02/13/18 God’s Presence

READING: Exodus 33-36

“If your presence does not go, don’t make us go up from here.”

Exodus 33:15

I cannot imagine what it must have felt like to Moses. God had previously promised to lead His people into the Promised Land, but they had turned against Him by erecting and worshiping a golden calf. God judged them for that sin and then prepared for them to take the next steps toward the land—except that He would not go with them. Lest He “destroy [them] on the way” because they were  “a stiff-necked people” (Exo. 33:3), God would instead send an angel to lead them.

Moses, though, had no interest in the people moving forward if God were not going with them. Indeed, he believed that God’s presence would be a distinguishing mark that set the people apart from the nations: “If your presence does not go, don’t make us go up from here. How will it be known that I and your people have found favor with you unless you go with us? I and your people will be distinguished by this from all the other people on the face of the earth” (Exo. 33:15-16). As the leader of God’s people, Moses did not want to take a step on his own.

I wish I could say that I’ve always felt the same way in my leadership roles. I would love to review my life and say, “I didn’t lead in any direction unless I knew for certain that God’s presence was leading us.” Instead, I suspect that sometimes I’ve led first and then asked God to bless my leadership afterward. I’ve not always been desperate for His presence . . . so I’m deeply, deeply grateful that He’s a gracious God who forgives me and allows me to lead anyway.  


  • Consider this question for yourself: “Am I desperate for God’s leadership in my life?”
  • Throughout this day, ask God to lead you in all that you do. 

PRAYER: “Lord, if You do not lead me, let me not take a step today.”