"The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend." (Exodus 33:11 NIV)
I was reading this passage not too long ago and two words came to mind, "intimate knowing." How many of us walk around guarded in our relationships out of fear that if others truly saw us for who we are, they would reject us? We constantly wear masks to suit whatever social situation we may encounter in life. We take on the image of a chameleon, changing our expressions and demeanor to keep another person guessing as to who is the "real" me. Intimate knowing comes out of a relationship that allows a person to be themselves without having to wear a mask or pretend to hide our weaknesses and/or faults. There is no need to fear judgment or condemnation. Can you imagine what it was like for Moses to have the Lord speak with him as a friend? We all long for relationships that can be that deep and intimate. Some may say, isn't that the experience one has when they are married? While it is true, marriage is the one relationship where it is safe to be vulnerable with your spouse, if we are really honest we even do some hiding with our husband or wife. We are never quite sure in relationships if at some point we are going to do or say something beyond the scope of forgiveness. However, with God there is no hiding place. Psalm 139:7-12 states, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." (NIV) How did it feel for Moses to have such a relationship with God? Although God is the Almighty, He reached down to Moses in such an approachable way. Even the place where Moses met with God was called the tent of meeting which implied a relationship. For us, we come to intimately know God in Jesus. Although Jesus is Lord, co-equal with the Father, He came to us in our humanity so we would have an experience like Moses, talking to God face to face as one speaks with a friend. We don't have to pretend with God nor fear judgment or condemnation because of our shortcomings. Moreover, this intimate knowing is made more powerful through the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit serves as the concrete reflection of the intimacy we share with God. I pray we will all long to taste of this "intimate knowing." Dare we open our hearts to Jesus and discover parts of ourselves that have been hidden for so long? I offer this prayer that filled my spirit longing for a deeper relationship with Jesus. "Ah Sovereign Lord, tell me my story! Tell me Great and Awesome Storyteller, the story of my life as You created it to be. The brush strokes of beauty with all the subtle hues of color blending together into one creation. Intimate knowing of You, intimately knowing me." Amen.
Grace and mercy be yours,