Cars and houses. Health and wealth. Bigger churches and multiplying ministries. These are the promises that are held out to believers. But as I read the Bible it becomes clear that this is not what God holds out to us. What He says, over and over, is this: The one thing I will promise you is My presence. Nothing more, nothing less. Is that enough?
Genesis 28:15 “Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your and your relatives, and I will be with you.”
Exodus 1:11,12 “Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ And God said, “I will be with you.”
Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified and do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Even in the Great Commission – He ends it in Matthew 28:20 by saying, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The most heart-breaking chapter in Scripture is Ezekiel 10, when God removes His presence from the Temple. He hovers over it and stops (v. 18) above the cherubim. The feeling is intense – like one look back before leaving. He knows what it means – His presence means everything. Once it’s gone, there’s nothing left of any value in the Temple. It’s just a shell.
So that’s the promise. Is that enough for you? Because seriously, I don’t think it is for many Christians. They want the peripherals. The stuff. But the true saints understood. Moses fought for His presence, at the risk of all else. David understood that it was the difference between him and Saul. Elijah drew a line in the sand on Mt. Carmel and declared it to be the only thing that mattered. It allows you to live away from the spotlight, to be poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice, never to be seen again. You can let a brother have the upper hand without fighting for your rights. Praying for the “competing” church down the street won’t be a problem.
I can honestly say, that for me, I have come to the place where it is enough.