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 Your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (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 that you’re beside me!”
Moses knew that God’s presence in Israel was what set the people apart from all other nations. And the same is true in the church of Jesus Christ today. The only thing that sets us apart from nonbelievers is God’s presence — leading us, guiding us, working his will in and through us.
Moses was not concerned about how other nations received their guidance, formed their strategies, ran their governments or directed their armies. His philosophy was, “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!”
God answered Moses’ bold statement in this way: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (33:14). What an incredible promise! The Hebrew word for “rest” here means “a comfortable, quiet repose.” God is saying, “No matter what enemies or trials you face, you’ll always be able to find a quiet rest in me.”
A church body that has God’s presence in its midst will live, move and worship in a quiet confidence in the Lord at all times. The same is true for every individual Christian. If you have the presence of Jesus in your life, you will experience God’s divine order. You’ll have a peace and a calm, with no fretting or anxiety, no running to and fro seeking guidance, no sense that the bottom is falling out. What a wonderful way to live!