Updated: Dec 30, 2019
"The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a FRIEND."
Exodus 33:11 MSG (emphasis added by me)
So there was this guy named Moses.
Charleton Heston's chiseled face instantly comes to mind, thanks to The Ten Commandments. As much as I cherish this cinematic classic, movie makers got something wrong.
Far from an imposing figure, the Moses of the Exodus account was known for his MEEKNESS. That, and a notable fear of public speaking, possibly due to a speech impediment.
It's safe to say he wouldn't be featured on TED talks.
Yet, God chooses Moses as his spokesperson. He pretty much never does things the way I would. A fact for which I am increasingly grateful.
Big things happen.
Huge, in fact.
Millions of Hebrew slaves are released, the Red Sea is parted, the enemy destroyed, God's government established through the 10 Commandments, and the Mosaic Covenant confirmed, to name a few.
Strengthened by continued encounters with the Presence of God, we see Moses progress in his roll as a leader. With the responsibility of 6 million refugees on his shoulders, the most intense leadership crash course in history is underway.
Along the way, Moses begins an intriguing personal practice.
He creates a place outside of camp called the Tent of Meeting, for "anyone inquiring of the Lord..."
In that tent, he absorbs a steady diet of God's company, connecting with the great I AM through intimate conversation.
Sounds like quite the coffee date. I wonder if I would have had the guts to show up.
Moses has eye witnessed the intense (some might say terrifying) side of the most powerful being in existence. So far in this account, God has made himself known in fire, plagues, smoke, more fire, an army-wrecking torrent, a dark cloud on a mountain, consuming fire...
Not exactly his warm, fuzzy side.
Yet, Moses seemed to be convinced of these three things:
God loves his people.
God can be trusted.
God can be known personally.
And so they met together behind a curtain, speaking as friends.
It is in the midst of this practice that the most humble man on earth makes one of the most bold requests ever recorded.
He asks to see the very glory of God (full essence), giving way to his third, and arguably most powerful, encounter on a mountain top.
I read the story again, noticing that God seems to set the stage to transition from the pursuer to the pursued.
He appears to desire to be seen and known for who he is by this human he calls FRIEND.
Did the Creator of the universe make himself VULNERABLE?
Does he truly desire to be known by his friends? Is it possible to have an intimacy with God that goes both ways?
Scriptures shoot off in my mind like fireworks.
I have not called you servants, I have called you friends...
I know my own and my own know me...
I consider everything to be nothing compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...
This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God...
(John 15:5,10:14,17:3, Philippians 3:8)
My heart feels strangely grieved, overwhelmed in a completely other way than before. I approach my time with God differently this time. The pen and journal are the same, but the question I ask is new.
What is on your heart today?
The answer was lovely. I'll share more another time. But what I want to tell you today is this:
That desire you have to be known, to be seen, to be in relationship... That's not a weakness, flaw, or liability. You were CREATED for intimacy.
Yes, there are versions that can be twisted or unhealthy.
People we trust will betray us.
Co-dependency is real.
We feel that we are too much or not enough.
People will let us down. But that's because intimacy with one another is an imperfect attempt to re-create divine design.
We were made for one-ness with the One who made us. We were made to walk in the garden together.
There is a longing within each soul for that safe place where we can love with abandon, never fearing rejection.
THIS is what Jesus came for. The human heart.
This is your love story. To know and to be known by the one who has your name written on the palm of his hand. (Isaiah 49:16)
It's your turn. Get somewhere quiet...your very own tent of meeting...and ask the question, "What is on your heart today?"
Let the answer change your life.
We are in this together and I want to hear from you!
Leave a comment. Share on social media or with a friend. Let's make this a conversation, not a monologue.
In Him we live and move and have our being.