21 March 2008

Spending Time In God’s Presence Changes Us

Something I got in an e-mail a while back. Pretty good read:

If you’ve ever read through the book of Psalms, you may have noticed that King David doesn’t always go into God’s presence with a really happy attitude, but that David usually comes out with one.

Just flip through the Psalms and see how many times this happens. Psalm 4, for instance, starts with, "Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer" (verse 1), but it ends with, "I will lie down in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (verse 8).

Over and over the pattern repeats. David starts out pretty angry with God and angry with the people around him, but he ends up by praising God and trusting Him completely. Why?

Because spending time in God’s presence changes us. Sometimes we don’t even notice the change, but others do. And when they notice the change in us, it changes them, too.

Take a look at the change that took place in Moses when he spent time in God’s presence. In the case of Exodus chapter 34, the change was so visible, it was reflected in his face: "It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him." (verse 29) and "the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone. So Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him." (verse 35).

Here’s a man with a super-tan! Moses had just asked God in Exodus 33: "Show me your glory." Then when Moses comes down from the mountain, he’s got God’s glory all over him! He was so radiant, so physically changed, that he had to put a veil over his face when he talked to other people!

Spending time in God’s presence changes us. The more we spend time with God, the more we’re changed -- physically, emotionally, spiritually -- in all kinds of ways. Whenever we ask to see God’s glory, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that His glory is reflected in us.

What causes the moon to shine so bright? It’s the reflection of the sun. There’s nothing inherent in the moon to make it light up the night. And that’s what God wants to do through each one of us. He wants us to spend time with Him, absorbing His glory, so that we can go out and reflect the light of His Son into the darkness that’s all around us.

Moses wasn’t even aware how his time with God had changed him. But others were. The glory that covered Moses was certainly for Moses’ benefit, but it also overflowed to all of those around him.

If you’ll diligently spend time with God, you’ll start to see that the overflow from your time with Him will naturally touch other people. Although this may not be your main purpose for spending time with God, He can use the overflow from your experience to “prime the pump” for others.

Spending time in God’s presence changes us. Although you may come into His presence tired, angry, frustrated, and/or broken, chances are good that a little time with the Creator of the universe, the One who gives life and breath to every living thing, will give new life to you, restore you, encourage you, strengthen you, and help you to put your trust in Him more and more.

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