Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Knowing the Presence of God

by Jill Southern

If your presence does not go with us do not take us up from here!
Exodus 33:15, NIV

Here in the United Kingdom, we are entering a completely new season, as we gradually ease the Covid-19 restrictions which have been in place for such a long time. For some of us that can feel scary. We may have become used to our present way of life and feel fairly comfortable with it, but now we are being asked to step into the unknown. It can seem quite risky.

What a comfort to know God longs to meet with us and will go with us into the unknown! God created us in His own image because He wanted relationship with us from the beginning. Throughout the entire Bible, we see that God’s desire has always been to dwell with His people. God was drawing His people to a deeper closeness with Him.

God chose to speak to Abraham and drew him into a close relationship. Abraham was called ‘God’s friend’. God made a covenant with him that he would become the father of a great multitude of people, and that through him all the nations on earth would be blessed. This covenant was repeated to the next generations, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, until eventually God raised up Moses to lead His people out of Egypt into the promised land.

The children of Israel were chosen to be a people who knew the presence of God. They were set apart and God said they were His special treasure. Moses was given the commandments of God and chosen to speak God’s words to the people of Israel. He spoke with God, ‘face to face’. Moses knew his need of God, and in today’s scripture declared, ‘If your presence does not go with us do not take us up from here!’

We, as believers today, are meant to be a people of God’s presence. We are meant to be living stones, built together as a dwelling place for God by His Spirit. As with the people of Israel, it is the presence of God which sets us apart and makes us holy. ‘As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ (1 Peter 2:4-5).

It is a breath-taking privilege that Almighty God delights to meet with us. We should not come to Him in a casual or indifferent way. God wants us to encounter Him in the Holy Spirit, but also in truth. Let’s recover the sense of wonder, privilege and joy of being in the presence of the Lord. We need to be hungry for His presence.

As we worship in Spirit and truth, there is a huge sanctifying, releasing impact of the presence of the Spirit which takes us way beyond ourselves. We, who were afar off, are drawn into being a people of the presence of God.

Prayer: Father, I love being chosen to be Yours and that You touch me so deeply. It so amazes me that You should desire me to be Your special treasure and to be set apart for Your presence. Like Moses I want to say, “If Your presence does not go with me, do not take me up from here”. Amen.

Jill Southern is the founder of Ellel Ministries Pierrepont and directed the work for 21 years. She has recently stood down from that role but still teaches on the NETS programme and has the passion to train and equip God`s people to fully walk in their destiny and calling. She is the Regional Director for Ellel Ministries International in South East Asia and China and is also on the Executive Leadership of the ministry.


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