What the presence of God means for the believer
1. Clarity and Direction (Assignment) – Clarity can be defined as the state, or measure of being clear. God’s presence is a clarifier; one distant from God’s presence shouldn’t expect to be used mightily by God. As I am growing, I’m learning that zeal for serving the Lord is not the same as spiritual maturity. You can be zealous and on fire for serving the Lord but still lack the essential “how” when it comes to serving God. Your assignment is found in God and His Will (The Word). Your assignment on this earth is attached to your identity, and thus knowing who you are is knowing your assignment. You know who you are by practising His presence.
We’ll take a brief look at Moses and the children of Israel, who were aware of their identity as God’s people.
In Exodus chapter 33, Moses was given an assignment by God ( To Leave Sinai): Then the Lord said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it’ (Exodus 33:1).
Later on in the same chapter, we see the promise of God’s presence after an uncertain Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people” (Exodus 33:12-13).
God replied to him saying, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).
Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.
For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth” (Exodus 33:15-16).
Moses was expecting confirmation of his assigment. An assignment from God involves guidance from God himself. Human effort is limited; we are incapable of leading ourselves for tasks given by the Lord. Ministry without the presence of God is like having a fully-functioning vehicle but not knowing where to go with it. The presence of God is direction and clarity for the Christian.
2. God’s presence is identification of God’s people – So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name” (Exodus 33:17). God’s presence is a sign of walking in agreement with God. It is a symbol displaying a special relationship with God himself.
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand’ (Isaiah 41:10).
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Our relationship with God is different now because of the presence of the Holy Spirit (indwelling presence).
Here are Jesus’ words concerning the topic:
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (John 14:17-18).
3. Joy – The presence of God is joy for the believer. The believer feels content and satisfied by simply abiding in God’s presence.
For You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence (Psalms 21:6).
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalms 16:11).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5:22).
God’s presence is essential to the believer.
Grace and peace!