Best Of, Christian Life, Commentary, Spiritual Growth

Growing Your Spiritual Boldness

October 10, 2013
When Moses first encountered the Lord his response wasn’t joyful adoration or even earnest attentiveness. His response was fear. “Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” (Exodus 3:6)  He didn’t know the God who he was speaking to; didn’t know his character or his habits. As a result Moses had no real desire to know more about this terrifying God who had just called him to, for all he knew, go back to Egypt to be executed for the murder he’d committed years earlier.

 

I’m convinced that most believers in our day stand in the same place as Moses did that day at the burning bush. We’ve got our shoes off out of respect and honor for the one we know is God, we’re willing to listen intently when he speaks, and we’ll even follow his commands, but we have no real longing for going deeper. Honestly, we’re a bit afraid. We don’t really know this God. We know of him, but we don’t know him. We’ve read the books and heard the sermons. We’ve tasted his grace, gone on the missions trip, even teared up during worship, but we don’t have first-hand experience of his character and power.Our day desperately needs people who know the Lord well enough to make bold requests of him. There are nations falling apart, societies glorying in sin, and people are are trapped in addictions, blinded by Satan, and satisfied with poison. Who will come before the Lord on their behalf? If we don’t have the boldness to ask great things of the Lord how will our world be changed?

 

Fast forward in Moses’ story. God calls him to Egypt and through him performs mind-boggling miracles, frees the Israelites, parts the Red Sea, provides food and water for hundreds of thousands in a desert, and ultimately leads them to the promised land. During those weeks and months Moses spends hours in the Lord’s presence, seeking guidance and help for the tasks before him. The culminating moment takes place at Mount Sinai.

There on the mountain Moses proves himself to be a very different man than the one who hid his face in fear from a burning bush. Instead, Moses utters the words, “Please show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:18) What a transformation! In a matter of months Moses goes from hiding himself from the Lord to making perhaps the boldest request any human has ever made. Moses’ spiritual cowardice was transformed into spiritual boldness. How? I believe there’s one simple principle that makes all the difference:

Following the Lord’s leading fosters a longing for his presence.

As Moses followed God’s commands and experienced first-hand his power, love, mercy, justice, and patience he learned who this God was. He learned, and he wanted more. He asked for what he wanted and God, in his amazing grace, gave it to him. For perhaps the first time since Adam and Eve in the garden, God showed his glory to a human being.

When our longing for the Lord languishes I’m convinced that it’s often because we are refusing to follow his leading. The Spirit has been prompting us to speak, to move, to act, but we’ve ignored him, all the while praying “God, let me know you more.” The thing is, God reveals himself to the people who obey him. People who, like Moses, do what they have been called to do even though they don’t know for sure if it’s even possible or if it was really God who spoke to them.

I for one am eager to overtake Moses in his encounter with our Lord. I want to see God’s glory move in mighty power in and through my life. Moses was used by God to free Israel from enslavement to the Egyptians. We now, empowered by the same Spirit, are sent by Christ to free the nations from enslavement to sin and Satan. As we go out and make disciples, being the ambassadors of reconciliation, we will see our longing for His presence increase in amazing ways.

Don’t be comfortable with a life that is humanly possible. The Christian life is a supernatural one, one that is filled with things that are inconceivable apart from the presence and power of our God. That, my brothers and sisters, is the life that we are called to live.

 

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