And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” - Exodus 33:14 God’s “presence” can seem like a vague concept, and hard to experience. If only He would just put on more of a display—show Himself, flex some muscle, dazzle us. But usually He doesn’t, for good reason.
After all, isn’t that what Satan wanted Jesus to do? Turn stone into bread…jump off a tall cliff…worship me and I will make you powerful…dazzle me, Satan said, trying to lure Jesus into a show of power.
God’s method is more hidden. He reveals the profound mysteries of heaven through quieter, humble means.
Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem was a public display, but that was partly to give the Pharisees opportunity to set their intentions in motion. He came to earth as a baby born in humble circumstances, and He died a lonely death on the cross. His moments with His Father were private, alone, or attended by only a few.
David—the man after God's heart—did many mighty deeds and was hailed as a hero. But his greatest moments were in his private dealings with God. As a shepherd boy he spent days in the fields, alone, contemplating the Lord and training spiritually to be the man God could use. As a man, his sins and his enemies drove him into God’s presence, where he wrote, from his heart, some of the most beautiful literature and worship ever read or sung.
Personally, I’ve grown leery of the “big show” and what it can do to us spiritually.
I feel God's presence more profoundly when I am alone, praying. I have experienced this uncanny, mysterious presence, this feeling of being watched, seen, completely understood, and heard.
It’s a very comforting, fulfilling, deeply satisfying and healing experience.
This is the place I want and need to get to more often.
We can run from show to show, church to church, concert to concert, looking for the next spiritually happening thing, but nothing replaces the raw humanity of a believer pouring his or her heart out to God.
[Photo: Kendall Connor, CreationSwap]