Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Meeting with the LORD...

Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the LORD. (Exodus 34:4-5 ESV)

On Thursday mornings (at 6 a.m.) a couple of ladies and I get together to study God's Word.  We have studied many different topics over the last couple of years. Last week we listened to this sermon by John Barnett on Daily Devotions.  We listened to it several months ago too, but a refresher never hurts. It is a great little sermon about hearing from the Lord and having a meaningful quiet time. This morning I was reviewing my notes and was reading in Exodus. This part of scripture really spoke to me and came alive with application.  Now, I am all about going "deep" into the Word and to the original languages... but there was no need for that this morning. Going "deep" has its merits, but a lot of time, the application and meaning is so plainly laid out that it is mind boggling. Today was one of those days where the simplicity is just stunning. So... if you are expecting a grand exposition of scripture... I'm not your person, and this is not your post...

I hear from God much more clearly when I have a pen and a journal in hand. Or rather, I pay more attention to God's promptings when I write them down and meditate on those scriptures I've journaled about.

Moses was prepared to hear from the LORD. He cut 2 tablets of stone. They were blank slates prepared with the anticipation that the Lord would fill them up.  I have never cut tablets of stone, but I imagine that the process takes time and patience.  As far as I can tell, God had created/cut the first tablets (Ex. 32:16  The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.) If so, I'm sure Moses was all the more careful to create the tablets to look as close to the original as he could. At any rate, I should not think it so hard to "trouble" myself to find an appropriate notebook or journal and pen to bring with me to meet with the LORD.... to be prepared beforehand and to expect that God will speak with me. (And for Pete's sake, when my journal is getting filled up.... get to Hobby Lobby and get another one!)

And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded...

I believe giving God our first fruits also includes our time. In tithing our money, we give off of the top (or give to God first). I should give God the first of my day as well.  And in order to do that, I need to get up earlier. A simple Bible search on "early morning" yielded many, many examples of people rising early in obedience to the Lord to hear from Him and worship Him. These were people who were far more busy and distracted than I am.  (I mean, really! They had to raise their dinner, catch it, kill it, clean it, and cook it... all before eating it!  Very often they had to do this! They also didn't have dish washers, washing machines, vehicles, etc....  These people were BUSY!) So the excuse of "I'm too busy to have a good quiet time" is just not going to "fly".  We are NOT too busy. And if we are too busy, we are filling up our days with unnecessary and/or ungodly things. Repent and simplify! Part of my being a "living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1) means that I should sacrifice some of my sleep in order to meet with the LORD. Having communion with God that yields fruits should give me convictions and truths that I should spend my day meditating on. If my time with God is in the evening (habitually), then it leaves me little time before bed to meditate on the truths Jehovah has shown me.

Moses rose early and went...

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35

Do you have a place to go and meet with God? Maybe it is a couch, or closet, or chair, or church... I have tried at times to stay and study in my bed, but I seem to fall back asleep when I do that.  I don't recall that pattern ever being portrayed in the scriptures. Moses went... Jesus departed and went.... Where do I go? What kind of place should I seek? In Ex. 34:3 (No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout the mountain), Moses was to come alone and present himself to God. Mark 1:35 said that Jesus went to a desolate place.  It seems that our "place" should be one where we can be alone and undisturbed and not distracted. I have little kids, so leaving my house isn't the best option, but there are places in my house where distractions and interruptions are minimal.... especially early in the morning...
If early morning doesn't work, this might be the only way to minimize interruptions around this house!!!

 Moses rose early, and went... and took in his hand 2 tablets of stone.

Moses went prepared, taking with him the blank slates in expectation of God filling them. When I come before God and expect him to speak, He always does. And even more-so when I come with pen and paper in hand, ready to record what He gives me. It may be simple or complex truths. It may be a rebuking for something I said or did... or did not do. It may be a call for intercession on behalf of someone. But whatever it is, usually it requires me to make a choice to respond in obedience or to turn and go my own way.  Throughout the day I meditate on what the Lord gave to me and what a blessing it is to share with someone about what the LORD opened my eyes to.

Lastly, we see that the LORD proclaimed: The Lord, the LORD, a god merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin (Ex. 34:6-7a).

These qualities/charcteristics of God are so worthy to meditate on. How can I not worship Him? And proclaim His goodness? To one who has been so patient with me: a grave sinner and transgressor of the law... He has pardoned me. He is faithful, gracious, merciful, and abounds in love. And to think that I would value sleep or other worldly things consuming my time above meeting with the all-powerful creator??? Woe is me!

Ex. 34:8 And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.

And so shall I!