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Presence or Promise?

In my meditations this morning I came across this passage in Romans 5 as I read it certain words jumped off the page at me. I encourage you to read these scriptures it will make what I say make more sense.


Breakfast and my Bible :)

The words that waved at me were:


1. By faith we are justified

2. By faith through Christ we have peace

3. Also by faith through Jesus Christ, we have access to grace to stand in and rejoice in the hope of God's glory.


I saw these truths and grabbed hold of them, and I felt hope in me rise. Then I continued to read- and the hope in my heart was challenged with fear. I started to find another scripture to read because I don't want to rejoice in suffering, and that whole concept does not bring hope to mind. Then the Lord spoke to my heart and asked me what was wrong - like He didn't know. His question was meant to prompt the searching of my own heart. I opted out, I picked up my Kindle and started playing Farmville. I was not able to resist His invitation to look at myself in His mirror. God's mirror shows you the reflection of your soul, that is how He sees us, we are precious souls to Him.


As I turned and looked, I did not understand what I was seeing. I was very distracted by the fear that hoping in Him would end up in disappointment. I then saw an image of my head being pushed under water until I could not take it anymore. The hand that pushed me under eventually let me up long enough to catch my breath and then it pushed my head back down and repeated the process. That visual disturbed me, and I wondered what it meant.


I felt the gentle presence of God - no judgment and He said to me " That is how you see me." When you have been traumatized you develop what I will call a "traumatized mind." All things and everything gets processed on some level or another through the eyes of trauma. I saw the tests and trials that the Lord designed for my good as waterboarding aka torture. Wow... that is heartbreaking and yet liberating to discover. Who would submit to a God who holds their head under water? Who tortures you just for the heck of it? Not me! So I would avoid God's presence and his glory and search for His promise. His promise was the answer in my heart to the relief from my pain, and so that is what I wanted from God more than anything else. I fixed my mind on finding God in the end instead of finding God in the midst. There are grace and peace that I have access to that allows me to stand in hope and rejoice in the in my suffering as I wait for God to reveal His glory to me in whatever area of my soul is crying out for Him.


I found myself in Exodus 33 at His leading, and I was rereading the story from a different perspective- I love the Word of God for that. The Hebrews in this chapter had annoyed God to the point where He showed Moses the direction of the Promised Land and said:" I am not going with you all, take those crazy people over to the Promised Land please and thanks, sir!" Moses and the people mourned and lamented they did not want God to leave them on their own. Moses trusted God for his every move, he knew it was only God that brought them that far and only God could get them there safely. The Hebrews functioned from the eyes of a traumatized mindset because of all they had suffered at the hands of their oppressors in Egypt. They fought God every step of the way murmuring and complaining and more. They did not trust God. Moses did not suffer the same fate as the Hebrews he had his own issue he suffered from an identity crisis - he was born a Jew but raised as an Egytpian. He spent many years on the backside of the mountain being deprogrammed enough to meet God in the desert. Moses knew the Lord - he already met Him in the desert at the burning bush.


In this fallen world there are victims and oppressors and how you came up determines where you fit in. The truth is that at the core of these personalities there is a lack of God's presence and knowledge of God's character. This requires a meeting place with God where transformation can begin, where God reveals himself to us, and we can longer remain comfortable in our fallen state. Moses saw that bush - he heard God's voice and there is no undoing that. As I read on in Exodus 33 I noticed other things about the Hebrews and Moses. Moses pitched a tent and called it the The Tent of Meeting and went inside to seek the Lord. The Hebrews stood the doorway of their own tents and watched as the glory cloud of God's presence fell on the tent. While inside Moses and God reasoned and "they spoke as friends" Exodus 33:11.


Moses convinced God not to leave them he wanted the presence of God more than the Promised Land. He asked God to show him His glory - he wanted more of GOD!

The Hebrews who stood in the doorways of their tents and saw the presence of God stayed focused on the promise as an end to their pain and suffering. Moses, the one who experienced the presence of God, was salivating for more of God. It was God's glory aka WHO God is that transformed Moses not WHAT God gave him. Moses desired the presence of God as the remedy for all things and not the promise. We will bargain in our hearts with God saying:


"God if you __________ for me then I will see your glory and experience your joy and abundant life."


As if the only way you can experience the goodness of God is in the absence of adversity. The transformed mind seeks God's presence with the hope of seeing His glory revealed in the midst of difficulty. The pain we experience is really the revelation of the absence of God's presence in that particular area of our lives. Our souls cry out for His glory to pass by and reveal His character to us in that place.


Whew --- that is a lot!


The Lord prompted me to go back to Romans 5 and read it again, He reminded me that Jesus is our "Tabernacle of Meeting" he is our all-access pass to God's presence, so we don't have to stand in the doorway of our tents and watch. He is the Bridge over traumatzied waters welcoming me to come to the Throne of Grace to talk with God as friends.


John 15:15 New King James Version

15 "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you"

Now I know I can talk to God and He certainly speaks clearly to me, but this I see is deep calling to deep. He is healing the way that I relate and respond to His voice to reveal even more of Himself and place His Son in this area so I can connect from a place of healing and not fear of being waterboarded.


I truly thank you Lord for this renovation of my soul, move in and occupy this space in me both now and forever.


Ask yourself these questions:



  1. Why do we cheat ourselves out of the Tabernacle of Meeting presence of God?

  2. What area is Jesus trying to build that bridge to the Father's glory in your soul?

  3. What do you see in your reflection of God's mirror to your soul?

  4. Pray for God's revelation and understanding, allow Him to lead you the truth.






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