Experts say you can break a habit in 30 days. I have done it and it works, but healing brokenness in the heart is another story.
I have tried to mend a cherished broken china cup and was never able to glue it back together correctly. I wound up throwing it away, sad that its beauty was gone forever! A broken heart is much more precious and delicate than a china cup. Brokenness is a sin issue. It is either caused by someone else’s sin perpetrated on us, or our sin causing someone else to be broken.
The Israelites had to be deeply broken after 400+ years of slavery. They were the descendants of Abraham who had made covenant with God but had spent generations in slavery in Egypt with people who worshipped snakes, frogs, the sun, the Nile River… and Pharaoh himself. They were bound by a “slave” mentality, not knowing any other life when God broke them free through His power and Moses’ obedience.
I have heard taught that Moses could lead the people out of Egypt but could not get Egypt (its false religion and bondage) out of the people. It was NOT Moses’ job to get Egypt out of the people. It was Moses’ job to point the people to God for their healing and restoration and he did that very well by his personal example. Only God can heal our broken heart, but not without our cooperation and permission.
At the time of the Exodus out of Egypt, God was calling the Israelites to live in His presence. Exodus 20:18-21 “Now all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightenings and the noise of the trumpet and the smoking mountain, and as [they] looked they trembled with fear and fell back and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, You speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die. And Moses said to the people, Fear not; for God has come to prove you, so that the [reverential] fear of Him may be before you that you may not sin. And the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.” (AMP)
Moses sought the presence of the Lord and pitched his tent outside the Israelite camp so that he could dwell in the presence of God and intercede on behalf of the people. It was called the “tent of meeting” because he met with God there. God wanted a relationship with His people like He had with Adam before the fall. (Genesis 3). God was trying to draw all the people to His presence, the only place their hearts could be healed and transformed into His likeness, but they would not come.
Exodus 33:7-11 “Now Moses used to take [his own] tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting [of God with His own people]. And everyone who sought the Lord went out to [that temporary] tent of meeting which was outside the camp. When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the door of the tent, and the Lord would talk with Moses. And all the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the tent door and all the people rose up and worshiped, every man at his tent door. And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Moses returned to the camp, but his minister Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the [temporary prayer] tent.” (AMP)
Joshua observed Moses, and saw his strength came from the presence of the Lord. Joshua hungered for God’s presence also. He would come and sit outside the tent of meeting while Moses was inside. God touched Joshua and raised him up to stand in faith and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Unfortunately, the first generation of those who left Egypt, who rejected God’s presence, died in the wilderness still bound by the idolatry of Egypt. They never entered the land of promise.
An idol can be anything that holds the attention, admiration and trust of someone or something above God. In modern day terms: pride, greed, fear of man which causes one to compromise God’s will, entertainment that contradicts Biblical parameters, self-centeredness, stubbornness, and drug (abuse) are a few examples.
In the wilderness, God showed the people He was their provision for all their needs. He did many miracles displaying His power to care for them and love them, but they refused to see and believe. Rather than acknowledging God Whom they held at a distance, they broke the covenant with Him and grumbled and complained, sinking deeper into idolatry. Today, we can see parallels in the church that closely relate to the Israelites in the wilderness, and that is why so many people are still unhealed and bound.
Some, like the Israelites, will not humble themselves before the presence of the Lord. Instead, they expect the clergy or their pastors to do all the work and bring the word of the Lord to them. If they continue standing “afar off” from God, they will fall as surely as the Israelites in the wilderness. God does not want us dependent on man, He wants us dependent on Him. Pastors are shepherds who lead the sheep to the Lord. We must not put them in a position to “replace” the Lord. In some cases, this has led to the idolatry of man. We cannot make idols of great men and women of God. They are to be a signpost directing us to God, not to themselves.
It is our right as blood bought, children of God to come before the throne of God, with humble hearts. He bids us to come into His presence but so few know what that really means. It is not something to be feared, but highly desired above all things.
Whether I am singing an anointed hymn centuries old or a current worship song, when I lose myself in that place of worship and feel His peace and intense love, I’m in His presence! It is a feeling of being overwhelmed, and yes, it does touch our emotions. The first several times I felt the Lord’s presence I was in worship at church. God honors the hungry and humble heart longing for Him no matter who it is or what they have done.
Now, when I am at home, studying His Word, praying, or glorifying His name I can feel that same presence begin to fall. His glory feels like the heaviness of a warm blanket upon me. There are times I find myself unable to speak or do anything and I become still in His glory. His presence is so wonderful I never want to leave. When I am broken and battered by life’s events, I find counsel, comfort and healing in His presence.
For all who come into His presence, God comforts us and surrounds us in His peace. Our fears and failures melt away in His affirming love and our hearts are mended. His presence is the place of revelation and confirmation; where answers come from the Wisdom of the Ages. It is like the scripture beckons us: “Be still and know that I am God….” (See Psalm 46:10a). (AMP).
His presence is the place where we go from knowing “about” Him to knowing Him! He reveals Himself, His character, to us and teaches us His ways. Like Moses, we come face to face with Almighty God but secure in a safe, loving atmosphere where the world is not allowed to enter. It is a place where the Word becomes alive and is written on our hearts. Exodus 33:17 “And the Lord said to Moses, I will do this thing also that you have asked, for you have found favor, loving-kindness, and mercy in My sight and I know you personally and by name.” (AMP) (Emphasis mine).
No matter what happened to you in life, His presence is the place of healing and hope. It is the place where His promises are affirmed and confirmed. It is the place where His calling is received. His presence is a place of joy unspeakable and it is a place where we feel more and more humble because the Lord of all Creation desires to spend time with us alone.
His presence is also the place where our humanity is exposed and His Holiness is revealed. It is a place where our motives are purified and our purpose is ratified. His presence is the place where our insecurities melt in His arms of strength and we lose sight of ourselves, while He is magnified.
God is calling His people to enter into His presence. We do not have the time to stand afar off like the Israelites did. His presence is the place to prepare us for what is coming in these last days. It is also the place for equipping us to stand strong and shine His light to a dark world.
We must seek His presence now, while He may be found. His presence is the place where we know Him and He affirms that He knows us by name. Dwelling in His presence is our destiny, on earth and in eternity. “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28a. (AMP)