Hear from God Directly
Young people have the habit of telling a friend to go talk to another friend on their behalf, or they do this when they like someone of the opposite sex: “Tell him that I like him, and then see what he says, and then come back and tell me!” We—especially when we are growing up—feel the need for someone else to be our “go-between”. Unfortunately, this sometimes muddles clear communication. Although face-to-face encounters can be intimidating, if we have lived long enough, we have probably learned that going to someone and talking to them directly is a much more effective way of communicating and can actually foster a closeness that would not exist if we always had someone else doing the talking for us.
When the Israelites came out of Egypt they faced a situation like this. They had the opportunity to hear from God directly, but in their sinful and spiritually immature nature, they opted to distance themselves from God and rely on a “go-between”. They felt that hearing from God directly was too intimidating and terrifying. Take a look:
“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.’ The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.” Exodus 20:18-21
I have to admit, this passage of scripture has always made my heart hurt. I think it is because the people so specifically rejected God. They turned down the beautiful and intimate privilege of hearing from the Creator of the universe themselves. His Holiness was too much for them. Instead of evoking a fear of God as it was supposed to, it made their flesh…their sinful nature…afraid. Moses tried to explain this, but they would not have it, and they “remained at a distance”.
But this makes me wonder…do we do some version of this, too? Are we all too willing to remain at a distance because it is so much easier to partake of someone else’s revelations and experiences with the Lord? Do we prioritize reading our daily devotionals a little too much? Catching “that” preacher on the radio/TV? Reading that new book that talks about Biblical concepts? Etc.
Let me be very clear, there is nothing wrong with those things but are they exceeding or even sometimes taking the place of that raw one-on-one time with JUST the Lord, His Word, and His Presence, where we can learn to hear His voice so clearly, experience conviction, repentance, intimacy and a host of other things?
Today, let’s not forget…there is NOTHING more beautiful than to hear the voice of the Lord ourselves…to let His Holy Spirit breathe His truth into our souls. Nothing can replace this gift He so freely pours out upon us.
FBC Aztec Member