“While the cat’s away, the mice will play.” We all know that saying. Perhaps we’ve even breathed a sigh of relief when the boss left. It may not even be that we go into “play” mode when the boss leaves, it’s just that we don’t have to worry about the boss nit-picking everything we do. Even if the boss doesn’t nit-pick, it’s easy to fear that will happen. In some cases, people will worry that we don’t have adult supervision. So, yes, that saying seems to have some truth in it.
If you are in a group of people having fun and you discover that one of the people around is a pastor, how often do you change your language, or actions? Sometimes I think the words pastors hear the most are, “Oh, I’m sorry pastor….” It’s as if the pastor represents the presence of God and now we have to behave. Moses got the understanding of God’s presence right. “The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Then Moses said to him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.’” (Exodus 33:14-15)
Moses realized that the only path to survival in life was the path that God was on. He wanted to be in the presence of God. If God wasn’t going to be present, he didn’t want to go there. That may seem strange to someone who doesn’t really know God; someone who sees God as an eternal kill-joy seeking out people doing wrong so He can “zap” them. When people know God, though, they want Him with them all the time. They recognize that God’s presence brings joy, peace, and strength.
We know God today through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit comes to us when we seek God, turn away from the things we know are wrong, and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Just like Moses, we shouldn’t want to go anywhere that God isn’t. We shouldn’t want to get away from His presence. With God’s presence in my life, I can overcome the problems caused by any difficulty. When I focus on Jesus Christ the difficulties fade into the background and the joy of His presence overwhelms me.
Lord God, continue to be present in my life. Let the Holy Spirit guide me as I live each day. Let me experience the joy of Your presence in all that I do.