Are you there, God?

9:34 AMHeather

When I was pregnant with my second child, I started attending a Bible study, led by an amazing friend, Karen.  Karen is one of those one in a million ladies--her kindness and love are infectious.  We knew we were in for some great insight when she'd walk in nearly jumping around, and she'd say, "Oh, oh...girls!  This is good!  I can't wait to share with you what God has shown me.  OH, OH."

Well, I am having a Karen moment...because OH OH...I am going to share with you some life changing insight she shared with us those years ago from Exodus 33.  I'm feeling as though I've blogged about this before, but it bears repeating if I have.  If you've heard it before--hang on.  I think you need to hear it again.

I was composing my thoughts on this passage before I pulled out my lap top this morning.  And I think the best way to summarize the last part of Exodus 33 is that it is a picture of how a relationship with the Lord should look.  And, no--it's not a picture of some perfect, narrow minded, judgmental man who followed the rules and did everything by the book.  Because, news flash, despite misconceptions--THAT is not what Christianity is all about.  

Just look at Exodus 33:15-16.  (This is GOOD stuff, bloggy friends!)

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?

Do you see it?  Here's how it went down.  Moses says, "Hey look!  You are telling me to lead these people--but WHO is gonna go with me?"  God says, "My presence will go with you, I'll give you rest."  Moses replies is adament--"Okay, then.  Because, listen--if your presence doesn't go with us--I don't wanna go.  How will anyone know we are different--we are yours and you are pleased with us UNLESS your presence is with us?"   Whew.  Am I convicted.  Do I start each day saying, "Lord, I don't wanna go in there unless your presence is with me.  I ain't going without YOU."  Do I have the mentality to demand his presence be evident through me so that others see that I am different?  I'm afraid I am more of a chameleon than that--I want to blend in way too much instead of stand out with some very obvious distinction of being His.  That we would be like Moses.  "Okay, Lord, I am NOT going anywhere without you.  I want to be distinguished as yours--to stand out in the crowd.  I want it to be obvious to all that your presence is with me."  That I would even be much more aware of His presence, much less desire that it be obvious to all.  

And, this passage only gets better.  With a heart for his own, God assures Moses of his favor and says yes, I'm going with you, and yes, I will answer your prayers--because remember, I know you by name!  But, Moses wants more.  He craves more of God.  He is not appeased by that answer.  He rather boldly asks for God to show him His glory.   

But, here's the thing.  God explains that Moses cannot see His face.  It's too much.  Moses will die if he does.  So, he tells Moses to get in a cleft in a rock.  Then, he covers Moses with His hand until He has passed by.  Then--and only then--can Moses see God's glory from the back.  

Glimpse of glory:  As Karen showed me, this passage is an answer to those seasons of life where we cannot see God.  Our prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling.  Nothing changes.  We feel alone and abandoned and that day after day, we are stuck.  We ask, "Are you there, God?"  And, in those seasons, what we do not see is how God is pouring out His favor on us.   We are blind to it, but the truth is that God still has His hand over us.  We cower in the clefts during these rocky times, but God's favor is still on us.  His hand is still over us.  And, later on, only in hindsight, may we see how God's glory was passing over us the whole time.  If you are in the cleft, may you seek His presence to be so evident to you that even others can see it.  May you ask for eyes to see the ever present Lord holding you.  And, may you realize that God's heart for you is that you will see His glory--even if it's only in hindsight.  May you see that perhaps it's only in looking back that you have a picture of just how He was moving over you and the situation.  That is just another one of the ways that God shows His favor.

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