Presence Over Planning

by Fred Alcain on February 02, 2024


Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.  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?”
Exodus 33:15, 16



I’ll remember the day cause it’s when God re-revealed His promise to me and yet another miracle was added to my bank account of gratefulness. 

Where? Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Gardens
When? August 13, 2015
What? “Greater Together” music video shot

It was pouring, a hurricane was on its way (google it!), and I had given up hope, even tried to cancel and reschedule.  But one man had faith, one man was bold to say, “hey, if God wants us to do this and His hand is on it, it’ll work out find.”  And with that we went all in, and God did His thing, clearing the skies just enough for us to worship Him and sing “we are drawn into Your holy presence Lord.”


Presence will always trump planning.  Our plans are pretty much worthless, our production meaningless, our creativity fleeting if God is not directing the steps, prompting the planning and sparking the creativity.  He promises He will be with us, present, and all we really need to do is set our minds and hearts on Him.

Moses states that this promise is great, but if you (God) are not going with us then stop us now.  Moses understood that only through God will there be any true success and fruitfulness.  Only through His presence will a true and sustainable victory be won.  Only through His promptings will plans be fulfilled. Moses was so set on this that he refused to move unless God told him to.

On that day years ago, God revealed yet again how obedience to His will and way can overcome any storm, literally. When I commit to fully go where God leads, not where I think we should go, then I can fully trust that His will will be done.  The three keys are and will always be:

  1. Pray for Him to reveal His plan.  When are our hearts are fully committed to Him, He is faithful to provide.  The music video shoot didn’t come about from a planning session, but a prayer session on how to best steward what He had given us in the first place.  Knowing that we were being obedient to His plan should’ve been all the facts I needed in order to trust Him to hold off the rain and wind.
  2. Pray for His presence.   The Holy Spirit is there not just to guide, direct and inspire, but to advocate, to help.  When we are partnering with His presence no weapon can stand against us.  When we invited in the Holy Spirit that day and set our hearts on worship rather than performance, community rather than crowds, it should’ve been a moment of peace rather than uncertainty in my mind and heart. 
  3. Pray for His power.  Not a power to defeat, but a power in spirit and faith to trust.  Power to have the boldness and courage to say as Moses did, “if Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up.”  Power to stand firm in the midst of the storm by keeping eyes set on Him.


Jesus, you are so good, faithful and gracious.  Thank you for your constant and tangible reminders that all I really need to do is trust You.  Amen


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