Yesterday at church the sermon really challenged each person to look at their own heart and see if they were desiring the presents of God or the presence of God.
“Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” Ex. 30:3
This was after Moses had come down from the mountain and found the people worshipping the golden calf. The Lord was so angry. He said though he would give them the Promised Land but would not go with them. He would give them what they had been desiring but not Himself.
Moses and the people were so upset. Moses’ reply was the following:
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” –Ex. 33:15
Moses would rather have stayed in the desert and have the Lord’s presence than go to the Promised Land without the Lord.
The question posed to us was, if God said he would give you exactly what you had been longing for and desiring, but not himself, would you take it? would you still want it? Can I honestly say that I would rather stay in the desert (figuratively speaking – that could be ill health, poverty, estrangement from family, job loss, etc) and have the Lord than go to the land flowing with milk and honey…let’s say “easy street” but without the Lord?
I know in my own life it’s easy to focus on what I want FROM God and I too easily forget that His PRESENCE is the greatest gift He gives. I want what I want and when I get it, I think I will be satisfied…but only for a little while, then I want something else. But when I truly seek the Lord’s PRESENCE over his presents, there is such satisfaction and peace in my heart.
Christmas time is full of presents…don’t miss HIS PRESENCE – the greatest gift, Jesus.