After Moses came down from the mountainside with the Ten Commandments, he continued to meet with God in the Tabernacle. Exodus 33 says that when Moses would go into the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would stand at the door of their tents and watch. Once he entered, the pillar of cloud would come down over the entrance of the tent and the people would bow. What happens next in verse 11 is what I love about God. It says, “And God spoke to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” God desires to have that relationship with you and me. One where we sit down with Him, face to face and speak as friends.
That sounds so difficult to me at times. How do I sit down and talk as friends with the One who created everything I see? Who am I that He would even meet me, let alone have a conversation with me? When I think of that, my own weaknesses, insecurities and sin come to mind. They make me want to stay outside of that sacred meeting place where God comes down and meets me face to face. I’d rather be one of the people who stands at a distance and watches others go in and expose themselves completely before the God of creation. It’s such an intimate meeting that it scares me at times to enter into it.
I love that God is willing to meet each one of us just like He did with Moses. I love that He desires to be our friend, father and helper. He has the will and the desire, but it’s up to each one of us to move beyond desire and to step into that place where He can meet us like that. Notice that it was Moses who entered the Tabernacle first and then God’s presence came down. It reminds me of James 4:8. It says, “(You) Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” The first step to intimacy with God is all about us being willing to get past being so vulnerable and open with God and then taking that first step toward Him.
I also think of the Prodigal Son. His father didn’t go look for him. Instead, he had to make the decision to expose who he had been to his father and then started moving in the direction of his father. When the father saw him a long way off, he recognized him and ran towards him. The Bible shows this principle over and over again. God is waiting and looking for us to enter that place where we meet Him. He is willing to come meet us face to face. He wants to talk to us as friends and children of His, but we have to move towards Him. Our first step sets God free to come running in our direction.
What’s your first step? Is it getting over your pride and admitting you can’t do this on your own? Is it acknowledging that there is hidden sin in your life and being willing to let God shine His light on it? Is it carving out time in your already overflowing schedule to make time with Him? Whatever it is, I encourage you to take that step today. Once you take that step, momentum is of your side. God begins to move towards you and you towards Him. The distance is cut in half with each step. Before you know it, you’ll be face to face with God almighty.