| When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. –Exodus 34:29
Our excerpt today came after Moses spent 40 days and nights in the presence of the Lord. In the previous chapter, Moses said to the Lord, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?” The moment I read Moses’ words in Exodus 33:15-19, I remembered Jesus’ transfiguration as detailed in the gospels. In Matthew 17, we read that Jesus brought Peter, John, and James and went up onto a mountainside to pray. As He was praying, His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light…a voice from the cloud came saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”
When I read about these two experiences, I cannot help but marvel at the transforming power of the presence of God. When Moses entered into the presence of God, we are told that his face was radiant; in fact, it was so radiant that he had to cover his face with a veil when he talked to the people. When Jesus entered into the presence of God in prayer, we read that he was transformed right before His disciple’s eyes, and as they saw Him transform, they literally fell face down to the ground, terrified.
These two experiences detail the more uncommon and dramatic effects of being in God’s presence, thus, not every encounter with God is going to yield the same physical outcomes. Nevertheless, we can conclude that spending time in the presence of God will yield a significant transformation in our lives. Think about how the disciples were when Jesus called them as detailed in the gospels, and then read about them in Acts 2-4. When Peter and John addressed the Sanhedrin in Acts 4, we read, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
Some might argue that transformations only happen with Biblical characters, but dare I say that transformations happen or have happened with every single person that ever lived. Think about this! What habits do children emulate? Why is it that married couples begin to sound more alike the longer they are married? How much of an influence do our peers/society have on the phrases we speak, the values we embrace, etc. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are constantly being transformed by the people and things that we spend time with on a daily basis.
As Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 3:18, And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes form the Lord, who is the Spirit. It behooves us to spend as much time as we possibly can in the presence of God because the more time we spend with Him, the more we become like Him. How much more effective will our witness be when we become more like the person we preach about? How much better will our lives be when we are more like Christ? Think about it. His presence transforms you into His likeness; I dare you to lose yourself in it!
Grace and peace be with you.
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