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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pleading for God's Presence (Blogging Through the Bible)

Worshiping God

Do you have difficult moments in your life where you find yourself pleading for God's presence in the situation you are facing? I know I do.

I'm going through a time like that now.

I need to feel the presence of God in my situation and so I go to Him multiple times throughout the day...

...pleading for God to be present with me as I seek to walk in His will for my life.

Sometimes when we can't see God moving in our situation, we take matters into our own hands.

That's kind of like what Aaron and the Israelites did in chapter Exodus 32:1-5. They grew impatient waiting on Moses to get back from meeting with God, so they fashioned a golden calf - from their ornaments that were to be used in the building of the tabernacle - to worship as a false representation of the One True God.

They broke covenant with God. And now in chapter 33 of Exodus, we see the consequences that they now face because of their sin. It's a great lesson for us today to not get impatient when waiting on God to move in our situation, that there are consequences to our sin, and the steps we can take in pleading for God's presence in our lives.

Let's look at the consequences the Israelites are now facing because of the sin of the golden calf they fashioned.

"Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people." ~Exodus 33:3

God told them they could still go up into the Promised Land, but He would no longer be with them in the close, personal way He had been with them before they sinned against Him with the golden calf.

This was a personal test for Moses and the Israelites.

A test of whether they desired the blessing more than the Giver of the blessing.

If they accepted God's arrangement, it would prove to Him that the people loved God's blessings more than they loved Him. On the other hand, if this test had them pleading for God's presence, then it would prove to God that they truly loved Him more than the blessings God could give them.

"To be given every other blessing is of no value if God is not with you. What is the value of Canaan? What is the value of milk and honey? What is the value of having possessions, if God was not with them? They saw that the realization of the presence of God, having this fellowship and company, was infinitely more important than everything else." (Lloyd-Jones)

Are you pleading for God's presence in your life? Moses and the Israelites did.

"And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments." ~Exodus 33:4

This was the first step in the Israelites' spiritual restoration and revival in their hearts after their sin against God.

The Israelites mourned the possibility of losing God's presence. Their mourning showed God that they cared about their relationship with Him, not just what He could give them.

The Israelites showed their repentance by not adorning themselves with their ornaments - ornaments that were to be used in the building of the tabernacle that they had taken from to use in the fashioning of the golden calf! They even stripped off of themselves the ornaments they were wearing to take on a posture of mourning for their sin against God.

"So the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by Mount Horeb." ~Exodus 33:6

This was the second step in the Israelites' spiritual restoration and revival in their hearts.

Do we have sin in our lives that we need to remove and repent of?

Moses took the lead in the third step in the Israelites' spiritual restoration and revival of their hearts.

"Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp. So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door." ~Exodus 33:7-10

Moses took his tent, pitched it far outside the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting! If that isn't pleading for God's presence, I don't know what is! By pitching his tent outside of the camp to serve as the tabernacle, Moses clearly drew a line to see who truly longed for the presence of God.

The Israelites followed Moses leading, and each time they saw Moses going out to the tabernacle, they stood at their own tent door - watching for God's presence to descend in the pillar of cloud at the door of the tabernacle - so that they could worship too at the door of their own tent.

What a beautiful picture of pleading for God's presence!

When we hunger and thirst for the presence of God in our lives, we can impact the lives of those around us to hunger and thirst after the presence of God in their lives too! When we make time to actively seek the presence of God in our lives - by worshiping Him through prayer and time in the Bible - others will be influenced by what they see us doing in our own personal relationship with God!

More than anything, I want my worship of God to draw others into a desire to worship God too. 

That's what happened with Moses and Joshua!

"So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle." ~Exodus 33:11

Joshua was so impacted by Moses' personal pleading of God's presence in his life and of his worship of God that Joshua chose not depart from the tabernacle! WOW!!

Pleading for God's presence will not only change our lives, but it has the potential to change the lives of those around us!

That's the prayer I have for my life! Is that the prayer of your life too?

Then, pray with me...

Oh, God, my heart longs for Your Presence! Meet with me I pray as I open Your Words in the Bible. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear what Your Holy Spirit is saying to me each time I sit at Your feet. Put in my heart an urgency for prayer - let it be broken by the things that break Your heart. I'm pleading for Your presence in my life, Father God. May my worship of You influence the lives of those around me to long for Your presence in their lives too so that they too will live a life of worship to You. In the mighty and saving name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Here is our reading plan for the rest of the week:

Exodus Reading Plan

Here are my SOAKs for Tuesday and Wednesday:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Exodus 32

Scripture: Exodus 32:11-14
11 But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14 And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

Observations: Moses intercedes in prayer to God on behalf of the Israelites who have sinned against God by making an idol of a golden calf. In his prayer, Moses reminds God of His word spoken concerning Abraham, Isaac, and the people of Israel and His promise to give them the land of Canaan. The Lord relents from the disaster He spoke of bringing on His people because of Moses’ prayer and the truth that God will hold true to His spoken word.

Application: I am a big advocate of praying the Scriptures back to God! This is so thrilling to see that Moses prayed God’s spoken promise back to Him when he interceded for the sin of the people in making the idol. 

Isaiah 55:10-11 confirms to us that God will be true to His word: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Also, 1 John 5:14 tells us, “If we ask anything according to His will He hears us.”

As a great friend and evangelist, Pastor Kenny Greenway preached at a revival service years ago in our church, “You want God to answer your prayers? Pray His Word back to Him!” I have never forgotten his words and have been diligent in memorizing Scriptures that I can pray back to God concerning my life and the lives of my loved ones.

Kneel: Heavenly Father, I thank You that Your word never returns void, but to accomplishes what it is sent forth to do. I thank You for the promises of Your Word that I can stand on while I journey through this world. More than anything Father, I desire to be in Your will, and that those I love would walk in Your will for their lives too. Help us to hide Your Word in our hearts so that we might not sin against You and so that we can pray in Your will. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Exodus 33

Scripture: Exodus 33:11
So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

Observations: God met with Moses and spoke to him clearly and plainly. Moses had pitched his tent outside the camp and used it for the tabernacle. Moses would return to the camp when he was finished meeting with God. But Joshua didn’t depart from the tabernacle. Joshua was drawn into his own worship of God by the example of Moses.

Application: Oh, that my life of worship to God would draw others into their own personal worship of God!

Kneel: Heavenly Father, I thank You for the privilege and honor to worship You! May my life of worship to You be an encouragement and example to others so much so that it would impact their hearts and lives to seek to live a life of worship to You too. Thank You for meeting with me through prayer and through the reading of Your word. Help me to give prayer and Bible reading the priority in my life that is necessary to grow in my relationship with You. I love You and praise Your holy name. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

I hope your heart is as full as mine is today! I'll see you back here on Friday for another Blogging Through the Bible post!

Walking in His Grace, 


  1. I know what it's like to feel like the Israelites and to question if God is there. Even when He meets my needs time and time again, even though He didn't have to, I still often cry out, wondering why He's not helping me. All too often He's in the background, working in ways I can't see, and I need to trust, with bold faith, that He's with me every step of the way, because He is. Thanks for this reminder! I'm sharing this gem today!

    1. Thank you, sweet friend, for sharing your heart here in the comments! I love it that we can encourage each other in the Lord! Sooo thankful for you! Thanks also for sharing my post. Blessings to you!