Note: The AMI Quiet Time Devotionals from October 24-30 are written by Andy Kim. Andy, a graduate of Northwestern University, is about to complete his M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is currently serving as a staff at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco, CA.
Devotional Thought for Today
God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts.”
Growing up with a sister, I was always jealous of her being the older one. So I remember how I couldn’t wait to become a teenager like her, so I could hang out later and drive around with my friends. Then when I became a teenager, I couldn’t wait for college and be out of the house. In college, I couldn’t wait to start working and making my own money. Even in the small tasks in life, whether it was racing to the shortest line at the store or the fastest lane in traffic, I lacked the ability to be in the present. Sadly, this mentality began to manifest itself in my spiritual journey as well. For many of us, we can become so focused on tomorrow, that we struggle to be in the present. More importantly, we miss out on how God is speaking to us— today.
But the writer in this passage speaks about “Today.” In fact, the writer uses the word “Today” five times as he emphasizes the future promises that are in store for those who believe. C.S. Lewis reconciles how we are to properly understand being in the present while looking toward the future: “God would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity or with the Present–either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.”
As C.S. Lewis states, the only future that we focus on is what awaits us in eternity. Until then, we are to seek to experience His presence in our lives—today. The future tempts us with its worries and even dreams, but may we be anchored in God’s faithfulness today. As He taught the Israelites through the gathering of manna, to experience God’s provision daily, may we be thankful for what God has in store for us today. For the present blessings are only the guarantees and glimpses of what’s to come in eternity.
Prayer: Father, give us this day, our daily bread. Soften our hearts so that we may be able to hear You speaking to us today. Help us to be faithful with what is given to us today. Thank You for Your mercies that are new every morning for us.
Bible Reading for Today: Mark 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Exodus 33:15-18: Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
Questions to Consider:
- What is Moses’ contention with God in this passage?
- What is the significance of God’s presence to Moses?
- How can we apply this in our lives?
- The context of the passage is that Moses is wondering if the Israelites would face the judgment of their disobedience. God responds by saying that they would indeed enter the Promised Land. However, Moses in his conviction says he would rather not go unless God’s presence went with them, even after 40 years of wandering in the dessert. Moses found God’s presence more valuable.
- In v.16, we see that God’s presence is the affirmation that God is pleased with us. God’s presence is also what separates the Israelites from all other nations. God’s presence becomes the prerequisite for God’s glory to be revealed to Moses.
- Many times, we will focus our eyes and thoughts on what’s ahead of us. However, waiting for God’s presence is more important than any other next ‘thing’ in life.
Spend some time reflecting on where you are right now. Is there something that you are waiting for—a new season, a new promotion, or a new relationship? Whatever it may be, may we have the same heart as Moses had, to value and wait for His presence more than what is next. Spend some time seeking His presence right here in this moment.