Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 155

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Moses continued...

Every one of Moses’s requests was of a spiritual nature. First he desired to be shown the way of God, then he desired to know God Himself, and finally he asked God to show him His glory.

Throughout his prayer, Moses never requested anything tethered to this present world, because he had realized the futility of the material long ago when he abandoned being a prince in the house of Pharaoh for being a sheepherder in the desert.

Exodus 33:19, “Then He said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’”

It is only when we realize what the glory of God is, that we can conclude it has been shown to us as it was shown to Moses. God Himself defines His glory as His graciousness and compassion. We see His graciousness, we see His compassion, we see His goodness pass before us as Moses did if only we choose to open our eyes and see them for what they are.

In order to be able to see the glory of God, we must be near Him. We cannot live with the expectation of seeing or experiencing the glory of God, while being far from His will, far from His purpose and walking away from Him rather than toward Him.

As simplistic and rudimentary as the preceding might sound, there are many believers today who desire to see the glory of God, and all that it entails without being in the will of God, and about their callings.

The glory of God and the person of God are inexorably linked and we cannot experience one without the other. This is why any spiritual movement that does not have Jesus as its focus, cornerstone, nexus and linchpin, cannot succeed, thrive, or perpetuate, because they are attempting the impossible…namely possessing the glory without submitting to God.

Exodus 33:21, ‘And the Lord said, ‘Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.’”

Whenever we stand near God and behold His glory, it transforms us. One cannot behold the glory of God and remain the same. Even those around us will see the difference, and wonder if only to themselves what the catalyst for this change might have been.

Moses spent forty days and forty nights in the presence of God. For these forty days and forty nights God sustained him since he neither drank water nor ate bread. Yet, when Moses came down the mountain the skin on his face shone, and the children of Israel were afraid to come near him.

Exodus 34:28-30, “Sow he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin on his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.”

Being in the presence of the Lord, spending time with Him, and seeing His glory are undeniably visible on the countenance of the individual. One cannot be in the presence of God and not show signs of this reality.

We are transformed in His image, and grow from glory to glory when we stand in the presence of the Lord. Both inwardly and outwardly, the glory of God is visible and palpable. The people saw the countenance of Moses, they saw his skin shining, and they were afraid to come near him because they did not understand what this meant.

By the same token, Moses was unaware that the skin on his face shone while he talked with God. The presence of God, and the visible glory of God in us and upon us, need not be something we ourselves highlight, or attempt to draw attention to.

Moses didn’t go around telling people to look a little closer to see how his face shone; the man didn’t even know this was happening to him.

It’s always off-putting when men attempt to lift themselves up, or glorify themselves because of something God did in them or through them. We have adopted the mentality of the world when it comes to the work of God, and rather than being humble that God might raise us up, we claw and scrape and climb our way to the top as viciously, cunningly and mercilessly as those of the world. We fail to understand that any glory we appropriate for ourselves will be nothing more than bitter ash in our mouths, and any kingdom we build for ourselves will be nothing more than ruination.

God is not mocked. He sees all things, He knows all things, yes even the hidden things of the heart, and if we attempt to use the glory of God for our own benefit, then we will suffer the consequences of our deceitfulness in due season.

To have the glory of God be so heavy upon you that your skin is shining and you not even noticing is a humbling and remarkable thing. Moses was so consumed with being in the presence of God, that he didn’t notice how having been in His presence changed him.

When we are in the presence of God everything else fades into obscurity. We realize our own insignificance, our own fragility and impotence, while seeing the grandeur of our God in its true light and being all the more humbled by it.

There is no more life changing an event than being witness to the glory of God, and knowing this, Moses prayed that he might see it.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Carol said...

What a beautiful post today, Mike. My heart grew tender and warm just reading it. I have a close friend whose face shone as gold when she taught about Jesus at a retreat in Venezuela. I have also seen a young woman on her death bed and a nun who had a spiritual softness that was indescribable as if shrouded with an ethereal veil. I perceived I was in the presence of holiness, Immanuel.
May God bless you as you walk with Him in your beloved Romania.
Lovingly in Christ, Your sister Carol