Do you accept the authority of God’s word? If you do, you must embrace the distinctive difference for those who profess faith in God. And what separates us from all other people on the face of the earth is the presence of God in us and among us.
Moses knew this: “Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:16) Moses found his identity in the presence of God and it was this presence that was the distinct difference.
What God gave to Israel then is what God wants to give to us today, His presence with us. Now just because this is what God wants, does it happen? Of course not. We all too often make it about a check list or a program. Even good church does not includ the inevitable presence of God. Especially when we think good church is great music, good community and a good message. Because what is it really without the presence of God. When God is in our midst we see Him showing up and doing what we ourselves cannot do.
“the fire [tests] what sort of work each one has done” (1 Corinthians 3:13) The things we do, who are they for? Do we accomplish what we do on our own power? Does the fruit of our labors last? Or is the fruit I see done for God and accomplished because of His power?
Recognizing the difference is difficult but if we are not maturing in our faith, the odds are we will most certainly miss it. And isn’t that one of the things we are supposed to be about. “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Colossians 1:28
If we do not have the presence of God in our lives then it doesn’t matter what you call yourself or what you have, you are missing the one thing that makes you distinct and so you ultimately have nothing. But if you do have that presence of God in you and among you, then you have everything you will ever need no matter what you lack in this world.