The crucial element for Christian maturity

Today’s reading:
Exodus 34: 9a

And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us.”  (NLT)

Extended reading: Exodus 34

For the last three months, we have been going through a series called “The presence of God” at our morning English worship every Sunday. It has been a heart-opening experience to understand what it means to have the presence of God in our daily lives.

I realized it is the difference between a new Christian and a mature Christian. Most people come to Jesus when they face a problem. (Not everyone. But for some reason, we look for God when faced with a problem.) Standard procedure is – We come to God, get a promise, hold on to that promise and then claim it when our moment arrives. At least, that is what happened to me.

But after almost 11 years in faith, there is a difference in the way I approach my life. I am no longer seeking promises. (Clarification: I still receive promises from God. But I don’t go looking for them.) I noticed I no longer hold God ransom saying, “You said you will give me this. I am claiming it in Your name. Give it to me.” Today is more about – “Lord, all I need is You. No matter what happens, I want You.”

Moses understood that difference. The difference between struggle and success. The difference between frustration and contentment. He was not looking for a miracle. He wanted the presence of God Himself.

God had introduced Himself earlier in verse 6 – 7

The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,
“Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty.
I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.”

The presence of God brings all this – compassion and mercy! A God who is slow to anger, filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Who lavishes unfailing love to a thousand generations. How about that?

The presence of God is really the solution to all our problems. The advantage is when things go wrong, He is there with you. When things go right, He is with us. He rejoices as well as cares for us. He shares in our happiness. He has shared in our weakness. He knows what it means to be alone. So never think that God does not understand. Jesus never said we will not be alone. He said He will be with us always. God never said that we will never have problems. But He said –

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
” (Isaiah 43: 2)

Are you willing to step closer to Him? Are you ready to trust Him?

What do I pray?
Lord, help me mature in You. Help me seek Your will and trust You in everything in my life. In Jesus’ name.

(If this thought has blessed you, won’t you let us know? Comment here or send us an email to feedback [at] simplyhim [dot] com)

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This thought was part of the Weekly Devotional at SimplyHim.com

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