You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
My passion is God’s Presence. I hunger and thirst for intimacy with God. His Holy presence is my joy and delight. David expressed it beautifully. Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else: I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house, finding the sweet loveliness of his face, filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to him that he takes pleasure in my every prayer. (Psalm 27:4 TPT) David had his priorities right.
At the start of this New Year, let us be marked by the very presence of God in our lives. Let the relationship we have with God not just be one of the many important things but rise to be preeminent over all other things.
How do we grow in the presence of God in this New Year?
In the book Exodus, Moses sets the standard for desiring the presence of God. Presence means nearness to God. His nearness is our good. Moses and the Israelites started in the same place with God, but Moses sought the presence of God whereby the Israelites sought the promise of God. The promise of God is His provision and protection. We observe that Moses simply just asks God for it.
Moses prays for two specific things:
- To know Him more.
- To see His glory.
To Know Him More
Now therefore, if I have found favour in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favour in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” Exodus 33:13 (ESV)
Moses wanted to know God and His ways. He wanted to know Him more and find favour in God’s sight.
Seizing the moment, Moses then responds
And he said to Him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. Exodus 33:15 (ESV)
Moses wanted to know God’s presence. The Hebrew word for presence is face. He wanted to meet God face to face. He wanted God’s face to be with them. God had instructed Moses to construct the tabernacle in the desert as the place of God’s presence. He knew that He would only move if God’s presence was moving – pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.
To See His Glory
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” Exodus 33:18 (ESV)
Moses not only prayed that He wanted to know God, but he also wanted to see His glory. He wanted to see the benefits of God and the beauty of God. He wanted to move toward God for being God, for who He is.
How often do our prayers fall short of these requests? We pray for things, for blessings, safety, stability and provision. But how often do we pray to know Him more and to see His glory? We need to see Him not just for what He can provide, but also for who He is.
Where knowing God and seeing His glory collide is at the cross of Jesus Christ. God’s righteous justice was poured out for the sins of humanity. Jesus absorbed that righteous anger. From that point, the grace of God is now given to all that will believe. So that we will be in His presence forever.
This is the hope we have. God’s goodness is seen in His grace and justice colliding at the cross. The cross is where we see both the benefit and the beauty of God fully on display.
Seek God’s Presence
Do you realise that God’s presence in our lives is the best thing we could ever possess? The riches of this world fade in comparison to the glory of knowing Christ. Those who only seek God for the benefits they can receive from Him become unstable, because their security is based on their circumstances, not on the promises and presence of God alone. Seek God for God…and watch His presence overflow in your life!
As we move into the New Year, let us ask God that we would grow in our experience and expression of His presence, that we desire to meet Him face to face in 2019. That is where our fullness of joy and delight is found forevermore.
Let us value His presence. Let His presence be our preeminent priority in 2019.