Experiencing God’s presence in worship
We’ve all had experiences where we’ve left church on Sunday or a worship retreat or Bible study of some kind and felt God’s presence as we worshiped Him. It’s a wonderful experience and we don’t want that feeling to end. But yet, how long does it take until we fall into sin or go back to living like before? Usually not too long. If the presence of God was visibly and tangibly around you all day, every day, do you think you’d fall into the same trap of sin? Before you’re too quick to answer, let’s look at the cloud of the Lord and Israel.
The Pillars of Cloud and Fire
The Bible tells us that throughout all of Israel’s journeys, God’s presence was with them – in a tangible way. They could see His glory in the cloud that filled the tabernacle by day and fire was on it by night. From the moment they left Egypt all the way through the books of the prophets who foretold of another exodus out of Babylonian captivity, the Cloud of the Lord held both theological meaning and function.
The Cloud of the Lord represented God’s presence in the following ways:
- guidance and leading Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness into the promised land (Exodus 13:21; Numbers 14:14, Nehmiah 9:12; Paslm 78:14)
- a sign that the nations was to break camp and continue their journey or to stop and set up camp (Exodus 40:36-37; Number 9:17-23)
- protection from Pharaoh and his army (Exodus 14:19-20)
- the personal presence of God/the angel of the Lord was among them (Exodus 13:22; Exodus 14:19, Exodus 14:24, Exodus 40:38, Numbers 9:15-16)
- it summoned them to battle (Numbers 10:34-35)
- it summoned them to worship (Exodus 33:10)
- the cloud both concealed God glory and was a manifestation of it (Exodus 16:10, Exodus 19:9, Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:21, Exodus 24:15-18, Exodus 34:5, Deuteronomy 4:11, Deuteronomy 5:22)
- provided revelation (Exodus 33:9, Psalm 99:7)
- a dwelling place of God (Numbers 9:18, Numbers 9:22, Numbers 10:11)
- God dwelt over the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:2
- a visible manifestation of God for installing the 70 elders and Joshua into service (Num 11:25, Deuteronomy 31:15)
- inaugurated the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35)
- provided shade from the sun and protection from storm (Number 10:34; Psalm 105:39, Isa 4:5)
- at night it became a pillar of fire to give them light (Exodus 14:20
Choosing Idols Over God’s Presence
Wherever they went, the cloud of the Lord led them. And still the nation ended up turning to idols. As they left Egypt and met God at the mountain, they stood as a nation and said they would do what God wanted them to do – they would obey his commands. They said they God would be their God and they would be His people. But when Moses goes to the top of the mountain for 40 days they get Aaron to make a ‘god’ for them to worship. Throughout the Old Testament they struggled with idol worship.
Fill Us with Your Glory
As believers, God dwells within us. We are His temple. If each of us walked around with the cloud of the Lord and fire by night as a meter for how much our lives reflected God’s glory, would there be a big cloud or a tiny one? Would the fire by night be burning bright or just a little flicker.
Father, fill us with your glory and may it shine bright in a lost world that desperately needs you.
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The Valentine’s Collection
Beloved Collection: This Valentine’s Day, let your spouse know how much you love them. Based on the Bible Verse, Song of Solomon 3:4, the bottom line reads, “I have found the one whom my soul loves.”
I have found the one whom my soul loves: Based on Song of Solomon 3:4
God’s Plan: God’s design for marriage is one woman, one man Woven into oneness with Christ – this is God’s plan
Greatest Valentine’s: On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love and there’s no greater love than Christ who laid down His life so that we can have eternal life. Includes John 3:16.
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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
- Conversation Starters.
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
- Romance Builders.
- Relationship Builders.
- Personal reflections.
- Date ideas.
- Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.
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