God is faithful to fulfill His promises, but my concern is that we can experience fulfillment and yet not have His presence. We do not want to fall into the trap of seeking for fulfillment instead of seeking God. We need to look at everything we are doing and ask ourselves: “Are we building without His presence? Are we receiving blessings and fulfillment but losing Him?” The blessings and fulfillment are aspects of Him. And we will find everything we need when we seek Him above everything else.
God is love. And we learn from 1 Corinthians 13 that all the tremendous gifts we receive from Him do nothing for us if we do not have His love. Likewise, we can have marvelous blessings from Him. We can see the fulfillment of prophecies over ourselves and others. We can obtain the promises that He has given us. Yet at the same time we can be devoid of His presence.
Read the book of Ezra. After the Babylonian captivity, the Temple was rebuilt. However, those who remembered the original Temple wept with a loud cry. The Lord’s promised restoration was being fulfilled, but they knew that the Lord’s presence was no longer there. When Moses interceded with the Lord after God determined to destroy the people because of their sin, the Lord said, “You can go and possess the land I promised you, but My presence will not go with you” (see Exodus 33:3). That was unacceptable to Moses. Moses did not want fulfillment if it did not include the presence of God.
It should be unacceptable to us to have fulfillment without His presence. The issue is not fulfillment. The issue is knowing Him. The issue is being with Him and dwelling with Him. The blessings that come out of that relationship are aspects of Him. Do you want blessing? He is blessing. Do you want life? He is the life. He is wisdom. He is truth. He is justice. We can cry for breakthroughs and revivals, but those are outcomes of His presence being with us. Let us be like Moses and cry, “Lord show me Your glory! Let me know Your ways. Let me know You. Then I will have everything.”
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.“If I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
- 1 John 4:16.“God is love.”
- Exodus 32:34-35.“My angel shall go before you.”
- Exodus 33:1-3.“I will not go up in your midst.”
- Exodus 33:13-18.“Let me know Your ways that I may know You.”
- Matthew 6:33.“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
- Ezra 3:10-13.“The old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice.”
- “We need the presence of God back in our life, back in our families, back in our churches, back in everything that we’re doing. We need to know as believers how to enter into His presence, how to dwell in His presence and live there.”
- “I can’t think of anything scarier in my life than to end up with a lot of fulfillment and a lot of blessing and no God, no presence of the Lord filling the things that He’s promised to give.”
- “Yes, we do need an outpouring of His Spirit. Yes, we do need restoration. Yes, we do need revival. But it can’t be blessings that we seek. It can’t be fulfillments that we seek. It must be Him that we are seeking. It must be His presence that we long for. That will trigger true restoration and true revival in this country.”
- The desire of Moses was to know God. It was to know the ways of God. Moses was seeking Him. He was seeking who He is. He wasn’t really seeking Canaan land. He wasn’t really seeking deliverance from Egypt. He was seeking God. And I think we have to ask ourselves: “Have we lost that focus?”
- When the Temple was rebuilt, it was devoid of the Shekinah glory that had existed during the First Temple. The Lord’s presence had left and had not yet returned. We must recognize that we can build things even in the will of God. But if we are not seeking Him and His presence above everything else, we end up with fulfillments without Him.
- We do not want to try to rebuild something that looks like a fulfillment. We want to come into His presence and live with Him. The Lord taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). But our focus is not on building a kingdom. By this prayer we mean for the Lord and His presence to dwell with us in this land and on this earth forever.