That Godly Glow
I’m no mind-reader, but I suspect that Moses got what he most wanted. I suspect that if he hadn’t wanted this more than anything else in life, God would not have responded to him as He did.
Exodus 33:11 tells us that, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”
God, who sees the heart (and reads the mind), knew what Moses wanted. He knew that beyond the want was the commitment on Moses’ part, to be all that God asked, to do all that God required. The result was the most intimate description of a relationship between God and man that we have in Scripture.
It doesn’t get any better than that. It isn’t that Moses proclaimed high and low, “I’m God’s friend!” His statement would not have necessarily made it so. What proved the truth of the statement was what happened just a bit later and is recorded for us in Exodus 34:29-35. After Moses had been with the Lord he would return to the camp of the Israelites. The Scriptures tell us: “...he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him” (34:29, 30).
The glow was such that Moses had to cover his face when he was in the presence of the people so that they wouldn’t be afraid of him!
That’s what it is like to be God’s friend. I am not simply because I say I am; I am because when I come from visiting Him I am not what I was before the conversation began. And that intimate relationship is obvious without me saying or doing anything.
It’s the ultimate “body language.”
What a wonderful thing it would be if all God’s children glowed! The process is simple and yet profound. Moses wanted the relationship. He was committed to the requirements of the relationship. He took the time to be in relationship. He listened to the Senior Partner in the relationship. And he came away glowing from the effects of the relationship.
In Acts 4 the religious authorities confronted Peter and John in the Temple. Verse 13 says, “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.” The glow!
But the glow can be expensive. For Peter and John and the other followers of Jesus, persecution would follow—and death for most of them. Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:32-39; 16:21-28; Mark 8:31-37; Luke 9:21-27; 14:25-34, concerning bearing our “crosses” are references to persecution and death for those who carry the glow, not only on their faces but in their words and deeds. For the true followers of Jesus, friendship with God, and the glow that results from it, will result in misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and mistreatment.
But I suspect that Moses, as Paul, would have said: “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:7-11). And this is only the beginning of Paul’s declaration to the church concerning just how valuable the relationship with God was compared to anything else.
Imagine making the statement: “My greatest ambition in life is to have God consider me His friend and to come out from our visits with that godly glow!” Today is a good day to enter that presence.