Exodus 33:16 is a signature verse. Moses said: “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”
HOW is the world to know that God’s people are different from all the others? Moses asserted that it is the manifest presence of God.
THIS is what we should be seeking in our churches with all our heart. If the presence of God is not manifest among us, then our church buildings, programs and ministries will not be distinguished by themselves. Therefore, we should have the same desperation for the manifestation of God’s presence that Moses had. He was NOT content without the presence of God; he would NOT go forward without the presence of God. He said in :15 “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” Unfortunately most of us don’t have that same desire and desperation. We seem to be pretty content without it, as long as our organization, programs, etc. are lined up respectably. We do manage to find varying degrees of respectability in the eyes of men through our efforts – but we are still devoid of the one thing that would truly distinguish us: the power and presence of God! That is the missing distinctive in most of our churches.