The key to receiving all the good things God has for us is to prioritise His presence over the promise.
As we make the pursuit of the presence of God our greatest aim, the promises of God begin to be fulfilled automatically and the blessings begin to flow into every area of our life.
This is why God led the Israelites into the desert and not straight to the promised land. After rescuing them from slavery, He brought them into the desert so that they had nothing else left but God Himself:
‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. – Exodus 19:4 (ESV)
God wanted the Israelites to understand that He was the source of every blessing He had promised them. Without the presence of God, this blessing would begin to wither and dry up like a branch full of fruit that is no longer attached to the source:
‘Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing’ – John 15:4-5 (NLT)
God wanted the Israelites to prioritise His presence so that the source of their blessing would never be cut off. This simple act of ‘remaining in Him’ would connect them into an endless river of blessing and fruitfulness. But the very moment they prioritised the blessing would be the same moment the blessings would begin to dry up.
God also calls us to prioritise His presence over the promise. Rather than shopping for bags of fruit at the supermarket, God wants us to have a backyard full of fruit trees! He wants the presence of God to get on in the inside so the blessings on the outside will continue to flow. He wants us to carry the presence of God every day, rather than being administered the presence of God only on Sundays.
Prioritise His presence above everything else, and the promise of blessing will never stop!