A couple of summers ago, I had the opportunity to watch some bees going about the busy task of flying back and forth for hours, just doing their pollinating thing. This task ultimately produces the lip-smacking honey we southerners love to drench our cat-head biscuits in. And yes, that’s a real thing.
As I watched, I thought, “They are simply doing what they were created to do.”
They don’t have to pray about it, or waste time trying other things until they figure out what they are really passionate about. They are fulfilling their purpose.
It’s more complicated with humans, I think.
Sure, our purpose is to glorify God in all we do, but sometimes we struggle to find the means to that end. I know I do. And I think I’m in good company. In Exodus 33, God gave Moses a job to do. Then He proceeded to say that He would not be with him, because the people Moses was called to lead were a “stiff-necked” people.
I can imagine Moses intently listening to the Lord, wide eyed, ostrich feather and papyrus in hand…..
“Ok, lead the people to a new land? Check! You’re going to send angels before us? Awesome! Angels are so cool. Maybe you could send that death angel you sent to Egypt. He was super scary! You’re going to drive the enemies out of the land? Bring it, God! I can’t wait to see them run. NO WAY! The land is flowing with milk and honey?!?! YUM! Let’s go! Oh, wait, what….? You’re not going to go with us? The people are too stubborn? Can I have a word with you alone, God?(Ex 33:1-9)
Moses must have suffered a jarring case of whiplash.
How could God be so clear and so unclear at the same time? Go… but go without God?
And isn’t that the way it is for us many times? We think we have a directive from the Lord, only to run toward that goal and hit a wall! What do we do? Do what Moses did: Have a “come to Jesus” meeting.
Exodus 33:7-11 is one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture ever. It’s so practical, yet intimate and gutsy! I can’t explain it any better than Moses did, so read it right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait (cue Jeopardy Theme Song)….………..I know, right? Amazing! Verse 11 particularly reveals one very important aspect of talking to God.
Moses used to talk to God as a man talks to his friend.
How is it possible for anyone to talk to God like a friend? But the Spirit-breathed passage clearly wants us to see this side of God…..Friend….
So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do? Like Moses, in verses 12-13, BE BOLD!
Go to your omnipotent Friend, ask Him for His favor
to accomplish His calling on your life.
Look at God’s response in Verse 14! The words Moses was longing to hear. “I will go with you.”
Whew! Yes! Moses’ reaction here brings me to my knees because it’s exactly how I feel.
“If Your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.”
In other words, “I’m not going anywhere without You, God. It’s not happenin’!”
It’s so easy for the bees, not so easy for us.
They get up every day and do what they do. We, much of the time, have to wrestle with our calling. And maybe it’s even harder for us because Moses audibly heard God’s voice. However, there was still some confusion on his part just as there is for us at times. And his example is so relevant to those of us who are chasing God’s purpose for our lives like our heads are on fire. So, when in doubt:
– GO to your Friend and ask Him for what you need.
–TELL Him you don’t want to do anything if He doesn’t go with you.
–ASK for His favor and direction.
In Verse 18 Moses gets crazier still by asking the Almighty to show him His glory. Talk about pushing the holy envelope!
Who did Moses think He was? But remember, he’d been meeting with God every day, sitting at His feet listening….ready to obey. He had a relationship with God.
Listen, dear reader, Moses loved God. So He wanted everything there was to have from his eternal Friend. And what He wanted was to see Him. And God graciously acquiesces in Verse 19:
“I will show you my goodness, my back, because if you see my face, you will die.”
I have no idea what the front side of God is. One day I will…. One day…..But, like Moses, I’m asking the Lord to show me everything there is of Himself – to hide me in the cleft of the rock and pass by so I might glimpse what is safe for me to see. That’s where I’ll find the strength and direction I need to navigate through the uncertainties of life and even my calling.
“Father, come to me, reveal Yourself to me, lead me, and go with me!”
He did it for Moses… so I’ll know He’ll do it for me. He doesn’t choose today to manifest His presence in the visual way He did to Moses, so where can we see His Glory?
GOD’S WORD = Knowing God = Being shown God’s glory = Being changed into that same glory. 2 Cor. 3:18.
No thunder, no lightening, just time in His Word. It’s as simple as that.
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