“Now, therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
This exchange between Moses and God is one of my favorites. God speaking with Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend, demonstrates the normal New Covenant relationship every believer is called to. There is no denying that having an intimate encounter with the living God makes it highly unlikely that your life’s trajectory won’t be drastically altered by it.
Fire Changes Things
Moses has his first experience with God on the back side of the mountain in the form of a burning bush and encounters the voice of God coming from the midst of it. We find this pattern in the Scriptures of people encountering God’s Presence, hearing his voice, and never being the same again. Any encounter with the tangible Presence of this all-consuming fire we know as God cannot leave us unchanged.
We see these encounters with Abraham Isaac and Jacob, each encounter changes the trajectory of their lives. From God’s perspective, each encounter is a calling to join God’s redemptive storyline. Every call of God comes with three components attached; An encounter with his tangible presence in some measure, hearing God’s voice for ourselves, and a bestowal of divine favor that carries a specific assignment with it.
The Gift of God’s Presence
From the beginning in the Garden Adam and Eve enjoyed God’s Presence, heard his voice for themselves, and walked under the blessing of God’s favor to carry out the assignments prepared for them beforehand. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, this pattern is seen throughout redemptive history. This is the redemptive process of bridging the gap between God and humanity as The Spirit progressively leads us from darkness to light.
1 Peter 2:9
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Peter is referring to this redemptive gift of God’s Presence for the purpose of carrying out His prepared assignment for all who are called in Christ. We see God explaining this to Moses prior to giving the Ten Commandments in Exodus 19.
“While Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” (See Rev. 1:6, 5:10)
We the Church are a Chosen People Set Apart for a Purpose
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
All who come to Christ have been chosen by God and brought to Himself for the purpose of living life together (Church) in His Presence as ambassadors of His Kingdom, bridging the gap between the Holy God and fallen humanity, telling the story of the crucified and risen Christ who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (See Matt. 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-20, Luke 24:44-49, Acts 1:8, 2 Cor. 5:17-21)