I grew up with a healthy view of God as I compared God to my dad. I did respect my father in so many ways. He was a man of integrity. He was well respected in the community and had a great reputation for doing the right thing. All the elderly women would call him to fix a heater, or put on the screens of a house, or winterize their pipes. He was a master of a lot of things. There was one thing that I didn’t see in my dad. When he made up his mind, you weren’t going to change it. It was his way or the highway.
I did believe that God was a loving God and had wonderful attributes. I didn’t believe that His mind could be changed and that you had to just go along with His plan. I have since changed my perspective of God as I have walked with Him for decades. One of the reasons my perspective has changed is a passage I read a couple of days ago. It is a story of the Israelite nation being led out of Egypt and into the promised land. They are in the desert and God calls Moses up to the mountain to talk with him and to give him not only the Ten Commandments, but directions as to how to make and erect a tabernacle (tent of meeting with God). Moses is on the mountain for 40 days and the people of Israel get restless. They don’t think that Moses is coming back, so they go to Aaron, Moses’s brother, and ask him to make an idol to put their trust in. Aaron does what they ask by taking their gold jewelry, melting it down, and forming a calf with his hands so they can have something to worship.
God sees what they are doing and begins to interact with Moses on the mountain. “Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”. . .For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’ ” Exodus 33:3, 5. God first says that He is not going to go with them into the promised land. He then in the next passage says that He is in the process of deciding what to do. God is not hard and fast in His decision making process but is waiting to see how we handle the situations that we are put into.
When Moses hears this from God, he responds to God by saying, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” Exodus 33:13-15 Moses is more interested in knowing the Lord and finding favor with the Lord than in accomplishing what was promised by the Lord. To really know the Lord and experience His favor should be the most important action we take when we first wake up, as we move throughout the day and when we go to bed.
Moses was in hook, line and sinker in his relationship with the Lord and to that, God responded. “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”” Exodus 33:17 God changed His mind because He saw Moses totally devoted to knowing Him.
On this journey we have the privilege of knowing the Lord and finding favor with Him. It means that we have to be totally surrendered to Him and His will. For Moses, it was a process of getting there. You can take the next step in your journey today in becoming totally sold out for the Master.