Jake and Matt are sleeping over tonight! As excited as they are, about 8pm their joy will turn to sorrow, and perhaps a few tears, if their taggies, blankies and bed-buddies aren’t here.
As soon as a sleepover is mentioned, Matty grabs his taggies and stuffs them in his back pack. He’s ready to go if his tags are packed, but he won’t leave home without them. The tags are precious to Matthew.
When Matty wakes up, he looks for his tags. When he gets out of bed, the tags are in his hand. He plays with them. He puts them in his trucks. He shares them – sometimes – for a moment. He carries them every place he goes. We often search for them. He definitely won’t go to sleep without his taggies.
Moses was a bit like that. He wasn’t worried about taggies, blankies and bed-buddies, but he wouldn’t go anywhere without God! When God told Moses to lead the Israelites into the wilderness, Moses said:
“If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here… What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” – Exodus 33:15-16 NIV
Moses knew God must be with them every step of the way. God must lead. God must be present. God was Moses’ security, comfort and protection. God made a difference in Moses’ life and the lives of the Israelites.
Without God’s presence, the Israelites were no different than any other group of travelers in the desert. Only the Israelites had a God who led them, spoke to them, and protected them. Nothing distinguishes our lives from the millions of other lives on the planet if God is not with us. If God isn’t leading us, we are lost. If God isn’t protecting us, we’re doomed.
As a believer, God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, lives within you and is with you everywhere you go:
“For this is what the high and exalted One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit.’” – Isaiah 57:15 NIV
Yet, how often are we willing to leave home without a thought of God? How often do we run off to work, school, the grocery, the neighbors, church, or even to Bible study, without asking Him to lead? God is with us, but do we allow His presence to mark us and distinguish us from the world?
Is God your comfort, guide, protection and security? Would you think of getting out of bed without first being comforted by God’s abiding presence? Do you consciously hold on to Him throughout the day? Do you talk about Him? Do you talk with Him? Do you share Him? Do you take Him every place you go? Does your relationship cause others to want to seek God?
One day the boys will give up their taggies, blankies and bed-buddies. Our prayer is that they will always hold tight to the God who loves them.