Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fiery Guidance - Part 1

Wouldn’t it be great to have visual confirmation of God’s presence?

Think of the Israelites.  From the day they set foot in the wilderness after leaving Egypt they had visible evidence, 24 hours per day, that God was with them.

“The Lord went ahead of them.  He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and He provided light at night with a pillar of fire.  This allowed them to travel by day or by night.  And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.”  Exodus 13:21-22 (NLT)

How reassuring is that?!? Real proof of God’s presence.

I’m especially partial to the pillar of fire.  I grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba.  The closest city was about 100 km away.

When you live in the middle of nowhere outside the “urban glow” you understand what “dark” really is.  Your eyes strain to see, but a black void consumes your attempts.  You’re essentially blind. 

As a kid this was a huge problem for me.  I was afraid of the dark. 

Picture taken from
"Old Barn"
One of my chores was feeding the cats.  I know this doesn’t sound terrible, but the cats were housed in our old, ramshackle barn which lay on the opposite side of the farmstead from the house.

The walk to the barn was scary, but at least I had the furry comfort of cats milling around my feet.  The walk back was spine-chilling!  I was convinced hundreds of nasty monsters lurked in the dark recesses of the barn. 

I’d drop the food dish on the floor, turn, shut the door behind me, and sprint to the house, convinced that all the powers of hell were in hot pursuit!

I really could have used a fiery pillar lighting my way! In fact, I could still use one today.  It would be comforting never to have doubts about God’s presence. 

What about you?  Could you use some reassurance of God’s presence in your life?  Consider the following promises from scripture…

  • “…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”    Matthew 28:20

  • “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.”  John 14:16

  • “The Lord is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call in Him in truth.  He grants the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them.”  Psalm 145:18-19

  • “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said, “I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you.”  So we can say with confidence, “the Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.  What can mere people do to me?”  Hebrews 13:5-6

  • “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Still not convinced God is with you?  The Bible is full of promises of God’s presence.  Take time to dig deep into the truth of it and savour the promises you’ll find there.

Do you ever need reassurance of God’s presence?  Share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” below.


Nicole C. said...

I find that it is easier to feel the presence of God in the difficult times because I slow down enough to really communicate. The flood of peace I receive is beautiful. I need to work on slowing down and communicating ALL the time. I don't know if I would trust a visual presence - isn't that strange? It is so outside my experience of God that I would think I was losing my mind.

Carol Henders said...

You make two great points, Nicole. When I'm busy I generally feel farther from God than when I slow down, too. Not trusting a visual presence actually ties in with part 2 of this post (coming this week). The Israelites had God's presence with them all the time, but still turned away from Him.
Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.