Tuesday, May 24, 2016

an unexpected {yet perfect} answer

"The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

 Moses said to the Lord, "You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’  If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people".
 The Lord replied, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'"
Exodus 33:11-14

Often times I (wrongfully) catch myself thinking that I will learn the most from Scripture by reading the NT. You know, the gospels, epistles, etc. After all, those books were written specifically to the church, right? I often find myself skimming over the OT (esp. Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deut...you know the books I'm talking about), or deeming (in my mind) it as less important than the NT, but that is so NOT true. We can learn a lot from these books...if we just take some time to see what they're saying. 
Okay so before I even make my point about how this passage relates to the title of this post, check this out:
The first thing I noticed when I read this passage was the relationship between Moses and the Lord. It says in verse 11 that God spoke to Moses as one speaks to a friend. How COOL is that!? Imagine that kind of relationship with the Lord! Crazy right? Even crazier is the fact that we now can have that kind of relationship with God too. In the OT, God spoke to priests and prophets on behalf of the people. But now, because of Jesus, we are able to play that role of a priest and have that kind of relationship with God. 1 Peter 2:9 says we are a royal priesthood, and Hebrews 4:16 tells us to come boldly before the throne of grace, something that in the OT, only the priests could do. So basically, we can have that relationship that Moses had we God...we can speak to Him as we would speak to a friend, and He wants to speak to us that way. God wants to hear our thoughts, emotions, hurts, desires, pains, dreams.....that sounds alot like a RELATIONSHIP, my friend- not a religion! :) Anyway...!

THEN it gets even better (this is the main point I want to make), Moses shows his humanness and QUESTIONS the Lord. Sound familiar? You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me. (v.12).  What is Moses doing? He's questioning God on what He said He would do, instead of believing and knowing that God would come through on His Word. 
How often do we do this? I know I'm definitely guilty of it! Have you ever said, "Lord, you said you were going to provide for this, but I don't know how that's going to happen because you have not provided a job in 3 months," or something similar? We often wonder, is God REALLY my provider, my healer, my satisfaction? He SAID He is, but how often is that not enough for us when we don't immediately see the fruit of it?

The BEST thing about this is the Lord's response: "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." 

What? I can totally image Moses being like "Ummmmm okay Lord, that's great, but you totally didn't answer my question. You still didn't tell me who you were going to send with me and how we were going to get this done. You want me to lead all of these thousands of people but unless you give me some sort of blueprint to work with this is not going to happen."

...(wait for it)...

But that's the point. 

God DID answer His question, just in a way Moses didn't expect.
God didn't give Moses all the details of how things were going to play out. He didn't tell Moses exactly HOW He was going to come through on His promises, BUT God did give Him a peace and the promise of His presence, which would be ENOUGH to get Moses through whatever the future held. 
God did come through on His promises, and He answered Moses's question, just maybe in a way Moses didn't expect.

Can you see where I'm headed with this application?

I'm a planner. I like to plan things in advance, and know the details and schedule. So, this is something that's really hard for me. Sometimes I ask God for answers to questions about my future and you know what? He doesn't always give them. But, I've realized that the promise of God's presence and rest is SO much greater than knowing all of the minute details of life or how things are going to work out. It's about learning to walk by faith, which is how we grow.
So, if you're in a time of transition or growth (like me), trust in the Lord. Continue to pursue Him and His promises, knowing that He may not give you all the answers right when you want them, but He WILL be there for you. You may feel like you need to know everything, but you know what? You don't, because you serve a God that DOES and has your very best interest at heart.
If you remember anything at all from this post, let it be this: Even down uncertain paths, If you have God's presence, you have all you need.

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