There are two observations from today’s reading:
1. It was possible for the people to have gone on with God’s plan without God present. In the beginning of chapter 33 God was so displeased with the people’s unfaithfulness to Him that He threatened to withdraw His presence. Yet, He told Moses to take the people into the Promised Land.
Think about the implications of this for our lives. How many times have we forged ahead with plans that seemed to be from God, yet did it in a way that was empowered by our own flesh and desire? This is an easy trap to fall into, especially for churches and Christian organizations. We are so comfortable worshipping at the golden calf of human ingenuity and corporate success strategies that we forget that the only thing that truly matters is whether or not we are standing in the Presence of God. It would do us good to stop and make sure that we have soaked in God’s presence, asked for HIS guidance, and patiently waited for HIM to move the cloud before we move out and do something for His Kingdom.
2. The true presence of God affects radical change in the person beholding it. When Moses came down from the presence of God, his face was shining. He had been altered by the Glory of God in a way that was noticeable to everyone around him. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians,
“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And If we want to be changed, it does not happen by trying harder to bwe, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:16-18) e a better person. We do not conform our external behavior to be more like Jesus. No, these things cannot work because they are externally focused and based on human will power. It would be like trying to clean out a dirty milk jug by scrubbing the outside of it only. The only power for transformation is the Presence of God.
We need to create space in our lives each day to humbly come before God and, through prayer, Bible study, and meditation, open ourselves to His presence and ask Him to fill us and clean us from the inside out. When we leave that “tent of meeting” our faces will shine with the joy and the hope of the Lord and will be a beacon of hope to the world around us.
Tap into the power of God’s transforming presence today.