how to experience the presence of god

How to Experience the Presence of God

Exodus 33:11-16

Many people know about God. Few people know God. 

Knowing God’s Ways

Simply knowing about God means knowing God’s works. But to know God intimately is to know God’s ways. Most people know what God does, but they don’t know who God is.

So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:11a).

Moses knew God in a way the rest of the people did not. (See Psalm 103:7.)

Fellowship with God Will Give You Rest

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).

The children of Israel were constantly worried. Why? They saw God part the Red Sea, give manna in the wilderness, and bring water out of a rock. 

But God said of them,

Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.” So I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest” (Hebrews 3:10-11, Emphasis added).

Israel was fine as long as the works of God pleased them. But God’s ways are not our ways. You will be hopelessly confused if you do not have deeper insight into the ways of God.

Walking with God Will Give You Stability

When God opened the Red Sea, Israel sang the song of Moses. “What a mighty God we serve!” (Read Exodus 15:1-21.)

Three days later, they were out in the wilderness, with no water, and murmuring. They criticized Moses, saying, “Did you just bring us out in the wilderness to die?” (Read Exodus 15:22-24.)

You will blow both hot and cold if you do not know the heart and mind of God.

Let difficulty come, something that you can’t understand. Do you then say, “God, why did you do this? How did you allow this?”  if so, you want to hot-foot it back to Egypt because you are fickle. You have no stability.

God’s Manifest Presence Is a Necessity for Life

Let’s look at the context of Exodus 33.

Moses came down from Sinai with the Ten Commandments and found the people dancing around an idol, a golden calf.

God’s wrath was burning against them.

Moses knew God had every right to eradicate them. Moses prayed, “Oh God, do not destroy this people. Have mercy!” Only a person who knows the ways of God knows how to intercede.

In answer, the Lord said to Moses,

Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people” (Exodus 33:3 Emphasis added).

When Moses heard that, a chill went over him.

Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us?” (Exodus 33:15-16a).

You can have provision and protection, and still not have God’s presence. That ought to frighten you. Do not take anything as a substitute for knowing God intimately. 

How to Experience God’s Presence

You know God by directly dealing with Him. Why did God bring Israel to the Red Sea, or to a place where there was no water? We have problems because God wants us to come face-to-face with Him.

You cannot know God by hearing sermons or by reading books about knowing God. You cannot know anybody with whom you do not spend time. To know Him is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him. To trust Him is to obey Him. To obey Him is to be blessed. 

Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian...

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