When Moses was speaking to God in the book of Exodus, chapter 33 he spoke candidly and honestly. The Bible calls this speaking to God face-to-face (verse 11). Later Moses is literally in a heated discussion with God and tells God that if God is not going to go with them when they enter the promised land then He did not want to go. He spoke on his own behalf but included the people of Israel as their spokesman before God. He said, “If your presence does not go with us, we do not want to go. Because, if your presence does not go with us how with the other nations know that we are different and that You are our God.” Good point.
The people of Israel were known as “the people of His presence.” Some say that they early Church was also known by the presence of God. I believe today that we – true disciples of Jesus – are still the people of His presence. Paul speaks about this when he writes: “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creature…” (2 Corinthians 5:17). To note here is the phrase “in Christ.” I believe when we read this verse almost everyone immediately subconsciously thinks and hears “Christ in you.” Of course, when we are born again the Spirit of Christ comes to dwell in us and then we can say, with Paul, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” But this is not what the verse is expressing.
This verse about being a new creation is expressing a truth about us when we are “in Christ.” When we are walking with Him and live ‘in His presence’ as the people of His presence. As we live “in Christ” then we are changed, transformed, and become involved in His cause of seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10). As we work in the family business that Jesus established – as we walk in His presence – we then experience experience His power without which we cannot do what He has called us to do (see John 14:12).
I believe it is time to rediscover this truth about our life “in Christ” so that we can be transformed and not just informed. As we rediscover this truth we will hear the Word of the Lord and not simply receive more information in our heads but we will be transformed as the Word dweels richly in our hearts where all change originates. I believe that only then will we live up to the potenti8al the Lord offers to us as true disciples who have experienced conviction with godly sorrow and repented (see 2 COrinthians 7:8-10). Then we will truly live life and experience life abundantly as Jesus promised.