March 20, 2016

Exodus 33:13 “If 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.”

It just struck me that Moses had every reason to pray this prayer, because none of the Bible had been written at this point. It was Moses himself who wrote the first five books, during the 40 years of wandering in the desert after this. Being guided in that writing was a very real answer, and a magnificent one, to this very prayer. That said, this is the sort of prayer God delights to answer, because it is focused more on God than it is on the person praying. However, if we pray this exact prayer today, the first thing God will say is, “Well, have you read my Book?” God does reveal Himself individually to us today, but the first method He uses to do that is the Bible. We do need the help of the Holy Spirit to grasp it properly, but the words are there. God speaks to different people in different ways, and some do see visions and hear essentially direct speech. However, especially for such people, it is essential to be grounded in the Word, because there are definitely lying spirits out there that try to divert us from God’s way. (1 Kings 22:22-23) The devil himself is a consummate liar, and he even quotes the Bible! (Luke 4:9-11) When we are really familiar with the Word, lies about God become obvious. If we want to know more of God and His ways, desiring to be obedient to Him, the first thing we will do is seek to absorb His Word, not as abstract knowledge, but as something to put into practice. (James 1:22)

I have gone through periods of seeking God, periods of taking Him for granted, and periods of ignoring Him. Seeking Him is definitely best! Growing up in the home I did, particularly with reading through the Bible (RSV) before I was a teenager, I’ve always had knowledge about God, which is why I am very aware there is a huge difference between knowing about Him and knowing Him. My life in the 60 years since my baptism has been a process of getting to know Him. At this point, knowing Him fully is one of my greatest anticipations about heaven. (1 Corinthians 13:12) I have learned that everything He had people write about Him in the Bible is true, and can be counted on. I am still learning to trust Him more and obey Him better, which seems almost ironic considering how much practice He’s given me in that, but it just shows my human fallibility. I have been given the privilege of leading others to know Him better, and that is a high calling indeed. If I pretend to have it all together, I will benefit no one and potentially cause real harm. I am not to look down on anyone, but remember God’s grace toward me and extend it to others. God is the only one who cannot make mistakes! As He has told me, I am to rest, relax, and rejoice in Him. If I will do that, I will indeed lead others to do likewise.

Father, yesterday was a pretty rough day as I came face to face with the results of my own procrastination and lack of organization. Thank You for pointing out so strongly that I have no room to look down on others who lose out because of procrastination. Right now I have very little emotional margin because of all that has been going on. That just shows how much room I have to grow in resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in You. May I take my hands off of the wheel today and let You drive, so that all of Your purposes for me in this day may be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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