It’s audio devo day!
Are you facing uncertainties about your future? You are in good company. Join the ranks of the likes of Moses, the intimate friend of God. Join me as we explore his mind-boggling conversation with the Lord, right here:
(Know someone else that needs to hear this today? You can either share today’s blog link with them, or look up my Feeding on Jesus podcast for sharing and subscribing. You’ll find it at these links on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and most other podcast platforms, with episodes identical to these audio devos!)
Is your soul restless as you think about the future? Are you experiencing uncertainties about what’s up ahead for you? Do you feel unsure about what God is asking of you? Well, so did one of the most amazing men who ever lived, Moses. Today we are going to talk about how God moved him from that place of hesitancy, into profound rest for his soul.
First of all, Moses expressed his insecurities honestly to God. In Exodus 33:12, he said to Him, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.” Moses acknowledged his own inadequacy to the Lord. He knew he needed some serious help, and he said so plainly. Baring his heart to God, he then added,
Hmm… “Teach me your ways…” Does that ring a bell? If you have been journeying with me on this podcast series about rest for your soul, I bet it does. We have been talking about the connection between knowing God’s ways and entering His rest. Jesus invitingly told us, “Learn My ways… and you will find rest for your soul.”
Moses was a wise man. He longed to learn God’s ways. Why? It’s right there in the story, “…so I may know you.” His spirit burned with a desire to know God. He was not satisfied to just know information about God. He wanted to personally know Him. And he understood that learning His ways was essential if he was going to become more intimately acquainted with God.
God’s answer to this request is so striking: “The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you…’” (v. 14). How was Moses going to learn God’s ways? By being in His Presence. By spending time with Him. I love how the NLT puts it, “I will personally go with you, Moses.” Are you hungry to know God too? As you move forward in obedience to Him, you can be assured that God Himself, personally, is going to be right by your side. Personally. His very Presence is going to go with you, wrapped around you. As you travel the road of life abiding in His intimate company, you are going to get to know His ways. You are going to come to understand His heart.
You know what though? There was more to what God said in answer to Moses. The verse continues, “The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest’” Do you see it here again? There is a direct link between knowing God’s ways, and receiving His rest. The more we know Him, the more we know His ways, the deeper our soul enters into His restfulness. A heart that knows God experientially is a heart at peace. Knowing Him quiets our uncertainties about the future. The intimate knowledge of Him infuses our souls with His rest.
Isn’t that amazing? There is so much to learn from this conversation between God and Moses. Look at the next request Moses made of 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?” (vv. 15-16, NIV).
What else but His Presence will distinguish us? It’s His Presence that makes our lives something out of the ordinary. When you learn to abide in Him, to make His love your habitation, this sets you apart as different from the entire rest of the population. Someone who truly knows God’s ways, who has invested the time and effort necessary to truly get to know His heart, stands out from the rest as strikingly distinctive. This is the kind of person whose soul feeds on the character of God, no matter what is happening in the surrounding environment. When His Presence goes with you personally, He gives you rest. Perpetually. This makes you so very different! This is why we must cry out as Moses did, “God, if You don’t go with me, don’t send me from here! Don’t even let me even start this day without Your Presence!”
God loves this kind of spiritual hunger. He assured Moses that He would indeed go with him. We see this in the following verse: “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name’” (v. 17). See, even just there, we are getting to know His heart a little bit better. This is the same God that says to us, “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find… Everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds” (Matt. 7:7-8). He is a God who delights to fulfill our longings for Him. If you are hungry for His presence, you will be filled. If you are eager to receive rest for your soul by learning His ways, you will receive. He knows you by name, and He is overflowing with pleasure in your desire to know Him!
After this, our Bible story gets even more amazing. Moses is still not satisfied. He keeps pressing in further into the heart of God. In the next verse, He makes the boldest request of all: “Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory’ (v. 18).
Wow! God’s glory! Does that seem like an overwhelming idea? It could be, especially considering God’s answer that no one could see Him and live. Seeing God’s glory might give us the impression of being fatally electrocuted a by super-blast of His inexpressible, unapproachable light and power. However, there’s something here that we just cannot miss. God said yes to Moses’ request! Listen carefully to how He assented. There is something vitally important about His word choice here: “And the Lord said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you…” (v. 19).
We learn something stunning here: at the core of God’s glory is His goodness. His goodness is the very essence of His glory. All that superb, magnificent light shining from Him, brighter than the sun, is made up of His love. To be enveloped in the Presence of God is to be enveloped to the nth degree in pure goodness… pure affection… pure tenderness… pure passion… pure love. It is to be immersed in the nature of a good, good Father.
This is what was happening to Moses. And the more glimpses He got of God, the more his spiritual appetite was provoked. He wanted more… and more… and more. The more he sought after God, the more he received what he was hungering for. He was granted the astonishing privilege of coming to know God face-to-face, as a Friend.
The Lord did indeed go with him personally, and Moses learned what it was to truly be at rest in His Presence, as a lifestyle. You know what is even more breathtaking? Scripture tells us that what you and I have available in the new covenant is “much more glorious” than what Moses experienced (2 Cor. 3:11, NKJV). God pointedly asks us, “Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?” (v. 8, NLT).
This means that just like Moses did, you, too, can learn God’s ways… even more so, if you are truly hungry for Him! You, too, can get to know Him more, and more and more. You, too, can walk in face-to-face friendship with Him. You, too, can drink in the glory of His goodness. If you are craving God, this is for you. No matter what is up ahead for you, God is personally going with you. He Himself is going to give you rest along the whole journey. With all your heart, just keep pressing in to know Him more.
or the coming of rains in early spring.” (Hos. 6:2-3, NLT).
Do you believe that you could walk with God as Moses did?