Thursday, December 1, 2016

GOD’S PRESENCE IN THE WILDERNESS

When God’s presence is missing, everything is out of kilter, with no guidance or righteous teaching. Everyone becomes a law unto himself, doing his own thing. This is a picture of many Christian homes today: everything out of order, with no peace or rest, everyone doing what he or she pleases. The Lord in His mercy grieves over such disorder.
Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. God’s promises are unchangeable, and His Word pledges, “For the rest of your life, if you will continue to seek Me I will be with you. When you cry out I will be found of you” (see Jeremiah 29:13).
This isn’t some complicated theology. Anyone can have the abiding presence of God if he or she will simply call out in faith. We are promised, “The Lord . . . will be found of you” (2 Chronicles 15:2). The Hebrew word for found here means, “His presence coming forth to enable, to bless.” In other words, “Reach out to the Lord with your whole heart, and He will manifest His presence. It will be an almighty power enabling you to be steadfast and fearless.” Only when God’s presence is upon us can we behold and comprehend His glory.
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, God manifested His presence to them through a cloud. This cloud was a physical manifestation of God’s pledge to be with His people. It covered the tabernacle night and day, and it acted as a guide for every undertaking. When the cloud moved, they moved, and when it stayed, they stayed. The people never had to try to figure out their direction or future. They put all their confidence in that visible cloud of the Lord’s presence.