And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
When I was five years old, I had a nightmare that I have never forgotten. In the dream, an intruder broke into our home and was coming for me. I was so overcome with fear that my strength drained out of me like water pouring on the ground. I could not move or speak. Finally, with everything my five-year-old heart could muster, I cried, “Daddy!” Immediately, I heard my daddy in the adjacent room say, “What?” At that point, I was wide awake, my heart was pounding, and I was unaware it was only a dream. But I knew everything was ok because daddy was with me. Hearing his voice and knowing he was there, the fear dissipated, and my strength returned. I was relieved, secure, and at rest. I went right back to sleep.
Moses was able to lead two million people across a harsh desert environment for forty years because the Presence of the Lord was with him. Jesus may have had this in mind when he told the disciples, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). The trials and cares of life can be heavy, scary, and sorrowful at times, and if we are not careful, will put yokes upon us, making our bodies, souls, and spirits weary. When we try to carry the burdens of life and walk in abrasive, false yokes and responsibilities, it only leads to more stress, anxiety, and weariness. So often, we tend to shrink back in those times, but Jesus invites us into His Presence to learn and follow Him, and there we find the only genuine security and rest.
As wonderful as it is, the Presence of God is not just an atmosphere charged with life, joy, or peace. The Presence of the Lord is the person of the Holy Spirit. And He is called the Comforter and the Helper. He has been sent to help us in everything concerning our lives. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17) We have a precious and priceless inheritance in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Presence of Jesus on the earth (Philippians 1:19). And He desires to come as a dove and rest on us just as He did with Jesus (Mark 1:10). We are created to be a resting place for Him. The Holy Spirit, resting like a dove, speaks of gentleness, peace, and love. These are all qualities of the Father. And we are like children needing our heavenly Father in an increasingly conflicted, unstable, and scary world. If we know the Holy Spirit is with us, even though we may still feel afraid and unsure, we will have the assurance that we will be ok. There is no real and lasting security and rest apart from the revelation that the heavenly Father is with us and for us through His Holy Spirit.
Many Blessings, BW