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Waiting for God

Waiting for God

Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’” Exodus 33:18

In jail recently, one of the guys explained how he’d been struggling in his faith. He believed in God, yet God felt distant, as if God just didn’t care. So, he prayed, asking God for reassurance and guidance, wanting to know how long he was going to be in jail. God showed up that very day, speaking to this inmate in an unusual fashion – through the tattoo of another inmate. Just for today. The message was that he didn’t need to focus on being released tomorrow, but rather, about how he was living today. This man sought God, waiting for and expecting an answer, and then accepted the answer, even when it didn’t happen the way he thought it would. As he was telling the story, he was visibly energized by the experience, excited that God spoke and that he had listened.

God, it seems, is incredibly interested in a relationship with us. This is, in fact, the reason we were created. Today’s passage reinforces this aspect of God’s nature. In the story, Moses asked God for a favor – He wanted to physically see all of God’s majesty and glory. God was apparently pleased and granted the favor, except that Moses couldn’t look God directly in the face. That was too much for any man to see and live. Still, Moses sought God and God revealed himself.

This is one of the most important promises in the Bible. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you (James 4:8). God wants us to want him, and he desires that we seek an intimate relationship with him. The fact that most of us don’t regularly see or hear God indicates that something is wrong with us, not with God. But I’ve prayed a thousand times and God never answers me.

I’ve been there, asking God to do something for me, getting no response, and wondering why. I wasn’t seeking God of course. I was seeking myself, attempting to use God to enforce my will. In recovery now, I’m learning to see that God is always speaking. Through his word. Through nature. Through my pastor. Through the guys in jail. Even through a tattoo. God is always attempting to communicate with me. The problem is that I’m often just not listening. When I’m seeking me and my will, I’m deaf to God’s voice. When however, I truly abandon my way to seek God, I find he’s there. God is always speaking. I just need to learn to seek, wait, and listen.

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