Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Moving Beyond The Veil

2Cor. 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

trans·form
1. to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose.
2. to change in condition, nature, or character; convert.

Do you ever have days where it seems like you'll never get to the place you want to be? I do. Pretty regularly, I go cry out to God about my progress. It's because I want to be more than I am right now. I want to be more than a correct Christian. I want to be more than a friendly face in a crowd of people. I want to operate in the power that Jesus had. I want to exercise the same obedience and diligence. I want the same heart of compassion. I want His boldness.

In the above scripture, Paul is talking about Moses and how, after Moses came down off of Mount Sinai with the tablets, Moses' face was glowing. The Bible actually says his face was radiant! This was the effect of being in the presence of God. It completely changed the appearance of Moses' face.

Exodus 34:29
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant and they were afraid to come near him.

The Israelites had the chance to spend time in the presence of God. Earlier, when God handed down the Ten Commandments, the people heard the voice of God and were terrified. But instead of pushing past their fears and listening to the voice of the one who had led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and supernaturally fed them, they drew back.

Exodus 20:18&19
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”


Look at that! They actively distanced themselves from the voice of God! Look at the sorrows they went through as a result. They thought that if Moses heard from God for them, it would solve their problems. They would listen to him, and everything would be fine.

The truth is, THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR GOD SPEAKING INDIVIDUALLY TO YOU. Even the most anointed preacher can’t touch your heart the way that God Himself can. The bible says that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12) And we know what happened to the Israelites. They didn’t obey Moses. They didn’t listen to him, even though they said they would.

The Israelites maintained that distance from the presence of God. After Moses would return from speaking with God, he put a veil over his face. The Israelites were afraid to come near him until he put the veil on. (Exodus 34:29)

What would have happened if the Israelites had kept that reflection of God’s glory before their eyes? In the presence of that anointing you’ll have heart change and break throughs. It literally transforms your mind.

Isa. 10:27
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off they shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yolk shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

2Cor. 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

If you want more from God, if you want to get further in life, you have to spend time with God. You have to develop your relationship with God. We are made to be imitators of God, made in His likeness. It's only by spending time in his presence, that the Holy Spirit has a chance to work on your heart. The Israelites turned away from God. They kept Him at arms length. If they had pressed in, they would have seen His glory. They had the chance! One of their number took that opportunity:

Exodus 33:11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

Where was Joshua? Still in the tent, still talking with God. And he grew up to lead the Israelites into the promised land. What would have happened if more of their number had followed Joshua’s lead?

Jesus died so that we could have an intimate relationship with God. So that we could draw near to God and talk to him face to face.

2Cor. 3:12
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.

2Cor. 3:16
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.


Turn to the Lord. Seek His face and listen for Him to speak individually to YOU. Watch and see how He’ll transform you and your situation because of it!

2Cor. 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

6 comments:

Heart Cry... said...

I want so much more of God...so much more intimacy with Him. And I want this hunger for Him to be turned up. There really is nothing greater than that relationship with God. Let's go for it with all the passion we have in us.

Samantha F. said...

There was SO MUCH MORE in this post than what I posted. I kept on seeing more and more and MORE to talk about.

God doesn't despise the hungry! Hallelujah!

Andrew Barlow said...

VERY good post Sam, God is something we can never get enough of. And your right, that passion and fire really needs to be reignited in a lot of peoples lives.
What he has really been showing me lately is that he has all the answers that I need for all of the problems and situations that I have, but if I dont actively seek his face and come to talk to him, that I wont get those answers. But everytime that I come, he is right there ready to speak. :) Again, GREAT post

Samantha F. said...

Thanks Andrew! Some times it's difficult to slow down and listen for God, but the sooner that you get into the habit of going to God with everything, the better your life will be.

You are thinking about all of these sorts of things at a really young age and it just makes me feel like shouting!! =D I'm enjoying watching people transform in His presence!

Cap. said...

Okay - (jeez I read one post and figured I'd read more - this is my problem I want to question/reply to everything. Anyway...) So I want God to speak directly to me. Not just in direct reply when I'm in prayer, but inclusive of when I'm in prayer. I don't really see it happening. So I'll take the speaking directly to me (you commented it's better than going through moses) - I don't see it?

Samantha F. said...

Cap-

Comment all you want!! I like seeing people reading the older posts. ('Sides, I do it too!)

The bible says that "God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent. Does He speak and then not act? Do He promise and then not fulfill?" (Num. 23:19)

It also says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”(Matt. 7:7)

Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

God wants to speak directly to you. It's great if you have someone who can get God's word to you, but that's not supposed to be our main avenue of instruction. There are a couple ways you can hear God's voice.

1) Read your Bible. (Duh.) My sister sometimes needs some direction from God, so she flips her bible open and reads the first thing that hits her eye. It ALWAYS applies to her situation. (Pastor, I repent of turning my nose up at this way of hearing God's voice!! LOL!) I think we should all have a solid foundation of practical bible study, but this is a cool way to hear from God.

2) Quiet the clamoring chaos around you and in you, and listen for the voice of God. My Pastor has a really good series of blog posts where he teaches you how to journal. This is the main way I hear from God. Here's the link: http://joebarlow.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_archive.html (Sorry, gotta cut and paste!)

Scroll down to the May 16 2006 "Hearing God's Voice, My First Time" post. That one and the next two or three are great. He also has a video clip up on his blog right now that shows you step by step how to journal.

I'm not suggesting that anyone should shun having hearing God's voice second hand, but we are supposed to have that one on one time. As you spend more and more time in His presence, you become more and more sensitive to Him. Cap, you'll probably find that He'll interrupt you in the middle of other things to tell you stuff. It's great!

(Long reply! ^_^)