Category Archives: Devotional Series

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 9

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name’” ~ Exodus 33:17, NASB.

Walking in God’s favor empowers our lives and makes us fruitful as His people. It is a sign of intimacy with God, being a people after God’s own heart. Along with that is the increased intimacy of friendship with God as ones knowing each other well, privileged to call each other by name.

Known by name:

I know many people when I see them, but those I know best, I know by name; and those I am most intimate with, I know by their chosen or preferred name. This passage leads me to the understanding that it is the same with God.

Some have a shallow acquaintance with Him, while others draw near on a first name basis. People who possess a depth of knowledge as His chosen people that goes beyond mere acquaintance come into a friendship with God that is real and alive.

When God speaks to my heart, 99 times out of a hundred He begins by getting my attention as He calls out, “Darlene”. That sign of intimacy goes the other direction as the child of God learns the names of God, calling on Him with intimate knowledge of who He is (something we will look at closely in days to come).

Deeper intimacy still is found in a relationship that has God naming us according to His desire for us (Revelation 2:17). We see this in instances of people’s relationship with God in Scripture:

Abram (exalted father ~ Genesis 11:27, NASB footnote) becomes Abraham (father of many ~ Genesis 17:5, NASB footnote). Abram’s name change takes him from being the start of a nation to the promise of being the father of more than can be numbered.

Jacob (heel catcher, trickster, supplanter) becomes Israel (he fights or persists with God in prevailing prayer). Jacob no longer relied on himself and trickery to get what was his. He learned to rely on God and receive from His hand.

Simon (he has heard) becomes Peter (rock – one who stands on what he knows and speaks what he believes).

And in my time, Darlene (Beloved) becomes Abigail (Rejoicing – One whose heart rejoices in God. One in whom the heart of God rejoices.) God gave me this name long ago during a time of drawing near to Him and it became my mantra, my life goal, to live so-as-to bring Him rejoicing as I rejoice in Him. For someone who has suffered much rejection and the fear of rejection, this name inspires hope and helps me to know that God does not reject me, but has chosen me, and He finds joy in my presence with Him.

Knowing God inspires faithfulness that wins favor. Him knowing us produces an intimacy that is deep and abiding, as face to face as we can possess in this life, based on a love that never fails.

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 8

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name’” ~ Exodus 33:17, NASB.

Throughout our journey to date, it is clear that holy habitation with God flows from a relationship with Him that is real, personal, and intimate. Here we see two ingredients to intimacy ~ finding favor with God (today’s focus), and knowing a relationship with Him that is on a first name basis (tomorrow’s focus).

Finding favor with God:

Type the word “favor” into BibleGateway word search, and 358 scriptures pop up for consideration. From the favor given Noah in Genesis 6:8 to that given those who hate evil deeds just as God does found in Revelation 2:6, we find the things that lead us to the position of a people having God’s favor. Glancing through these, I see that intimate relationship with God that produces His heart in us, leads us to the place of the favored people of God.

One of the greatest things said of Noah forms my heart cry as I seek to be a woman, walking in God’s favor: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).

The world found itself condemned by God because the people turned their back on Him to go their own way. Noah, alone, walked with God and, finding the favor of God, became God’s chosen instrument for renewal, leading to his salvation along with that of his family. Walking with God when everyone else goes the other way, having a heart after His heart, wins God’s favor.

Walking in God’s favor brings strength to overcome hardship and power for life abundantly full, thus touching the lives of others, helping them to know strength and power. Though the road may be difficult, as was Noah’s, walk with God day by day, breath by breath, beloved, and His favor will meet you.

1) BibleGateway word search results ~ https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?search=favor&version=NASB;AMP;NLT&searchtype=all

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 7

“… You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people” ~ Exodus 33:12-14, AMP.

Looking at the passage covered in yesterday’s devotional thought, I notice that those who abide in God, remaining with Him in Holy Habitation, can still have their lives touched by the consequences of the sins of others.

God told Moses that He knows him by name and that He finds favor in him, yet still, Moses, along with Joshua and others who did not follow the sin of the people, were to go into Canaan without God’s presence with them, just as those who sinned.

I know you have seen this truth for yourself, as I have. We can suffer hardship because of the sins of those near us. This fact is part of our participation in the suffering of Christ that God’s word warns us we will bear in this life (Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Philippians 1:29-30; Colossians 1:24; see also 2 Peter 2:4-10). Jesus’ entire journey to the cross was because of sin not His own.

As people in Holy Habitation with God, it is vital when hardship comes that we get God’s perspective regarding its source and cause. If we find conviction of sin from Him, repent so-as-to remain with Him in righteousness. If it is not our sin revealed as the cause, hunker under His wings for His protective cover in that area of life. Also, realize that there is another truth seen in this discourse between God and Moses that we are to practice when a storm is not of our own making:

Those in Holy Habitation with God receive the consequences of a righteous life that is blessed by God, and that blessing can reach beyond us as grace toward those struggling in sin.

When God threatened to destroy the nation of Israel for their sin and begin anew with Moses, Moses jumped into the breech, begging for God’s mercy to save the people (Exodus 32:7-14). Now, as God threatens to remove His presence from their journey, Moses again steps into the breech to pray for mercy. God’s response to Moses translated into His doing good toward those who fell in sin, though they deserved the consequences of His holy discipline.

Holy habitation with God owns one’s own sin and seeks quickly the restoration of relationship with God. Holy habitation with God also realizes the effect our ability to commune with Him can have for the benefit of those we love. Realize, beloved, the heart of God toward you that longs to meet your every need, for yourself and for those you love and desire to see in Holy Habitation with Him.

“And He said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.’” ~ vs. 14.

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 6

“When the people heard this sad word, they went into mourning, and none of them put on his ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, ‘Say to the sons of Israel, “You are an obstinate people; should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what I shall do with you.”’ So the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward” ~ Exodus 33:4-6.

Longing for the Lord this morning as I lift each difficult thing to Him who is the answer for each one, I long for His glory. In that longing, I turn to Exodus 33 anew and begin reading from verse one. There I see the removing of the ornaments that signify the repentance of the people who became discontented with God and His way, leading to their using their ornaments to create a god of their choosing.

Discontent produces every kind of covetousness in us, leading us to diverse fruits of sin’s seed. Discontent that leads us away from longing after God produces in us every kind of unrest. Longing for God and His presence, seeing Him as the answer in all things, leads us to cry out as Moses did, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people” ~ Exodus 33:12-14, AMP.

Recognizing one’s first and foremost need to be a real and true relationship with Father-God, totally dependent upon Him, is the only way to remove the ornaments of sin.

God promised to send His angel with the people in His stead and that He would give the Promised Land to the people through the angel. This still required trust in God to fulfill His promise, but it removed personal relationship. Moses knew that was not good enough. He knew their one true need was God. Only He was big enough to tend to the need of the people and make them stand out as belonging to this God he served. So he cried out, “Tell me that You will go with us, and not another. I need You! And this people needs You.” To which God responded, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”

The Presence of God with all His manifest glory is rest that delivers from discontent, fear, uncertainty, hopelessness, helplessness, and a slew of other tiring maladies ~ THE PRESENCE. When unrest, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty come, beloved, who or what do you seek?

“Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually, longing to be in His presence” ~ 1 Chronicles 16:11, AMP.

“We should be able to perceive that the crucifixion of self is going on and that the opposite most desirable grace, that of humble dependence and universal submission to Christ is increasing” (Sarah Hawkes)

(See also Isaiah 55:6; Hosea 10:12; Amos 5:6; Zephaniah 2:3)

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 5

“…Joshua … did not depart from the TEMPORARY PRAYER TENT.” ~ Exodus 33:11, AMP.

God provided for Moses, Joshua, and those who would draw near a temporary prayer tent, a place where God’s presence visited with them, granting them His wisdom and instruction. As Joshua drew near to God, seeking Him with whole heart, He learned to discern the voice and presence of God.

Elevated from the minister of Moses to God’s minister in leading His people, early in Joshua’s ministry God instructed him, “… Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you … As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong (confident) and of good courage …” (Joshua 1:1-6).

God gave Joshua the secret Moses possessed, the faith to trust God for His presence to be with his every step, trusting Him to fulfill His word. As Joshua received the mantel of leadership from Moses, growing stronger in faith to trust in and rely upon God, He left the temporary to find the permanent: a relationship with God that is living, active, real, effective, personal, and constant.

 ~ Our Holy Habitation: We need God’s permanence.

Too often, we approach God on the fly, and then go our way as if leaving Him in that temporary tent. Only as we learn to receive this promise of Joshua as our own, see ourselves as the tent of meeting, and become sure of God’s constant presence with us will we find the true victory God has for us: Himself.

“Do you not know and understand that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells [permanently] in you [collectively and individually]?” (1 Corinthians 3:16, AMP)

“A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them” ~ Proverbs 16:9, AMP (See also Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 20:24)

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 4

“…Moses returned to the camp, but his minister Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the [temporary prayer] tent.” ~ Exodus 33:11, AMP.

Moses grew a relationship with God that others feared to possess. He drew near to God, overcoming the fear of the flesh to develop a friendship with God. Most others feared God in ways that caused them to avoid coming too close to His tent, crying out, “Don’t speak to us. Let Moses do the talking.”

Not so for Joshua, the son of Nun. Exodus 33:11 tells us that Joshua, wanting that relationship for himself, stayed in the tent of meeting with God, seeking Him on his own.

Joshua’s desire for relationship made him unafraid to draw near and hear.

When I look at Joshua’s relation to Moses, I see him as one who took on himself the charge of ministry to Moses. Moses was his hero of faith. Following close to him, Joshua wanted to be a man of faith and obedience like Moses. Thus, when Moses left the presence, Joshua stayed behind to seek this God for himself.

Through Joshua, we have a picture of the heart God desires for us. God does not mean for us to live vicariously through others, feeding off their faith and their progress or victories. God desires we feed on Him to grow in personal relationship with Him and to become His instrument for a life of victory.

Because of Joshua’s heart toward God, God gave him his heart’s desire. Therefore, we have the book of Joshua that tells the glory God worked through him as he continued to seek personal relationship with God. Receiving His instruction and living in Holy Habitation with Him, Joshua found his desire fully met. Today, God wants us to have this same faith, not only hearing His call to those like Joshua, but receiving our own through personal relationship with God.

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 3

“…the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend…” ~ Exodus 33:7-11.

Moses relationship with God began as a curiosity. God reached out to Moses’ physical senses through a burning bush, unsinged, drawing him in for a look. There God offered Moses the opportunity of a lifetime: the experience of being God’s instrument in the earth to bring freedom to millions. Thus, scripture depicts Moses as a picture of Christ. (Exodus 3; 1 Corinthians 10:2)

At first, Moses was afraid when God spoke through that bush, so God drew him in closer: “take off your sandals.” Reverent obedience seen in removing the shoes draws us intimately close to God as Lord, where the touch of His holiness enlivens our spiritual senses. That instruction for entering the holy presence of God gave Moses the comfort of feeling welcome and wanted, adjusting his fear to that of reverence. His drawing in close to visit in earnest with God about His plans for Moses and Moses qualms that hindered started him on a road to a relationship with God that grew strong.

Day by day from there, drawing him ever closer, God formed a bond with Moses that led to a trusted friendship.

atside1Relationship with God is vital to our seeking after Him in ways that bring His reality to life for us. The people of Israel had an ungodly fear of God that led them to push Him away when He sought to draw them in, so their relationship with God was standoffish (Exodus 20:18-21). That fear brought harm to their ability to come into personal relationship with Father. Fear, disbelief, busyness, anger, lack of trust: there are so many bad emotional states that rob us of relationship with God.

We must shake that off and come into His holy presence.

Moses pushed past his issues to enter into relationship with God. Exodus 33:11 tells us that Joshua, wanting that relationship for himself, stayed in the tent of meeting with God, seeking Him on his own – he was unafraid to draw near and hear, and as such, was chosen successor to Moses. We, too, must lay every encumbrance aside and draw near.

“… Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. …” ~ James 4:7-10.

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 2

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” ~ Proverbs 29:18.

The Amplified version of this passage explains “vision” as “the redemptive revelation of God”. Without ability to recognize God and His work in our midst, we fall away. That is what happened to Israel during Moses’ 40 days on the mountain.

I am greatly inspired by such patriarchs of faith as Moses, the friend of God. Exodus 33 contains my favorite visual example of his relationship with God. However, that chapter comes on the heels of the fall of Israel. What happened to cause these people to deny the true God and make for themselves a graven image even after personally experiencing the miracles of God?

Setting Moses in God’s place, they failed to discover personal relationship with the Real.

God created us physical beings with senses that greatly help our lives. We do best with what we can see, hear, smell, and touch. When we cannot physically see, hear, smell, and touch something…well…“out of sight, out of mind”…“I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Up until the moment of their fall, the people looked to Moses as the expression of God they could comprehend and follow. In his absence, unsure if he still lived, they lost their moral compass because of their distorted vision, so they made a god that made sense to their senses.

Like Israel, we struggle to follow God because we cannot touch Him with our physical senses. The solution? We must seek first the Lord to enliven our spiritual senses. Like Elisha, we must pray for God to open our eyes to see His realm (2 Kings 6:17).

Father, my heart is helped when I personally see Your movement and discern Your voice. I often smell the essence of rose when You draw near, and my skin tingles with Your touch. Knowledge of Your presence touching my spiritual senses in ways that influence my physical comprehension helps my faith and keeps my feet on the firm foundation of Your reality. In Jesus, I pray vision for Your people, O God, so each may know Your reality and follow You.

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Day 1

“Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually [longing to be in His presence]” ~ 1 Chronicles 16:11, AMP.

PrayingWelling up in my heart is desire for the presence of God. Today begins that journey and this scripture describes the first step: Seek His face, longing for His presence.

Our journey begins bowed down at God’s Holy Feet, crying out with longing for Him that demands fulfillment: a respectful requirement based on the authority of God that promises response. What authority?

The “You said” prayer!

God promises, “You will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me as a vital necessity and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity…” ~ Jeremiah 29:13-14, AMP.

I want that, don’t you? The commandments of God give us His authority to do as He requires. His promises grant us right to expect His response on the authority of His word.

David, in his seeking after God, writes, “You have said, Seek My face – Praying-hands-with-bibleinquire for and require My presence as your vital need. My heart says to You, Your face / presence, Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require of necessity and on the authority of Your Word” (Psalm 27:8, AMP).

Seeking after God that demands fulfillment by His authority brings to mind an infant in need. A hungry infant screams, kicks, and squirms until they have their need. According to God’s word, He will respond to such wholehearted seeking.

“The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him, inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word” ~ Lamentations 3:25, AMP.

Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet ~ Series introduction

“You in Your lovingkindness and goodness have led the people whom You have redeemed; in Your strength You have guided them with care to Your holy habitation” ~ Exodus 15:13, AMP.

I have, for years, had in my heart to do a series of devotional thoughts that lead the reader to their seat at the feet of Jesus, our Lord, and of the Father God. It amazes me the number of Christians who do not realize personally the nearness of God. I am not talking about a “feel good shiver”. I am talking about assurance of heart that has no doubt of His nearness.

People who fail to know God’s nearness too easily fail to recognize His voice: His way of communicating to them in personal and applicable, heart knowledge. That inability to recognize God speaking His instruction for life in our personal situations leads to our stumbling about in darkness, struggling to find our way to the other side of chaos.

I cannot fathom life without this knowledge of God, so real, near, and dear to me; and yet many go through life never achieving this deep and fulfilling relationship with the Father of all eternity. How very difficult our life is when recognition of His sure presence with us eludes us.

Recently Father reminded me of this call and desire to write devotionals intended to help the seeker of God to find this place of His sure presence, impressing upon me that now is my time for this project to flow forth from His heart, through mine, to you. As I began the journey, God led me back to this recently read Exodus 15 verse in which two key words grabbed me, drawing me to seek even greater, more consistent realization of God, His presence with me, and His desire for me.

The desire for God’s presence with us is a desire that will constantly see fulfillment and will not come to full satiety until we enter the eternal with Him. This desire for God is there to keep us seeking, wanting more of Him until we see Him face to face. Holy Habitation: Those words altered the title of this devotional focus and intensified its purpose.

In this devotional series, we will see how God’s glory is recognized in His lovingkindness and goodness expressed toward us. Out of that lovingkindness and goodness, Exodus 15:13 tells us that God supplies the power for us to come into this ‘holy habitation’ relationship with Him. Every detail of our lives is His instrument, carefully used to lead us to this place of understanding His reality with us, and His desire for our lives.

Holy ~ the word is pregnant with meaning: set apart to God; sacred; personal; unified oneness with the Eternal; commitment to His Likeness; obedience to His headship, as a hand moves with the impulses of the brain, as feet go where those impulses point. Holy…

Habitation ~ the state or process of living in a particular place: in this instance, being continually in this state of holiness. The act of inhabiting or the state of being inhabited. Note the unity of this a Holy Habitation: “me” in God and Him in “me”. Habitation is the work, process, experience and reality of possessing the Promised Land of God’s holy presence with us, now and forever made one together with Him.

Look up the word “Kingdom” on this site, and you will find many devotionals and articles on my journey to realizing that we are here and now a part of the Kingdom of God, with all of its resource and responsibility ours to possess and walk out each day. We are people of destiny, having eternal purpose in every experience of every breath. No trouble in this life is without this eternal purpose, providing us opportunity to fulfill our destiny.

LonelyCryNumber one in that purpose is to KNOW God as surely as you know the person most important to your reality. He is with us and for us. He longs to know us and for us to know Him. He reaches out to us, desiring we possess such great oneness with Him that we become the extension of His reality in the world.

When we enter the eternal Kingdom at the exhale of the final breath of this life, He wants us to recognize Him when we take our first breath on the other side of glory. He wants us to be one who has long known His voice and become accustomed to His features. The Eternal should not be strange, foreign, or different to us when we enter that Kingdom ~ though we will see completely who and what He is and have our desire for Him fully satiated only then, there should be familiarity that causes us to recognize Him as our most intimate, well known Lover, Companion, Life Partner.

Our entry into that eternal Kingdom should be the greatest homecoming ever experienced, fully entering into the familiar place of His eternal presence, having lived it every day in the Holy Habitation of God’s sure presence here and now. Are you ready? Watch for each excerpt of Holy Habitation: Living Continually Seated at God’s Feet.

PS: This introductory post will most likely be the longest post of the series of devotional length excerpts. Enjoy and be BLESSed, refreshed in His reality with you.