Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Friend of God”
Exodus 33:9-11 (NASB)
Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the Lord would speak with Moses.10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. 11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
The gods of the Ancient Near East were unpredictable. The people would offer sacrifices to these deities to appease them or please them and invoke some type of blessing upon them. But these gods were mysterious in nature and the people often did not know their standing before these gods: Were the gods pleased with them or were they angry at them? They wouldn’t know what was asked of them, and these gods could seem very distant from them. Yet when we look at the God of the Israelites, we see how different the relationship between God and His people is compared with the gods of the Ancient Near East. God was not unpredictable. Each time Moses entered into the Tent of Meeting, God would be there to speak with Moses. God was not distant. He did not have to speak to Moses remotely or through another medium, but He would be there to speak to Moses face to face.
In verse 11, it says that the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. There was an intimacy that Moses experienced with the God of this universe. Often times, I think to myself how amazing it would have been to be in Moses’ shoes. He got to encounter the living God face to face. He got to see the glory of God. But the truth is, Moses would have been so jealous of the position that we are in—what he saw in part, we now see in fullness. He was only permitted to see part of the glory of God, whereas we have the fullness of the glory of God dwelling inside of us. I often forget that the Holy Spirit dwells within me. This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday – it’s a reminder that the Holy Spirit has come down upon His people to dwell in their midst. It’s a reminder that we are baptized by the Holy Spirit and the fullness of His glory.
Do you truly believe that this glory resides in you? My prayer is that you would not live another day believing the lie that God is far away, hard to predict, or hard to appease. Rather, believe that if you have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior, you have to right to become a child of God. And as a child of God, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you.
Prayer: Father, I often forget the glorious truth that Your glory and Your very Spirit resides within me. Help me never to forget that. Help me to live a life that reflects that reality – that I don’t have to go through intermediary means, but that I have direct access to You. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for what Jesus did on that cross so that we would be able to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Samuel 26
Lunch Break Study
Read John 1:29-34 (ESV): “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son[i] of God.”
Question to Consider
- What does John the Baptist say about Jesus?
- What does Jesus being the baptizer of the Spirit mean for us?
- Have you asked for the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- John the Baptist prophetically declares that Jesus would be the ultimate Passover lamb of God, who would come to take away the sins of the world, but he also goes on to declare that Jesus would be the baptizer of the Spirit.
- We often focus on the fact that Jesus is the Passover Lamb—and He definitely is that—but He is more than that. He is the one who has baptized us with the Holy Spirit so that we have the glorious presence of Holy Spirit in our lives. While the cross and the atonement of our sins is important, we also need to remember that Jesus came not just to die for the sins of the world, but to give us His very Spirit—something that has been restored to us since before the fall of man.
- In Acts 19, Paul asks some new converts whether they received the Holy Spirit when they believed, but they did not even know of this baptism. We must know that when we come to know Jesus, we not only go through water baptism as an outward manifestation of an inward transformation, but we also must receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit – the one who will help us to walk out our faith with power and victory.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that every believer receives when they become part of the family of God (through confession and repentance). But the filling of the Holy Spirit, however, is something that we need to ask for – because we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can overcome and be victorious in our life. Tonight, ask that the Holy Spirit would fill you in every aspect of your life, so that you would be able to live this life in power and victory.