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.