Scripture provides endless examples of how the presence of God empowers His children to live for Him. One of the most powerful of these examples is found in the life of Moses.
Moses was convinced that without God's presence in his life, it was useless for him to attempt anything. When he spoke face to face with the Lord, he said, "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence" (Exodus 33:15). He was saying, "Lord, if Your presence is not with me, then I'm not going anywhere. I won't take a single step unless I'm assured You are near!"
Moses knew it was God's presence in Israel that set the people apart from all other nations. And the same is true of the Church of Jesus Christ today. The only thing that sets us apart from nonbelievers is God's presence “with us”—leading us, guiding us, working His will in and through us.
Moses did not care how other nations received their guidance, formed their strategies, ran their governments or directed their armies. He said, "We operate on one principle alone. The only way for us to be guided or governed, to make war and survive in this wasteland, is to have the presence of God with us!
"When the Lord's presence is in our midst, no one can harm us. But without Him, we are helpless, reduced to nothing. Let all the nations of this world trust in their mighty armies, their iron chariots, their skilled soldiers, their new weapons. We will trust in the manifest presence of our God!"
God answered Moses' bold statement: "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest" (verse 14). What an incredible promise! The Hebrew word for rest here is "a comfortable, quiet repose." God was saying, "No matter what enemies or trials you face, you will always be able to find a quiet rest in Me!"
Think about this: If a church has the manifest presence of God in its midst, there will not be any hustle or bustle, sweating or striving. The worship meetings will not be hurried along, with three songs, an offering and a short sermon. Instead, there will be a calming peace, a quiet rest—and everyone who walks through the doors will sense it!