Often, God’s work in our lives seems hidden, a barely discernible matter. That’s true in the life of an individual, the life of a church, and especially in the world itself. Yet, the Bible assures believers this is simply not the case. God is doing something in all areas of our life, our church, and the world. He’s doing it all the time.
So, what is God doing when we can’t see what He’s doing?
When God made His presence known to Moses through the flame shooting up from the non-burning bush, He told Moses what had been going on with Him while the children of Israel were suffering under the oppression of the Egyptian pharaoh. God said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings” (Exodus 3:7).
That’s what God was doing then. That’s what God is doing now. He’s doing it in your life and He’s doing it in my life. He’s doing it throughout the world today.
God told Moses He “had surely seen.” Nothing escapes His attention. He sees it all. From the beheadings in the Middle East to the hairs on my head, not one thing gets past God. He’s observing every minutiae and every big thing.
God said He “had heard.” Not one word coming from my mouth escapes God’s ears. He hears my sweet words as well as my harsh words. He hears what your boss utters as well as what you utter about your boss. He hears words of profanity and words of praise. His ears are never closed; He hears it all.
“I know,” God said. God is aware, thoroughly knowledgeable, about me. That means He is completely cognizant of my every thought, my every motive, my every desire, my every sin, my every . . . my everything. This is true of a church body. This is true of a family, This is true of a nation. This is true of our universe.
When God told Moses what was going on with Him, He did so, not to instill fear, but to give Moses comfort. Moses was afraid of God, so God wanted to reassure Moses that the manifestation of His presence wasn’t to be feared. God described what He was up when He spoke from the midst of a flame in a non-burning bush. God did it again when He spoke in the form of His Son Jesus. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
We can be comforted by what’s going on with God both now and in the future. God not only told Moses what He was doing in the present, He also told Moses what He was about to do for His children. “I have come down to deliver them” (Exodus 3:8).
God will do the same for His children today. “Yes, I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20).
Perhaps one of the most astonishing aspects of God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible is that He wants to have a personal relationship with His Creation, and, more specifically, He wants to be intimate with man, the highest of His Creation.
The Psalmist in Psalm 8:4 asks, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Good question. The answer is both simple and complex, and, since I don’t write–nor do you read–long blogs, I won’t attempt to answer it here.
Instead, I want to marvel at the incredible fact that God DOES pursue a relationship with me. At a point before time began, He even decided he would die for me in order for us to have such a relationship for all eternity.
Once established, He doesn’t want our companionship to be one-dimensional. That is, He wants me to continually communicate with Him, just as He continually speaks to me. He does so through His Word, through the presence of His Holy Spirit and through His creation. Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
With that in mind, allow Him to speak to you through this incredible video. Worship and listen to your Creator. Here’s the link, if the video doesn’t automatically load.
I believe the disciples who followed Jesus heard a lot about the glories of heaven. Surely Jesus mentioned His own experience of living in perfect harmony with His Father. As human beings, we enjoy sharing our own times of close fellowship with our Father, and Jesus, though fully divine, was also fully human, so I believe He must have talked to His friends about His preincarnate life with His Father.
Like Moses, the disciples of Jesus, were probably persistent in wanting to hear and see more of God’s glory. In fact, Moses’ request of God to “Show me your glory,” (Exodus 33:18) sounds more like a demand that a request.
Whether the disciples had asked (or demanded) to see His glory or not, Jesus gave three of his closest followers the incredible experience of glimpsing a tiny, pinhole peek of the glory He shared with the Father. He did this when he allowed them to accompany him to the top of a mountain as told in the gospels (Luke 9:28-36). “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.”
I long for such times of close fellowship with the Lord, and, like the disciples, I believe He gives us opportunities to see a tiny fraction (really, infinitesimal) of what living with Him, seeing His glory, enjoying His Presence completely will be like when we read His Word, bare our souls in prayer, and engage in worship with fellow believers.
Why did Jesus take only three disciples with Him when He revealed His Glory? Perhaps they were the only ones who asked of Him, “Show me your glory.”
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7.
I never make New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I think there’s something wrong with doing so. I’ve just developed an aversion to the concept, probably because New Year’s resolutions get a lot of bad press.
From comedians to newspaper articles, everywhere you turn, people make fun of New Year’s resolutions. The jokes usually refer to breaking them within a day or even an hour and often involve some form of deprecating humor.
However–and you knew there was going to be a “however” in this piece–I do like the idea of trying something different because a new year has begun.
Here’s what I’m going to be doing differently this year:
Change the way I do my morning Quiet Time: I’ve had a Bible study, prayer and meditation time every morning for the past forty years. I embraced this practice after reading a little booklet entitled Your Time Alone With God. At the end of the book, there was a signature line asking for a commitment to start a morning devotional time. I put my name on that line. Then, underneath my signature, I saw these words, “You’ve now made a commitment to meet the Lord every morning. He’s going to be there. Don’t stand him up.”
Through these many years, I’ve often followed daily Bible reading plans–reading through the Bible in a year–but, at other times, I’ve concentrated on one book of the Bible for a whole year. Although I’ve often used devotional books, these books have always included daily passages of Scripture. Reading His Word every morning has transformed my life, and I’ve never regretted signing my name on the bottom line.
This year, I’m changing things up a bit because I received a brand new Bible. My old Bible was falling apart, and, for too many years, I put off getting a new one because I’d filled up the margins of the old one with sermon outlines, notes, and tears. I didn’t want to let that go. Now, it’s time to start over.
This year, I’m reading through my new Bible without being able to read my old notes in the margins. I’m writing down new thoughts, shedding new tears, and meditating on newly discovered glories.
As I finished reading through my old Bible last year, knowing I was going to be “breaking in” a new Bible this year, these words from Revelation 21:5 spoke to me: “And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new ” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
Even if you have to make a New Year’s resolution to accomplish it, make it a daily practice to read His Word in 2015. You’re sure to find His Words are “faithful and true.”