Sometimes, I feel like my relationship with God is really great. Other times, I realize I’m not walking with the Lord as much. And then there are the times when I realize how far I’ve fallen from what God wants for my life.
Sometimes, you fall further than you ever thought you would fall. When you do, it hurts. I’m not alone though. Neither are you. One of my favorite characters in the Bible, Moses saw an Egyptian beating one of his own people, a Hebrew. The Egyptians had enslaved the Hebrews. Anger raged inside of him, and Moses killed the Egyptian. Then he hid the body in the sand.
The next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting. He tried to break it up. One of them said, “Are you going to kill me like you did the Egyptian?” Moses was found out. He was afraid, and he ran to the land of Midian. There he met a girl, fell in love, had a couple of kids, and took a job as a shepherd.
Quite a few years later, Moses was tending the sheep. His people, the Hebrews were still enslaved. They had been crying out to God. And as Moses walked through the wilderness, he saw a bush that was burning but wasn’t burning up. So he walks up to the bush, and a voice speaks to him. It is the Lord. In the bush. And the Lord says to Moses, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
Do you look, or do you not look when God shows up?
The last thing we saw Moses do was kill a man. Now, the Creator of the Universe is talking to Him.
Guilt has a way of sticking around with us. It reminds us of what we’ve done. Blood on our hands. Stains in our hearts.
If you’re like me, this is one of the things that can hold you back with God. If He only takes the good people, the holy people, the righteous people, then He won’t care too much for me and what I’ve done. These thoughts can spin in my head. Especially if I’ve drifted. Even more if I’ve fallen further than I ever thought I would.
In this moment, so many things could happen. God could remind Moses of the murder. He could do a lot of things. Instead, God calls Moses to go lead his people out of slavery. God chooses to use Moses for a greater purpose than Moses could have imagined. And Moses begins a close walk where God reveals His plan, His heart, and most of all Himself to Moses. They have a lot of conversations. And then Moses did what God told him to do. He actually leads his people out of slavery, and begins to take them to the land that God is going to give to them.
Along the way, Moses has a change of heart. He has heard God’s promise, and seen God work wonders. So he makes a request He would have never imagined making when the Lord first called him. He says to God,
“Show me your glory.” And God let Him see as much of His glory as Moses could handle. The Lord let Moses see Him. When He did, Moses bowed to the ground at once and worship.
The first time, Moses hid his face in fear.
The second time, Moses his his face in worship.
Moses was afraid to look at God. Then he asked to look at God.
What is the difference? As Moses walked with God, he trusted God more and more. And when Moses trusted God, he knew that the God who was redeeming his nation was redeeming him. Moses did not live in the shame of His past. I am sure he remembered how far he fell, and that gave him an incredible gratitude to a God who chose to use him even with the past he had.
If you feel like you’ve gone too far, fallen too hard, or done too much, God loves to redeem us. God loves to give us hope. That’s the reason Jesus died on the cross. God wants us to be defined by His love, not our mistakes. And this encourages my heart to live for God.
When God shows up, do you look or not look?
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1