Exodus 33:12-16 KJV  And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.  Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.  And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.  And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.  For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
Moses is one of the most compelling characters in the Bible. He went from orphan to being raised as a prince in the palace of pharaoh, to a murderer on the run to a lowly shepherd. It was then, at what could be considered the low point of his life that Moses encountered what would be his legacy, the presence of God. It was God’s presence that made Moses distinct, separate, and distinguished. It was also God’s presence that passed over the homes of the children of Israel when the destroyer took the lives of all the firstborn of Egypt. When pharaoh’s army pursued the children of Israel to kill them, again the presence of God kept a safe distance between them and pharaoh…at the appropriate time the presence of God released the Red sea, drowning pharaoh and his army. After all this Moses had just one question for the Lord. “This grace I have with you which has resulted in your presence being with us, your presence protecting us, your presence providing for us, your presence making us distinguished among all the people of the earth…will we continue to enjoy this grace?” If not, Moses basically said, “I would rather spend the rest of my life in the desert with your presence than to spend one day in the land of milk and honey without it.” Moses recognized that without the presence of God in his life it was useless for him to pursue anything.
As New Testament believers we have learned much about grace and I thank God for all the revelation on the subject however I believe we have neglected the one aspect of grace that we should be unwilling to live without…the presence of God!
It was no accident that God favored Moses with His presence. Look at their encounter in Exodus chapter 3:
Exodus 3:3-4 KJV  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.  And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
The key to Moses enjoying the guidance, divine order, provision, protection, rest, and direction of God’s presence is that he turned aside. Moses did not allow anything to distract him, but rather fixed his heart on responding to God in the moment. There are opportunities for us all to experience this grace if we seek Him with all our hearts. This “hunger” and “thirst” for God always puts God’s integrity on the line. Begin to pursue the grace of His presence daily and you will enjoy His path for your life and pleasures forevermore!
For further reading: Ps.16:9, 11; Ps.27:8, Gen.21:22; Joshua 1:5-6; Jer.29:13
Hebrews 12:1-3 TPT  As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life's marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.  We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith's perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!  So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls, so that you won't become worn down and cave in under life's pressures.
The Passion Translation does a marvelous job representing life as a marathon. In many races there are impediments to challenge the runners endurance. There are hurdles, obstacles, barriers, hindrances, snares, distractions and other harassments along the way. It is interesting that when you pay careful attention to what hinders the runner in the race of life, verse one identifies the most challenging impediments anyone faces are internal. Wounds that pierce us and sins which cause us to fall. We realize what the sin is...sin is transgression of God’s law, it is missing the mark which is conformable to God’s will. Today let’s look at some common wounds that could hinder your race. In some cases wounds encountered in life are due to rejection and are accompanied by a deep sense of self-negativity, feeling that “No matter what I do, I am never good enough.” Still other wounds cause the feeling of an inability to act independently. These wounds come from the experience of someone with power over you being too controlling, constantly disapproving of your decisions and then punishing you for unclear reasons. The heaviest wounds I have dealt with in providing Biblical counsel are those related to a lack of affection. These people feel abandoned, pushed away or shut off. It can lead to a feeling of being extremely alone. They can feel as though no one sees them as important or understands them. All wounds from the past are potentially dangerous and can slow you down in life. We must remove every natural obstacle or hindrance to prepare ourselves to run unencumbered.
Though it always seems difficult to overcome deep wounds verse 1 gives a simple solution...let it go. In other words forgive and move on. It is important here to explain what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness does not mean what happened to you was justified and forgotten. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the person who hurt you is deserving. No one deserves forgiveness...they deserve what they gave. The one who hurt you may very well have been wrong but it is not that simple. They may truly be a cruel, manipulative, controlling, lying, bully. However, forgiveness causes us to consider how they got that way. It doesn’t excuse their behavior but it does give some insight.
Letting go means we give up our rights to justice, we give up the right to condemn them, release them from all acts of vengeance and hand it over to God. Forgiveness requires bravery, love and most importantly faith. Faith is the secret to overcoming and completing our race. Faith is looking and moving toward the future not paralyzed and stagnated by the past. The example given in our study passage today is of Jesus who for the joy of the fulfillment of His faith endured agonizing afflictions and humiliating personal attacks and today is seated in the exalted position of the right hand of the throne of God!
NOTE: Operating in a place of giving forgiveness as a member of Jesus’ body is mandatory. We stand in the position we stand in because of the forgiveness He acquired for us. We can’t give what we don’t have. But we have and live in it and must freely give it as a crucial part of our character. Stop and consider the pain we have inflicted on others and our need to receive forgiveness. Holding back hurts us more than the person we feel is underserving.
For further reading: Mat.5:23-25;6:12, 14-15, Mk.11:25-26; Lk.17:3-4
A couple of days ago I was reading Hebrews chapter 11 and I got stuck in verse number 4. Here in the chapter commonly known as the “Faith Hall Of Fame” the very first individual mentioned is Able. The chapter begins by giving a description of faith, most notably making mention that God, the Author and Finisher of our faith, through the application of His faith used things that were invisible and spirit to create a world that is visible and physical. So faith then is the bridge between the spirit realm where God lives and the physical realm where man lives. Also, whatever there is in this visible physical reality that blesses us, we have the spirit realm and God to thank for it.
Abel’s act of faith was his offering. The scripture says, “By faith Abel offered unto God…” Abel believed God existed and he was fully persuaded that the increase of his flock was from God. It wasn’t his wisdom and skill as a shepherd only but something far more wonderful and miraculous had occurred. Abel’s offering was accompanied by an uncompromising attitude to recognize and honor God with the best of the firstlings of his increase. I recognized that when I give an offering it is my reverence for the operation of the system God established allowing me to prosper. Thank you Lord!
What really caught my attention though was that Abel’s offering prompted God to testify! God spoke about the excellence of Abel’s offering. I can hardly write about it without tears coming to my eyes. O’ that my life would warrant the testimony of God Almighty. I want to offer to God worship that is worthy of His testimony. I know that you can relate to me when I say ‘in all that I do, my hearts desire is to please God.’ So I know then that what we do must be done in faith as an offering to God, purposed to diligently seek Him. My prayers are an offering, my Bible study is an offering, my praises are an offering, my tithes are an offering, and even my relationships with others is an offering to the Lord and should acknowledge He is and He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Why don’t you say this with me ‘Lord may my actions and thoughts always acknowledge and obey your commands.’
Abel’s life was short, however because of God’s testimony his life still speaks instruction to us today. What does your life say?
For further reading: Hebrews 11:4-6; Gen.4:1-16
Flex your spirit
Proverbs 18:14 AMPC 
The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak
and broken spirit who can raise up or bear?
In the previous
devotional we discussed nourishing your spirit with words of faith and
refusing profane and old wives fables. The
ears and the eyes taste words like the mouth tastes food. Words are either putting in you what bears
you up or wrong words can totally deplete you.
During times of intense adversity put yourself on a diet of good solid
Word of God. Read your Bible in faith,
believing God imparts to you what you need to be strong.
Ephesians 3:16 TPT 
And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory
and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his
divine might and explosive power.
principle regarding the strengthening of your spirit is exercise.
1 Timothy 4:7 KJVS  …exercise
thyself rather unto godliness.
How do you exercise
spiritually? One of the best ways to
exercise spiritually is with your confession.
How did you get born again? You
believed with your heart AND confessed with your mouth. You said it with your mouth. Joel 3:10 exhorts the weak people say “I am
strong.” Your words can minister life
and free you from the prison of fear, anxiety and depression.
Another way to
exercise is speaking in other tongues. Paul
teaches the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 14:14 “…if I pray in an unknown
tongue, my spirit prayeth…” And Jude 20
encourages “…building up yourself…praying in the Holy Ghost.” Building up is akin to bearing up yourself,
or sustaining yourself.
Worshipping God is
another way to exercise your spirit.
Jesus said in Jn.4:24 “God is a
Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” Worship is an exercise in the spirit and when
you worship you connect with God in the miraculous realm in which He lives,
moves, speaks and works! As you
strengthen your spirit you order your life first from the spirit to the
physical by faith and you consistently follow Him, clearly hear Him, and
faithfully experience His works.
For further reading: Luke
Proverbs 18:14 KJVS  The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
This is such a simple truth that is ignored in treatment of illness, addiction, weakness, emotional trauma, and fear. Medical science, mental health professionals and drug treatment centers know a lot about the physical and the mental aspects of health but the Bible says that it is the spirit that sustains you. The Amplified Classic reads:
Proverbs 18:14 AMPC  The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear?
I love this translation! It is a strong spirit that will sustain you in times of a physical attack, pain, weakness or other trouble. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines sustain as “to hold under, to bear, to maintain, to keep alive, to support (as a foundation).” No wonder when the spirit is broken…there is no remedy! The foundation holds everything else up, supports everything in all situations. This has been the missing link for many who have endured ongoing suffering. Praise God I want to announce that heavenly assistance and relief is available and all qualify!
What we know is that our adversary, the devil as a roaring lion…seeks whom he may devour. Lion’s target the immature and the weak. He is just waiting for you to get weak enough or far enough away from the pack. Please know, the devil doesn’t just want to bother you, he wants to kill you, destroy your family, and steal your finances! This is serious business!
We also know that there is spiritual might and authority to trample over all the power of the wicked one! The just live by faith. Faith is the spiritual power that moves mountains, splits seas in two, stops the mouths of lions and conquers giants. Faith however seems to have been “stronger” at times in our lives and weaker at other times. So how do you get your spirit strong, hence your faith strong if it has become weak?
1 Timothy 4:6-7 KJVS  If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.  But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
So in order to maintain a strong spirit, you must be nourished well! Not only do you need to be nourished but also you must refuse spiritual junk food. The word profane means “to treat something sacred with irreverence or contempt.” Of course, old wives fables are superstitions and legends that have no actual connection to truth. Some things we listen to drain us of the spiritual strength we need to sustain us. Refuse irreverent talk about church leadership, contempt for what God considers sacred and holy. Don’t allow yourself to even consider old wives fables of good or bad luck, no its got nothing to do with luck. Your life has nothing to do with luck. There is a strong spirit on the inside of you that determines your destiny! Not some chance occurrence but the deliberate application of spiritual force to your situation will sustain you again and again and again.
For further reading: Hebrews 11