as it was created due to pollution, damage and lack of care. It was not able to love or to be loved as it was made to be. He then showed me the most beautiful hollow wooden oval encasing with one violin string. He talked to me about the process of re- aligning my heart to him. The fact that my heart has taken on lies and wrong ways of thinking. It has taken on pollutants of my thought life, habits and damaging situations. He wants to wash it all out with his life waters and bring a new way of being.
I have always loved lying in God’s presence and waiting for him. Although I don’t revel in the term soaking ( 🙂 ), I do think that the act of just resting in God’s presence is essential (especially during this season). It not only provides time of enjoying the Father’s love and deepening your relationship with him – it also provides time for God to re-align your heart, wash away pollution with His Spirit and repair damaged parts of you. This process cannot be rushed – it takes time.
I desire that my heart will become like a single violin string – re-tuned to heavens
frequency. Free to move and respond with every touch. So in tune with God He need only breath and my heart with resonate with heavens song. Free from distortion, pollution and damage. My heart will respond to his voice, vibrate with passion for Him and live for His glory. I am just one string – and I need you to make a fuller sound. He is re-aligning the heart of the church around the world to vibrate with the sound of heaven. As we all start to play the tunes from above we find we are playing the same music across the land and a global orchestra is born. The sound of those whose hearts sing heavens melody will fill the atmosphere, change the airspace until the whole world can hear heavens song!