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When Moses came down from the mountain, carrying the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he was not aware that his face glowed because he had spoken to the Lord face to face. But when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance on Moses' face, they were afraid to come near him.
When Moses came down from the mountain, he had been with God. He had seen God face to face and he carried with him the glory of the Lord - that is the presence of God. It was the manifest presence of God, and with Moses it was so tangible and real. People could see this thing. There was something about him, and it scared them to death.
I mean that he had gone up there looking like Moses, and he comes down with this glow on his face. They were not really afraid of Moses. They were actually afraid of God, and the glory of the Lord.
When you encounter the living God there is a change that takes place in your life. You are simply changed. God changes you. Part of that change is that you begin to carry upon your life more of the presence and the glory of the Lord. People notice that. They do not know exactly what they are noticing. They are drawn to you. They may tell you their problems and not know why they are doing this. It is simply their response to the presence of God. The more you hang around God, the more you find His presence will be hanging around you.
I have shared with you about becoming a carrier of the presence of God. We talked about how we are a carrier of His presence, and the effect that has on others. Now I want to talk about how to increase the presence of God with you.
I'm going to be looking at it from two standpoints. I am going to look at our responsibility and God's responsibility. What we must do and what God does. Also, simply asking ourselves the question - does my life attract the presence of God?
The most obvious thing is to seek after the presence of God. The example we have of Moses is a great illustration. When Moses saw God face to face, there was something different there. There was a glow that happened to him because he looked into the presence of God.
If you want to increase the presence of God, seek after the face of God. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that "as we gaze into His glory, we are changed from glory to glory." It is all about looking at God face to face. The more you seek after the face of God and go after His face, the more you will be changed.
But you are going to have to take the initiative to do that. This is not one of those things that is going to happen automatically. It is something you must take the initiative to do. You must take the time to spend with Him on a regular, daily basis. I believe this is the most important key. If you are not doing this one, the other stuff will not have a good effect.
This is the first step. Seek first God and His kingdom and righteousness, and everything else will be added unto you. You simply must do this first. Spend time with the Lord daily if you want to enter His presence.
Another thing is an attitude. There has got to be an attitude that we have, and this attitude is that He must increase and I must decrease. We must always focus on Jesus, and not ourselves. I am reminded of John the Baptist who spoke those words. He was in a place of prominence in the eyes of Israel. He was well liked and loved by so many people. John the Baptist was a popular person, but there came a time where his work and influence was over. The reason God used John the Baptist so effectively is that he knew when to step back.
He was talking with his disciples, and they were talking about Jesus. John's disciples seemed to be a little miffed about all the popularity of Jesus. John tried to square them away on this. John said, "He must increase, and I must decrease." The New Century version says this, "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."
If you want to increase the presence of God in your life, you have to become less and let God become greater. You cannot take any credit or glory. John the Baptist knew this. He did not take any glory that did not belong to him. He knew that it belonged to Jesus. He knew that if he stayed in the forefront any longer, that he would be taking glory and acclaim that only belonged to the Lord Jesus.
John the Baptist knew who he was. He knew what God had called him to do. So in that conversation in John 3 with his followers, he would say to them this, "You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for Him. That is all."
You carry the presence of the Lord more when you understand this, and live your life in such a way that you don't have to get credit or glory. No one has to pat you on the back and praise you. What blesses you, is that someone is praising Jesus. We just simply abandon our agenda and give to Him, His agenda. Pursue humility.
The third thing we need to do is to initiate the removal of hindrances. The things that would hinder the glory and presence of God from becoming manifest in our life. In Hebrews 12, it says that we have to run the race that is set before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in our way, and the sin that would hold us back. Sometimes that could mean even the good things in our life - if they are not God's best things. They could be a hindrance.
The last aspect about sin is pretty clear. Obviously, sin prohibits and messes up our attracting the presence of God.
If you are going to increase His presence in your life, you must seek His face. You have to be willing to step back, and let the glory of the Lord shine forth. You have to be willing to remove the things in your life that hinder you. I want to use the term "initiate." Because many times, we don't get rid of things in our life unless we have to. We have to initiate it. It just gets too uncomfortable for us, or we realize it just going to get us in big trouble.
If you are not already pursuing God, I encourage you to begin today. If you are pursuing Him, don't grow weary but instead ferverently continue that pursuit. His tangible presense is well worth the cost.