In the world we live in, it is very easy to fall into preaching, thinking and living by the dos and don’ts of Christianity. It is easier to get into the habit of living a “good Christian life” than to chase God first in everything we do and even before we do anything at all.
Our heart may be in a good place, and our intentions are all lined up with His, but then life comes our way - the busyness, responsibilities, children, unexpected life events, coffee breaks and rushing yet into another meeting. But we think we are doing alright. We are in the job God called us to. We still keep up with the daily verse from the Bible app. We might even turn worship music on in the background while cooking dinner – not that bad right?
In the past year, more than ever, I could be described in these exact words, maybe just except the coffee breaks (I consider myself more of a tea person after all).
I recently did a study on a Bible passage from Exodus 33; it is a dialogue between Moses and God right after the Israelites were unfaithful and worshipped a golden calf. God’s response?
“What a stiff-necked people! I will not go with them.”
When Moses decided to plead for the people before God, he did not ask Him to help them be obedient again, live ‘a good life’, do this or do that. The thing he asked for repeatedly in the passage was for God’s presence to be with them. Moses knew better than anyone at the time how important God’s presence in the life of his people was and so he said:
“If Your presence does not go [with me], do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that Your people and I have found favor in Your sight? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we are distinguished, Your people and I, from all the [other] people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15-16 (AMP)
This response shows that first, he refuses to go somewhere where God would not be with them as they experienced at Sinai. He knew that the Promised Land – the best place any of them would have ever experienced before - was nothing without the One who promised it.
Secondly, he knew that without God’s presence, they would not be God’s people; they would be just like everyone else – humans distanced from God, all on their own and like that they would mean nothing and would achieve nothing.
If you read the whole passage, you can see Moses’ words were quite passionate and bold especially considering he was talking to God Himself. But at that point, he had nothing to lose; this was his last shot to get back what was in his eyes the most important in the whole universe – God’s presence.
Moses was almost obsessed with God and His glory, but that is what God liked about him. It is also the reason why God showed him His glory and went with the Israelites. God does not need our “Godly habits”, daily verses and worship music in the background. Most of all, He wants us to be passionate about Him. He wants us to be obsessed by His character and glory. God’s greatest desire for us is to yearn for His holy presence.
At this point in your life, wherever and whoever you are, the most important thing for you right now is to stop and praise God. Praise Him for anything you think of and be in His presence. The more you do it, the more you will want it. And the more you want His presence, the more you will be obsessed with Him and seek Him; that is the kind of people God likes and favors.