15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
This morning, I cannot imagine a statement with more radical implications for our Christian lives than what I just read. Moses, the man of God, has just been told by God that God will give Israel success. God will give them the land. God will give them victory over their enemies. God has only said that God himself will not go up with them.
Moses responds to God with exactly the right thing. Moses says to God, if God does not go up with the people, it’s not worth going. If God is not with the people, they are no different than any of the pagan nations around them. Yes, maybe they will have the land and military victory, but if God is not with them, it is all worthless.
Christians, could you pray like Moses? Would you tell God, “I don’t’ want any success if you’re not in it”? Could you tell God that if his presence does not mark your success that the success is really failure? Could you tell God that it does not matter how healthy or comfortable your family is if his presence is not clear in it? Could you ask God not to let your church grow if his Spirit does not shine through that growth?
God is the treasure, not our success. God is the reward, not the land. It means nothing to gain the promised land if you do not have the God who promised it. O how we need to grasp this desire that we see in Moses. We want nothing that does not lead us into the presence and glory of God.