Excitement? Trepidation? What is this spinning inside? The date for a new Bible study at a different church loomed ahead. Because of the last time I’d ventured into a new space like this, I had mixed emotions. Would it be the same negative experience as before? I wanted to get to know new people. I even desired to apply what I’d learned myself.
I began to pray. (I know … God idea, right?)
I noticed something in Exodus 33 and 34. I read about this amazing conversation where Moses asked God to show him His glory.
I’ve always loved that verse and have asked God the same thing many times. I thought it meant asking God to show His power in a situation. I wanted that as I faced another new setting.
But I learned that Moses actually asked God to help him know Him more. Moses had seen so much of God and His power and yet wanted to experience more. He wanted to see God in a larger way, and God granted the request and went on to give Moses a description of Himself. (Exodus 34: 6-8)
I know God loves me. The question I had to face was: Do I want to get to know Him in a deeper way?
I’ve often said that some people come to God for fire insurance …an escape from hell. Kind of like the prodigal son from Luke 15. He’d left home with his inheritance and spent it all. When he was in desperate need, he returned home. He didn’t return because of his love for his father. He returned out of need. Necessary, but no depth of relationship. The father wrapped his arms around his son and welcomed him. Just as the father in the story, God loves us where we are.
Some want God’s love as shown through the sacrifice of Jesus. I hope it never ceases to amaze me that Jesus allowed Himself to take on the form of a baby, go through the birth process, live among the humans He created and died for them—for us—for me. This seems like such an unfathomable love.
There have been people who gave their lives to save one or several or even many, even those they might not know. But Jesus gave His life for those who would reject Him, those who would never love Him, and even the ones who wouldn’t try to know Him. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the Father’s love was displayed even more as the power of death was conquered. We receive forgiveness through love and sacrifice. This love is for everyone.
And still others desire a more personal love similar to what I saw in Exodus. II Corinthians 5 says Christ died for each person in the world. But this conversation between Moses and God shows how much God wants me to know Him in a more personal way. In the story from Luke 15, that father may have known his son only returned because of his need, but he welcomed him and loved him anyway.
God knows our motives. He understands that not every reason we run to Him is relational. Yet He loves us through our growth as we come to love Him.
As God put on my heart that He wants me to know Him more and grow in affection toward Him, I thought about Psalm 139 where I read how much God loves and is familiar with me. This chapter has always touched my heart deeply with the amount of care God gives.
I read it with new eyes, in light of how much God wants me to know Him. Tears spilled down my face. It personalized the love my Abba Father has for me, that He would want me to experience that relationship with Him.
When God reveals not only how much He loves us, but that He wants the same intimacy from us to Him, it takes the relationship He desires to a profound level.
Because He wants me to know Him, I have a deeper confidence that the enemy can’t touch. I can walk into a room of pre-friends and know He goes with me. I can see others, not through my fears, but through His eyes.
I hope today, you remember God loves you so much that He wants you to know Him personally.
Photo credit: Unsplash-Eberhard Grossgasteirger