I miss my mom! She passed away almost two years ago. My mom had a quiet and peaceable spirit. I still remember that feeling I had as we stood in her room in ICU and realized for the first time in my life that my mom carried a quiet strength.
My mom was an incredible cook. Cubed steak, country fried steak and my favorite those cheese biscuits...mmmm! Excuse me. I went away just for a moment!
She would spend most Saturdays preparing a meal for Sunday lunch not just for the family, but anyone else my dad decided to invite. Some days she would feed as many as 15-20 people at one time. My mom had a gift to serve.
My dad had built another kitchen for her in the back room of the house. There were also a couple of sofas, a couple of chairs and a couple of dining room tables all in the back room. She loved family!
NOTHING CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF PRESENCE!
Almost two years later my dad says it is difficult to go back into that room without seeing her. If you ask my dad today what he misses the most about her he wouldn't say her cooking, but he would say her presence.
At our church, we are currently doing a series titled RESTART.
When Jesus breathed his last breath and said, "It is finished” look what it says happened.
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
Have we really given any thought as to what happened here? God took us back to Genesis 1 & 2. God's presence is no longer contained behind a curtain. God's presence is with us. We are in restart mode!
NOTHING CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF GOD'S PRESENCE!
Moses knew that! I love this conversation he had with God in Exodus!
33 The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ 2 And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3 Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey.
Isn't God good? God gives Moses and His people their own personal angel to defeat the enemies that would keep them from the land flowing with milk and honey. That would be an answer to prayer.... END OF STORY!
NOT! Listen to what God says!
But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people.
Then watch what Moses says next. An angel to defeat his enemies wasn't enough for Moses.
15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t PERSONALLY go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me— and on your people—if you don’t go with us?
Here is the most powerful statement of all!
For your PRESENCE AMONG US sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
Even an angel couldn't take the place of God's presence in Moses' mind.
When is the last time you experienced God's abiding presence?
If we are going to be effective parents, effective spouses, effective employees, effective employers, effective Christians, effective people or an effective church the effective presence of God's Spirit must be a reality in our life.
FOR YOUR PRESENCE AMONG US SETS YOUR PEOPLE APART FROM ALL OTHER PEOPLE ON THE EARTH!
One day I will see my mom again and we will experience God's abiding presence together.
But one thing is sure! We don't have to wait until we go to heaven to experience God's personal abiding presence. The veil has been torn.
I encourage you to find a secret place today. Go to that secret place and say to God what Moses said to God.
Exodus 33:18 (NLT)
18 “Show me your glorious presence.”
I'm with Moses! I don't want to do anything or go anywhere without GOD'S...PERSONAL.... ABIDING...PRESENCE!
Will you join me? There is nothing like God's personal presence in our lives.