Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Tent in the Wilderness

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
Exodus 33:7-11

Last night my housemates and I listened to a sermon from Francis Chan about being awed by the presence of God. He talked about when Moses would go up the mountain and speak with God, and what an incredible thing that was for the people to see. And now, in today's world, each of us has the opportunity to go up the mountain ourselves every day, but we see it as a duty we have to fulfill, or something we have to find time to squeeze into our schedules. 

He also spoke of all the distractions in the world today, and how it is so difficult to focus just on one thing, spending time with God, when our culture has conditioned us to multitask everything. I can relate. I am a do-er. My brain is always thinking about the lists of things that need to get done, and it is so hard to shut that off.

I also came to the realization that when I pray, I don't always expect God to answer. I've held this false belief that it is too much to ask God to respond to me every time I pray. How did it take me this long to realize how crazy that is? Is anything too much for God? Shouldn't I instead be concerned if He wasn't speaking back to me when I pray? But by holding onto this thought, I fear I have often shut out His voice. But no longer. 

A few weeks ago when I was praying, I asked God to show me a verse, and Luke 5:16 automatically popped into my head:
 "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed." 
This sermon brought this verse back to mind. In the wilderness there is nothing. No distractions. Nothing keeping you from spending that time with God. I know I need to find my wilderness in my mind, and in the silence, expect God to speak. Every. Time.


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