Your Presence is the Promise

I love teaching Scripture. I love everything about it: the in-depth studying it demands, the intimacy with God it brings, and most of all the treasure of talking about the Word with women.

I remember the night before my first Bible study. I was so SCARED. The only time I had ever spoken publicly was in one of my MBA classes, and let’s just say my group never asked me to present again.

Actual photo of my presentation

So, when God put it on my heart to teach, I was so scared. But something amazing happened. Once I started speaking, the words just flowed, and I know that was the Holy Spirit and not me. After that, I was hooked! I loved it so much that in the beginning, I begged God that I would always teach; I was holding on to it so tightly. And then, one day I read Exodus 33.

Long story short, after delivering His people from the Promised Land, God is FED UP with the Israelites’ rebellion. (Hello golden calf!) He is ready to wash His hands of them. In Exodus 33:1-4, He tells Moses  “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’… But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”

Whoah! We might expect Moses to say, “Thank you God! Promised Land here we come!” Instead he says, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here (Exodus 33:15).” Moses did not want to enter the long-awaited Promised Land, if God wasn’t with him. God was so pleased with this response, that He stayed with them on the journey and beyond.  

In that moment, something shifted in my heart. I realized that as much as I love to teach, I love the Lord more. It became so clear that it was HIS ministry, not mine; I began to pray that I would never take a single step without His blessing and prompting.

 It’s been a year and a half since I taught, and I miss it so much it hurts. I have grieved the end of that season. But I have learned that God is not just a means to an end, even if it is a good thing. He IS the end goal. Intimacy with Him is all that matters.

Much Love,

Natalie

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