The foundation of my blog is obviously faith and relationship with Jesus. God has always spoken to me through writing so if I’m not staying close to him I don’t have much to say. I also believe transparency is important because no matter how good things look from the outside, no one has it all together and lives a perfect life. So I’m going to be transparent and share that I’ve been in a “dry period” in my communication with God. I’ve tried to do all the things I do to regain the closeness and intimacy but I’ve been distracted, found it hard to focus, and been really frustrated.
This morning I got up early and sat down with my coffee to be with God. I worked on a Bible Study by Beth Moore called “The Quest” and our faithful God gave me answers. This particular day was on Moses and his friendship with God. He was at the point of heading towards the Promised Land with the Israelites after they had so quickly turned away from God and made a golden calf to worship. A consequence of the Israelites unfaithfulness to God was that although he was still sending them to the Promised Land, he told Moses he would no longer accompany them.
Here’s where it came together for me. Beth Moore paraphrased Exodus 33 as follows: “I’d rather be right here in the thorns and thistles and never know the taste of milk and honey if that’s what it takes to have You. Let my foes keep every inch of that land if, in order to possess it, I can’t have You. Give me every blessing that I can have and still have You or give me nothing at all besides You. No promise on earth can take the place of Your presence. I choose the desert if that’s where You are. If You’re not going, I’m staying.”
She goes on to say, “This is the very God whose presence is in your presence. This is the God who waits for you to acknowledge Him. This is the God who summons you to come to meet with Him. This same presence reflected in your life, in your love, your hope, your joy, and at times, in the pure radiance of your face is your most distinguishing mark on this earth. Talent can’t match it. Beauty can’t match it. Celebrity can’t match it. Romance can’t match it. A best seller can’t match it. An invention can’t match it. A Fortune 500 company can’t match it. All the milk and honey on the planet can’t match it.
No mansion. No marriage. No van full of car seats. No platform or position. Nothing compares.”
I used to pray that God would never give me so much that I would forget my need for Him. That is still my prayer. It was in times of desperation that I wholeheartedly sought God and as he promises in Jeremiah 29 I indeed found him. It wasn’t and never is a one and done but a process of growth in relationship with him. And although my form of desperation is different now than it was then, I will always be desperate for Him. I agree with Moses. Living with the presence of God is unmatchable. Truly nothing compares.
I realized that I had fallen back into performance over relationship/friendship with God. I was trying to “do” Bible study but not “be” with Him. The focus was on my effort rather than His grace. I was striving to be good enough and it left me exhausted. No wonder I felt far from God. This line of thinking leads to rebellion because it leads to the belief that God is impossible to please. Therein is the lie. He is already pleased with us period. With Jesus we are covered by his robe of righteousness and are now co heirs with Him. When God looks at us he sees the righteousness of Christ. Isaiah 64:6a says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;” Simply put our salvation, faith, and relationship with Jesus cannot be earned, it is NOT for sale.
The Passion version of Ephesians 2:7-10 says it beautifully. “Throughout the coming ages we will be the visible display of the infinite, limitless riches of his grace and kindness, which was showered upon us in Jesus Christ. For it was only through this wonderful grace that we believed in him. Nothing we did could ever earn this salvation, for it was by the gracious gift from God that brought us to Christ! So no one will ever be able to boast, for salvation is never a reward for good works or human striving. We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!”
My prayer for us is that God would remind us that His presence is always in our presence. I pray that we would be awed by the fact that the God of all desires to be in relationship with us, and invites us to sit with Him, to ask the hard questions, to learn from him, and most importantly to be loved by Him. Tomorrow morning when you have your cup of coffee remember whose presence is with you and be open to all that he has for you. Then meet him there again the next day and the next. You won’t be sorry.