Traveling this week to Africa for missions trip. I will be gone for two weeks. Many thoughts accompany me as I prepare. I think of Moses famous line in Exodus 33:
“…If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Exodus 33:15
Moses had the assuring Word of God’s presence from the previous verses, nevertheless, he repeated back to God how much His grace was desired and needed. Moses was seeing that to have found grace in God’s sight means that God would surely accompany them on the journey. Something undeserving to Moses could not be compromised — otherwise — not going!
I wondered about how much of this sense formed my mindset. Did I expect this grace? Could I leave without it? Funny that I would compare my little adventure with the great Moses. Regardless, deeply worked into Moses psyche, appeared a desparation — “without Him I can do nothing.”
Did not Jesus remind us of this very truth in John 15:5? “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Oh, to bear fruit, I must abide in Him, abide in the vine. Perhaps the first manifestation of fruit bearing consists in — of all things —
God’s assurance to Moses, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” Exodus 33:14
“We are not creatures of discipline, we are creatures of habit. Of course discipline is necessary, but God does not want us to consider discipline first. Cultivating good habits must come first. As we cultivate good habits of thinking and speaking, we apply discipline to continue In them.”
“When discipline is attached to a legalistic system of works, it is both dangerous and vain. It is a form of bondage that causes people to limit themselves and the Holy Spirit from producing God’s fruit in their lives.” Dr. Carl H. Stevens quote from “Stay Focused to Bear Fruit.”
Pastor Stevens goes on, “If you are struggling in your marriage, exercise divine behavior and walk in love,” He quotes Ephesians 5:2 “and walk in love, as Christ has loved us, and has given Himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.”
When we move toward a “doing” with God’s approval, before the discipline starts, make a habit, like Moses, of being in the right frame, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Abiding in His presence with patience affects the outcome dramatically. Will it be “fruit” bearing — or of no value to the hungry souls that so need it.?
Moses needed a few things to find this rest,
“Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight,
- shew me now thy way,
- that I may know thee,
- that I may find grace in thy sight:
- and consider that this nation is thy people.
Most important to Moses — The way of God. Second, to know Him. Third, to discover the grace God had toward him. Fourth, to remind God of the value of His covenant with his people.
- Job 23:10 teaches “But he knows the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” God knows our way.
- Philippians 3:10 Paul desires, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.” Our goal is to know Him.
- Acts 20:32 reveals, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace,” God’s Word reveals His grace to us.
- Romans 6:14 teaches, ” For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” We abide under a covenant of grace.
In closing, “what must we do to do the works of God?
Faith-rest sums it up.
“The Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Love ya — Thanks for your prayers for our adventure with God!