Have you ever read a quote in a book that seems to put words to what you've been feeling in your heart but haven't been able to articulate? That's what happened when I read the above quote in Michael Koulianos' book, Holy Spirit - The One Who Makes Jesus Real.
We need real fire again.
I love the story of Moses in Exodus, when He cries out to God to show him His glory. Just before this, God told Moses that He wasn't going to go with the people of Israel as they journeyed towards the Promised Land. The people had rebelled against God and He would no longer travel with them. He'd send an angel instead.
I don't know about you, but I wonder if I would have been tempted by the offer of an angel as a companion. God promised Moses that the angel would go with him AND that he and the people would drive out their enemies and inherit the promises God had spoken over their lives. I think all too often we can settle for that kind of fruit. As long as we see some supernatural activity (the angel), don't experience too much resistance (enemies being defeated), and step into the prophetic promises over our lives (the Promised land), we're satisfied.
Yet Moses was not satisfied with what God was offering him. His priority wasn't his enemies being defeated or inheriting God's promises. Moses' priority was God Himself.
First of all He pleaded that God would not send him or the people of Israel ANYWHERE, unless God Himself went with them. 'What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?' Moses realised that it was the presence of God that set him and God's people apart from everyone else on the planet. When people met Moses and the people of Israel, they were to recognise that they belonged to God, because GOD was WITH them!
It's God presence that sets us apart too. I long for times when people recognise there's something different about me when they spend time with me. I long for them to recognise that the difference is that GOD is WITH me. I also really want people who walk into our church meetings to recognise that God Himself is in our midst. It's God's manifest presence that is meant to set us apart as churches from every other social gathering on the planet. Whether we're meeting in person or online.
God told Moses that He would go with him and the people of Israel after all, but Moses was hungry for more. This was the point that Moses said to God, 'now show me your glory'. Wow! It wasn't enough for Moses to hear that God's presence would now go with him and God's people. It also wasn't enough for Moses that his enemies would be defeated and that he'd inherit the Promised Land. Moses was not easily satisfied!
Moses didn't just want God's presence for the things he was called to and, therefore, the things God would do for him. Moses wanted God's presence because He wanted God.
God told Moses that His presence would go with him. At that point, Moses prayed for more. The hunger in Moses' heart for God poured out. 'I want to see you God and I want to know you. I want to encounter your presence. This is all about you and I long for you. Now show me your glory!' The stunning outcome of Moses' prayer? God caused all of His goodness to pass before Moses. The God of the universe revealed Himself to a man; a human just like you and me.
The truth is that God is not reluctant to come. He's eager to meet with His people. We know that because He sent Jesus so that the separation between us would be dealt with once and for all. Jesus then sent us the precious gift of the Holy Spirit; God's presence on the earth. God loves to come and meet with His people, and when He comes - when real fire falls - ANYTHING can happen. Honestly, that's what I'm longing for.
The starting place for us as we hunger after God's presence, in our own lives and in our meetings, has to be a desire in our heart for God Himself. I love the incredible things God does when He comes and I am longing to see so much more. More than anything God can do for me though, I am hungry for God's presence simply because I want Him. I long for more of God's presence because I long for God; because I have been made for Him and when He comes I feel most complete and most alive.
I love that God promises to always be with me and that He fights on my behalf to deal with my enemies. I also love that God has given me many prophetic promises for my life, and I can't wait to walk into them with Him. Yet, my prayer is that the deep cry of my heart would be the same as Moses', 'thank you that you're going to come with me. Now show me your glory'.
Let's not settle for less than is available for us. Let's not be too easily satisfied. We need real fire again and we have a Father in heaven who is eager to come. How hungry are you for God's manifest presence? Show us your glory God!
Wendy Mann Equip | www.wendymannequip.com Building Family, Prioritising God's Presence, Extending God’s Kingdom