You may, on occasion, have experienced God's presence in much the same way I have. It's not something that can (or frankly should) be "labelled," though I admit it is challenging to fully explain. It is also not something that can be manipulated or synthesized. Rather, it is an authentic and overwhelming sense of "knowing" that He is God, and that He is near at hand -- closer than "close" -- desiring only intimacy with His children (those who have chosen to believe in and follow Jesus). Through salvation in Him, we are granted access to the everlasting throne of grace and all of the rights that He, as God's Son, has acquired for us.

So it shouldn't be surprising then that in those meditative moments of sheer joy, when our Heavenly Father draws very near to us, we are emotionally overwhelmed by the awareness of His "presence," leaving us speechless except in the repetitive, declarative utterance of one powerful phrase: "I know You. I know You, Lord. I know You."

Before the era of the New Covenant (Anno Domini), humankind dared not come into the presence of the Lord, knowing intuitively that to do so would have meant instant death (obliteration), given the intolerable interaction between a perfect God and sinful humanity. Yet He still chose to have a unique relationship with Moses, whose heart was aligned with His. While demonstrating God's power to the Egyptians, who for so long had enslaved His children (Israel), and whose Pharaoh had hardened his heart toward the "God of the slaves," Moses was being prepared to definitively declare the Lord's justice and wrath.

The interesting thing about the relationship, and subsequent dialogue, that characterized God's unique "friendship" with Moses is that the Lord often allowed this chosen Hebrew leader to argue his points, express his weaknesses, and utter his own assessment of God's judgement in even selecting him to lead the people of Israel out of the clutches of tyranny. Still, God had committed Himself to Moses during this 'work in progress,' blessing him in and through their times together by granting access to His divine "presence"... giving Moses an opportunity to "know" Him (to whatever extent was humanly possible). The Lord also knew that He Himself would go before and equip Moses -- allowing him the joy of victory -- despite the fact that it was always God's might and presence that determined the outcome.

(Intriguingly, the Old Testament suggests that the name "Moses" means to "draw out," sounding like the Hebrew term "mashah." However, etymologically, it is most likely derived from the Egyptian word "mes," meaning "son" or possibly "deliver." All of these meanings resonate with the body of these comments.)

"Then Moses said to the Lord, 'See, You say to me, "Bring up this people." But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, "I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight." Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.'"

The remainder of this Scripture passage from Exodus 33:12-14 (NKJV) reveals God's response:

"And He said, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'"

Another prophet, Jeremiah, was also called, blessed, and equipped by the Holy Spirit to know God and to share His divine presence and power with those who would hear His voice and obey. Jeremiah 1:4-10 reads:

"Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.' Then said I: 'Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.' But the Lord said to me: 'Do not say, "I am a youth," for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,' says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: 'Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms….'"

Great mysteries still abound as we consider the co-mingling of our flawed humanity with a perfect and singular God, who has selected and made compatible with His glory those messengers through whom He has chosen to protect and prepare His children. We, at VOMC, have discovered that many contemporary "messengers" of our day are arising from the ranks of those suffering for Jesus on the battlefronts of faith. Then, as we are now in Christ Jesus, all who believe are granted kinship and full access to God's presence; and by such privilege, are fully blessed "to know Him" as a Father knows a child, bestowing all good spiritual things upon us and holding back nothing!

Doug J. McKenzie
Chief Executive Officer
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada