Following His Presence

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It can be so scary trying to make choices that are God’s will. Sometimes it can be scary discerning God’s will, making sure that what I want isn’t overriding what God is telling me.

       I was praying along these lines a few weeks ago, asking God to show me how to know when He was revealing His will, what His will is, where His will is, and how I would know it was absolutelty His will. As I prayed, God spoke to me, “You’re following My presence. When my presence sits down, you sit down. And when my presence departs, so do you.”
Of course my mind went to the children of Israel in the wilderness, following the cloud of God’s presence by day and the pillar of fire by night.

       Any time I’ve studied this story before I’ve always loved Ex. 13:22 “The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place in front of the people.” I love that God never departed from them, even in the wilderness.
But this time I found Ex. 40:36-38 and I absolutely love these Scriptures now: “The Israelites set out whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle throughout all the stages of their journey.  If the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out until the day it was taken up.  For the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and there was a fire inside the cloud by night, visible to the entire house of Israel throughout all the stages of their journey.”

      The people only moved when God did. So long as God’s presence was settled on them, they remained in that place, in His presence. One commentary that I read said the cloud would often settle for days at a time and the people would not move until it did, even though it meant losing days of travel. They trusted that God knew exactly when they needed to move. They didn’t care about losing a little time, they refused to miss a single opportunity in God’s presence.

        This has been my prayer since – no matter the sacrifice, whether it be time doing something I enjoy, time at my job, even time sleeping, no matter what it may be, I want to always place time in God’s presence first. Any time the presence of God descends He has a specific purpose, and I have the chance to be in the Presence of the Almighty God. Why would I ever consider missing that?

        God knows what is best. He knows when I need time to rest, He knows when it is the hottest part of the day and I would tire too quickly trying to travel. God knows when there is danger ahead that needs to pass, and He knows when I simply need to stop what I’m doing and spend time with Him.

       God is teaching me to seize every opportunity with Him, because, in the end, that’s all that matters. In light of eternity, the time spent sleeping or working will mean nothing. Time spent with God will only prepare me more for eternity with Him.

        Choosing to live in God’s Presence now is choosing to begin eternity with Him now. The small moments with God are good preparation for eternity with Him.

       No matter what may be going on around us, let’s always remember that time with God is most important. When the God of creation takes the time to make Himself known, it is our duty to sit down and listen.
“God, when You step, I step; and when You stop, I stop.”

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