January 31, 2014
Face To Face
By Skip Heitzig
A little boy asked his mother, "Is God up there?" "Yes, of course He is,” she said. And the boy said, "Then wouldn't it be great if He'd just poke His head out once in a while so we could see Him?"
Moses certainly understood that. He wanted to see God, to experience everything he possibly could of God, and he said, "Please, show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18). It's not too different from when Philip asked Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us" (John 14:8).
That’s what we all yearn for to some degree, to see God face to face and to fully experience Him. And as Christians we anticipate His coming: "Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Until then, we walk by faith and not by sight.
You'll never be fully satisfied until you see His face. Worship and Bible study are great, but they were never meant to fully satisfy us, to quench our thirst. They’re meant to simply whet our appetite for when we see Him face to face. Then we will be totally satisfied.
Sometimes we think we need something, but God knows exactly what we really need and He gives us that. Moses did not see God directly. Instead, God gave a description of His character, what He is like (see Exodus 34:6-7). This is not what Moses expected, but God was saying, "I'll tell you who I am, Moses, because it's all you need.” Paul the apostle begged that God would heal him, but God said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
Here are three practical lessons to walk away with:
One: Longing is part of loving. Longing for God, wanting to experience Him, is part of loving, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, God responds to that longing. Hebrews 11:6 says, “He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The rewards will come as you seek Him, but you won't get the ultimate reward until you see Him face to face. You can't handle seeing Him now, so when God says, "You can't see Me and I can't show you My glory," He's not saying no, He's simply saying not yet.
Two: Worshipping is better than wondering. Instead of wondering why you don't experience more than you do, just worship Him. Each time God reveals Himself to you in any way through His Word, the proper response is to worship Him. God is saying, "This is what you need,” and when you worship you're saying, "You're right, it's enough."
Three: Invisible does not mean unavailable. It doesn't matter that you can't see God. The most important truth is God can see you and He knows you. David wrote in Psalm 139, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?" It's the same truth Job came to grips with when he complained that he couldn’t see God. But then he said, "But He knows the way that I take" (see Job 23:8-10). God is always there.
The everlasting God sees all and knows all, and whether you feel Him or touch Him or hear Him or see Him, He knows the way that you take. And He asks you to trust Him.
One day we will see His glory. But until then He always gives us what we need. And we should worship Him rather than wondering “why this and why that?” I pray our response would be, "It's enough, Lord. We praise you, we worship you."
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