The Scripture ~ “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
The Spiritual Focus ~ “We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness.” – Richard Rohr
The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale ~ I am here, Exhale ~ God is here
The Devotion ~
The story around today’s scripture from Exodus finds Moses talking with God for a third time, pleading and arguing with God, about the safety of his people. Moses is asking God to send an angel to protect the people of Israel as they wander in the wilderness. Moses leans heavily on his close relationship with God, is very convincing, and God relents and promises Moses that God will lead them. However, God’s very presence will go with the people, not an angel as was requested, but God’s very Spirit would go with them and give them …rest.
In Old Testament stories God’s presence was depicted as being in a burning bush, in the wind or in clouds that followed the people. These images that communicated God’s presence were intended to guide God’s people toward God and make God’s presence known. The stories that use these images are intended to increase our awareness of the depth and breadth of God’s presence and remind us of the promise of God’s presence and rest.
C.S. Lewis noted in his book Miracles that “our awareness, or lack of it, does not change the fact that God is present.” It is God’s life breathed promise of presence that drives God’s redemptive energy in our direction.
Practicing awareness of God’s presence is a faith practice. It happens in worship, in service, in prayer and in our breath. When we are able to be calm, alert and present in the moment, we can experience God’s presence—God’s healing presence—and we rest.