Then he said to Him,
“If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”
– Exodus 33:15
It is possible to experience success and yet be void of God’s presence. If success is what is important to you, you may be tempted to choose accomplishments over your relationship with God. God offered to send an angel with the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land to ensure their success in every venture. No army could withstand them. No city wall could stop them. The wealth of the land lay before them. Everything they had ever dreamed of appeared to be theirs for the taking. The only thing missing would be the presence of God. God said they were an obstinate people, and He would not go with them when their hearts were far from Him.
The Israelites’ experience reveals that victory and great accomplishments are not necessarily a sign of God’s presence. Do not assume that your good health, your profitable business, or the growth of your ministry is due to the presence of God. It may be that you have inadvertently chosen success over your walk with the Lord.
Moses wisely concluded that success, no matter how great, is not a substitute for fellowship with God. Moses knew how quickly worldly achievements could disappear. His security came from his relationship with God. Success in the world’s eyes is not a sign of God’s blessing. It may, in fact, indicate that you have chosen a substitute for intimate fellowship with God. Would you be satisfied to have success, power, and wealth, but not a relationship with God? Do you value God’s presence in your life more than the greatest achievements you could experience in the world?
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.