Been thinking some about my own walk with the Lord. I long for a closeness with my Savior. And I came across an old teaching outline of mine that discussed some circles of intimacy outlined in both the Old Testament. It was instructive. So, I pass some thoughts along…
In the book of Exodus, we see the encounter that Yahweh had with His people. Starting in Exodus 19, we see four circles of people who represent us all. The first circle of folks are the outer ring. This group included the entire nation of Israel. When God ensconced Himself on the top of Mt. Sinai, these people could only approach the mountain, but they were forbidden to actually ascend it.
Their vision of God was a consuming fire, but it did very little to change their behavior. Instead, they wanted to create a god that would serve them. In Exodus 32:1 they said, “Come and make us a god who will go before us.”
The second circle represented the elders of Israel. According to Exodus 24:1 they were only allowed to worship from a distance. There was very little transformation for these folks. They too participated in making the golden calf.
The third circle consisted of Joshua alone. Only two folks actually qualified for this group (he and Moses). Joshua was present when Moses saw the Shekinah Glory of God. And that vision had an incredible impact of him. He became Moses successor (see Joshua 1:9).
And the fourth and most intimate circle was for Moses alone. No one except Moses got to “see” the Lord “face to face.” The glory of God was so strong on Moses that he actually glowed. His countenance was physically different after his encounter with the living God.
I, like most Christians I know, long to be in that fourth circle. I long to have real, lasting intimacy with the Lord. I know He knows me (inside and out). But I long to KNOW Him.
So maybe you might like to join me this week in some meaningful soul searching. We can all start by echoing the thoughts of the Psalmist in Ps. 139:23-24.
On Monday, let’s ask Him to “Search us and know our hearts…” Maybe on that day, we can journal about the “sin that does so easily beset us” (Heb. 12:1). On Tuesday we can allow Him to “test us and know our anxious thoughts…” Maybe that’s a great opportunity to list all our fears and worries and purposefully give them over to God.
On Wednesday we can give Him permission to “see if there is any offensive way in us…” Here’s a great chance to consider all our relationships and look for any offenses we might need to seek forgiveness for. On Thursday we can ask Him to “lead us in the way of everlasting.” Let’s ask the Lord to reveal specific scripture that can lead us towards a more meaningful personal relationship with Him.
And on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, let’s focus on gratitude for His grace and mercy. Great way to set up the American holiday of turkey eating!