How addicted are you to Jesus’ Presence? Is it something you could live without? Do you only seek Jesus when you’re in a time of crisis or is it a delight for you to be in His Presence? Over the past few years I have felt my desire for God’s Presence increase in my life. I desire that every Christian would have this same longing. I believe Jesus’ heart is for you to live a life constantly in His Presence.
Notice, I’m not asking you how often you pray or how many hours. I’m not implying that if you don’t seek Jesus you aren’t saved. I do believe, however, that as Christians we should long to be in His Presence. This shouldn’t just be Sunday mornings at church services, but we must have a true hunger for more of His Presence.
When I first began my Christian walk, almost twenty years ago, I wanted everything God had for me. One of the first things I understood was that God wanted me in His Presence. That’s right! God wants you to desire His Presence. He’s waiting for you to enjoy Him. I began to sit in His Presence and read His Word for long periods every day. It was truly an addiction.
My wife, Karla and I, work with people with addictions. One thing we have noticed in people with addictions is they’re not satisfied with yesterday’s fix. They want more for today. In Guatemala most alcoholics believe that they will die from not having another drink. That’s right; if they stop cold turkey they’re sure to die. (A great lie the devil has used to keep them in addiction)
An addict will do anything to get what they want. They steal, lie, cheat, anything they need to do to fulfill the addiction. As we watch people in withdrawal many shake uncontrollably for a few days/weeks.
I too, used to be addicted to alcohol and marijuana. I wanted some every waking minute. I now have a new ‘addiction.’ I’m addicted to God’s Presence! I want it all the time. My longing is to live in His intimate Presence every day. If this would be our addiction other addictions would fall off. Chains would break in our lives.
In the Bible I find that the successful people were the ones addicted to His Presence. Of course, David was a worship leader who loved to be in God’s Presence. Then there was Moses who would talk to God face to face. Abraham was known as a friend of God. The list goes on and on. People who sought His Presence were successful. Do you want to be successful? Seek His Presence daily!
In Exodus 33:7-11 we see three types of people. People who worshiped from afar, people who entered His Presence and people who didn’t want to leave. In which category do you fall into? Are you satisfied just watching others worship or do you want to be a part of the service?
I have been in many worship services where I didn’t want the service to end. Many times in my prayer closet I stay a few extra minutes because I don’t want to leave and do the other things I know I must do. For me, God’s Presence truly is addicting.
1. Worshipers from a distance.
All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. Exodus 33:10
These people saw that Moses was in the tent and the pillar of cloud was there, but rather than seeing what the Presence was for themselves, they stayed at their tent door. They were content just watching what was happening to their leader. They were a part of what was going on but from a distance. They didn’t want to come too close. Possibly since this would cause change. As we come closer to Jesus through worship He begins to form us into His image. This means giving up certain things. Getting into His Presence shifts things in your life.
Most people today don’t want things to shift. They are happy the way they’re living even if it’s not biblical. They want to see how close to the edge they can live without falling into sin. I want to live as far away from the edge as I can. This can only be found in His Presence.
2. Presence-driven People
And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses… So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Exodus 33:9, 11a
Moses was Presence driven. He sought God’s Presence. Before he went anywhere or did anything He desired to know what God wanted. He knew that he had to be intimate with God. He would go back to God’s Presence many times. Any time he needed to know his next step, He would consult with God.
It’s not just leaders who need to be Presence-driven. This should be all of our desire. Allow God’s Presence to direct and redirect your life. There is nothing better than walking in God’s perfect will. The best way to do this is to be driven by His Presence. As you seek Jesus, He will show you His plans and purposes for your life.
3. Addicted to His Presence
And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. Exodus 33:11
Have you seen how your leaders get into the Presence of God? Joshua did. I believe that he saw how Moses got into God’s Presence and so he wanted to have more. He thought if God would speak to Moses as a man speaks to his friend, why wouldn’t God speak to him too? He was in God’s Presence and didn’t want to leave.
Moses would leave the tent, but not Joshua. He wanted what Moses had. He longed to experience everything that Moses did and more. Joshua wasn’t satisfied just watching his leader receive from God’s Presence. He wanted to receive as well.
Don’t be like others who worshipped at a distance. Be like Joshua who so longed for God’s Presence that he would stay longer than anyone else. He wasn’t doing it to try to prove something. He simply was addicted to God’s Presence. He wanted more.
I encourage you to live in God’s Presence. Make it a habit to seek His face. Too often, we only pray when we need something. Go to Him because you long for His Presence. Make Him your only desire.