Presence, Rest, and Identity


As I have studied the last twenty chapters of Exodus, I stopped to take notice on Friday when I came to chapter 33, and read the following exchange between Moses and the Lord.

12Moses 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.’
13If 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.”
14The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.
16How 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?”
17And 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.”

First, the simplicity of Moses’ request struck me.  He opened his conversation with the Lord:  “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.”

What a  request to start each day! Once we moved here to our mountain cabin, I still wrote 3 X 5 card lists in the evening. These numbered all the things I had to accomplish the next day. Old habits die hard, and I admit, there are still times when I make such lists. How much better to open my eyes and ask the Lord to teach me His ways that very day.

The reply the Lord gives in verse 14 carries as much validity in 2012 as it did in Moses’ day: “The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Focusing on His Presence with me and then resting in the events He will direct for my day always seem to ground my identity in Jesus Christ.

As His child, He floods His Presence into my life through consistent study of Scripture. As I read and study, the Holy Spirit applies truth to the realities of my everyday life.  What grace!

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