Exodus 33:15 (NIV)
Moses said to the Lord, “If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
Perhaps you have had the opportunity to watch your child as she wanders away from you in the grocery store. Your watchful eye keeps her in view even though she is not aware of your presence. She may not even be aware that you’re out of her sight. But let her realize you’re not in view and she can begin to panic. What a relief when she sees you! You likely hope she’ll learn a lesson to keep her eyes on you and stay nearby.
I wonder if we’re not more like that little child than we realize. God is always watching. We are never out of his sight or away from his heart. We, however, may lose sight of his presence and wander from his protective care. Better we realize how important his presence is, and make a conscious decision not to shun his presence.
Psalm 139 provides a great deal of comfort in this regard, saying in part, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (v. 7-10).
God’s presence is a gift too precious to ignore. Losing sight of God’s presence is bad enough. We must never abandon him or his gracious presence. Because Jesus suffered the abandonment of God on the cross, we have been spared the prospect of God removing his protective presence from us.