Like Speaking with a Friend

Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.  (Exodus 33:11a ESV)

Moses would set up the tent of meeting where He would meet with God in this way. In the Old Testament, access to God in this way was very limited. You had men like Moses or the other prophets who would hear from God in this way, or you had the priests who offered sacrifices to Him.

There is an intimacy with Moses and God. “The Lord used to speak to Moses as a man speaks to his friend.”

Today, because of what Jesus has done, we have access to this type of relationship with God. As followers of Jesus, God is our Heavenly Father (Romans 8, Galatians 4), and as such, He wants us to come to Him and spend time with Him…”as a man speaks with his friend.”

That’s incredible!

Chronological Bible Reading – February 14 – Our Tent of Meeting

Today’s Reading: Exodus 30-38

The Tent of Meeting

I am almost certain that I write about this passage every year as I come to it.  It is so rich with truth for us that we must be reminded regularly of the lessons learned from Moses’ Tent of Meeting.

Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting… – Exodus 33:7a (NASB)

Thus the Lord used to speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.  When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. – Exodus 33:11 (NASB)

What an incredible reality that the God of all Creation can and will speak to us and we can meet with Him and speak to Him as a man speaks with his friend.  This meeting was very limited in the Old Testament.  However, through Jesus Christ, all have access to God through faith.

How often we neglect so great a privilege.  In light of this reality, when we stop and consider the things we allow to keep us from meeting with God on a regular basis, we should be ashamed.  However, when we come to our senses and return to meet with Him, His grace means we will not face condemnation from Him.  His love for us never fails. He is always waiting for us to come to our senses and answer His call to us to meet with Him.  May we never get over the reality that we can meet and fellowship intimately with the Sovereign God of the Universe.

Ponder this truth and examine where you are in your commitment to Him.  Where you see deficiency, repent and find the grace given through Jesus Christ that strengthens you to return to a place of close fellowship with your Heavenly Father.

Moses’ Pattern for Prayer

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… – Exodus 33:13 (NASB)

The (Moses) said to (God), “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. – Exodus 33:15 (NASB)

What a model for prayer we see with Moses as he meets with God.  The cry of his prayer is two-fold:

  1. Let me know You.
  2. Lead me by Your presence.

This should be a pattern and part of our prayer life on a daily basis.  To know God is our heart’s cry.  To be led by Him results in a life well lived for His Kingdom purposes.  It is in knowing Him that we find the strength to walk the path He sets before us.  The beauty is that the Christian life is not powered only by a distant encounter with God from our past, but by the moment-by-moment reality of His presence and power at work in and through us by His Spirit.  This reality exists because of the Gospel.  It is because of what Jesus has done and the grace that is given through faith in Him that we know our great God and walk with Him.

May this truth fill our hearts, and stir us to enjoy the intimate fellowship with Him that Jesus came to provide.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

What a Promise!

Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring. Hosea 6:3 (NLT)

Israel and Judah are both rebelling against God by worshipping idols and false gods.  Hosea was used of God to call the people to repent and warn them of coming judgment.  Even in the face of their open rebellion, we see a beautiful promise from God for those who would press on to know Him.

…He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.

It amazes me to think that when we press on to know the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, He will respond.  As insignificant as we seem in light of the vastness of all creation, we have a Heavenly Father who will respond when we seek Him.

This truth should create a level of expectancy in us when we humble ourselves before the Lord and seek Him with our whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13).  The Bible says that we will find Him and He will respond.

As you spend time with Jesus in His word and prayer, don’t simply “check the box.”  Realize that God is going to respond to you when you seek Him and press on to know Him.  When He does, be prepared to order your steps according to what He reveals.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Learning from Laurel!

As I was getting dressed this morning, I saw a picture on my dresser of my daughter Laurel and I on a bicycle when she was a baby.  She is laughing, and at that moment I felt such a weight of love in my heart that i wanted to go find her, give her a big hug and kiss, and express my deep love for her.  I did just that!  I didn’t realize that I was about to learn something!

We enjoyed a sweet time of having breakfast together and taking her to school.  Later this morning as I was spending some time praying through a set of prayer cards I created, and came to the card for my children.  The same feelings I had experienced this morning came rushing back, but this time God spoke to my heart and said, “That’s how I feel when I look at you.”  Can you believe that!!?!  But then the thought came to my mind…”how would I have felt if after having seen Laurel’s picture I was stirred to find her to express my love, and she was “too busy” or simply “didn’t care”.  My heart would have been broken, and yet how often is this my response toward my Heavenly Father?  I am guilty of breaking His heart over and over again as I allow the busyness of life and distractions to pull me from Him.  And yet, He continues to love and pursue me.

God allowed me to learn something today through Laurel.  I learned the way I should respond to the love God has for me.  She was excited to hug her daddy’s neck, color a picture, eat a bowl of cereal, and some cinnamon toast and then ride to school.  Not once did she say, “I don’t have time for this daddy.”  She simply wanted to be with me.

Oh God, create in me an understanding of how to enjoy relationship with you through intimate times of prayer and the reading of your Word.  Teach me how to simply “be with you”.

 

A Great Way to Begin Journaling!

One of the greatest supplements to my quiet time has been the practice of journaling what God shows me each morning as I spend time with Him.  In fact, many of the posts that I write on this website are simply taken from the pages of my journal.  I began the process of recording my thoughts in a journal to serve as a legacy to leave for my wife and children.  My prayer is that long after I am gone, the words found on the pages of these journals will serve as encouragement and direction for my children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.  There is no doubt that this is possible, but what I have discovered through the practice of journaling, is that I am receiving a tremendous blessing.  Taking the time to focus on what God has spoken to me each morning and attempting to capture these truths in words has created tremendous times of meditation and reflection.   Continue reading