“[God] said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Then [Moses] said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here’” (Exodus 33:14-15).
Moses knew it was God’s presence among them that set them apart from all other nations. The same is true of God’s people 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. His presence drives out fear and confusion.
Moses’ attitude was essentially, “We operate on one principle alone. The only way for us to be guided and survive in these times is to have God’s presence with us. When his presence is in our midst no one can destroy us. But without him we are helpless, reduced to nothing. Let all the nations of the world trust in their mighty armies, iron chariots and skilled soldiers. We will trust in the presence of the Lord.”
Consider King Asa, the man who led God’s people to a miraculous victory over Ethiopia’s million-man army. He testified it was God’s presence that had scattered the enemy: “Asa cried out to the Lord, and said, ‘Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us … for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude … So the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa” (2 Chronicles 14:11-12).
As Asa led his triumphant army back to Jerusalem, the prophet Azariah met him at the city gate with this message: “Hear me, Asa … The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you … but when in their trouble [Israel] turned to the Lord God … and sought Him, He was found by them” (2 Chronicles 15:2-4). The Lord reminded Asa in no uncertain terms: “Asa, it was my presence that got you this victory and don’t you ever forget it.”
I cannot imagine how unbelievers can know any peace whatsoever in these perilous times without the presence and assurance of Jesus. Fear and anguish now hang over humankind like a black cloud. Thank God for the nearness and closeness of Jesus in this awful hour. He rejoices over you and will walk with you through everything.