May 2022

In His Presence

I AM WHO I AM. When Moses encountered God at the burning bush, and God commissioned him to lead the Israelites to freedom from slavery in Egypt, he asked the Lord, “Who shall I say has sent me?” God answered, “I AM WHO I AM…tell them: I AM has sent me.” (Exodus 3:1-14)

Who is this I AM? Have we encountered this Presence? He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — a personal God. He is the author of life — Creator God. He is the Covenant Maker — a Promise Keeping God. He is the Resurrection and the Life – an eternal God.

Are we actively seeking Him? Do we know Him personally? Do we honor Him specifically? Are we eternally indebted to Him as Creator, Savior and King? This I AM is who, how and why we are, and His presence changes everything. We live our whole lives being changed by this Presence into a reflection of I AM.

His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8) Nevertheless, He invites us to know Him, and He has given us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to recognize His ways and to enlighten our minds to understand His thoughts. He is willing to disclose His heart to us. Are we willing to live in the reality of that mystery? Are we first and foremost seeking His Kingdom? Or, do we insist on making our lives here the context in which we define Him?

Some years ago, my sister was leading a Bible Study and she said, “God equals everything.” On one side of the equation is everything to do with our lives (husbands, children, careers, health, resources, etc.), and on the other side is God. If we are not actively believing, pursuing and loving God, we find ourselves on the wrong side of that equation. Distracted by so many things, we end up limiting God to the context of those distractions, those trials, those heartaches. God, the great I AM, is the reality in which all things exist. (Hebrews 2:10)

When we are in His presence, when we encounter Him, our perspective is shifted, our reality crystalizes. And, like Moses, we find friendship, purpose, heart motivation, and the power of love. Moses wasn’t perfect. He did not see himself as qualified to be the voice and hand of God. What he did see, what he did encounter, was the presence of God, and he was never the same. In obedience, he did lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. He received the Ten Commandments, the law of love. He received the architectural design for the Tabernacle, the place of sacrifice and communion. He governed the tribes of Israel for 40 years. He was a friend of God, and, when his days were numbered, God Himself buried him.

Am I willing to pursue and encounter I AM? Or, am I pacified by what I think I know of Him? Having come this far by faith, I want to be found on the right side of the equation. I want to be satisfied in His presence. So, I pray with the psalmist:

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:5-11)

Until next week, beloved, seek Him while He may be found. May you find the All in All.

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