Renewing Our Lives and Ministries Through God's Word

Pursuing Our God

The Pursuit of God

Exodus 33:12-23
Paul J. Bucknell

Note: 'Typical Experiences with God' shows the most common and regular way we can develop our relationship with God. This is the second of seven sections that compose one longer article on Pursuing Our God, which discusses how a person can grow in their relationship with the Lord through special times with Him. This is part of a larger ADT training series, Renewing Our Lives and Minstries Through God's Word, –Renewing your spiritual life and ministries through improving the quality of your time in God's Word. Click to see the full 3-day schedule of this Renewal ADT series.)

Typical Experiences with God

There are three ways God uses our experiences with Him to grow. The word ‘TEA’ will help us stay focused. This first one has been somewhat discussed in an earlier session and therefore will be brief.
TEA (Typical, Experiential, Adventurous)
Let's make three observations of Moses’ experiences with the LORD.
Typical (Exodus 33:7-11)
We looked at the normal and good relationship with the Lord in Exodus 33:7-11, where Moses set a tent outside the community of God’s people to regularly meet Him there. It looked very unusual in many senses. When Moses went in, the pillar of fire descended. When Moses went to meet God, the Lord, on His part, surely came to meet Moses. It was both regular and special. Moses got to regularly meet with God so that He expected this to be the norm. If God’s cloud did not descend, that would be abnormal.
In a similar way under the New Covenant, God’s people are allowed and exhorted to draw close to God. They are to live in the presence of God. Many of God’s people are deceived, thinking that God is not very involved in our affairs. This detached image of God is nowhere to be found in the scripture. Our Lord Himself promises to be with us always even to the end of the age. Our 7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And it came about, that everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. 8 And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. 9 And it came about, 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. (Exodus 33:7-11)regular quiet times in prayer and His Word is the means we draw near to God to listen to Him. It is largely through this daily activity that we meet God.
Regularly meeting with the Lord allows us to take baby steps forward in our relationship with God. We slowly grow in our faith. We live out what God teaches us. We see life’s reward only later (and maybe never on earth). God, however, sees our faithfulness and genuine hearts’ desire to know and obey Him.
In most cases, Christians have fallen far short of what God desires to do in their lives. Proper personal devotions is a way to keep our hearts alive, to be trained in godliness and to know God on a more intimate level. After all, any friend that you spend time with each of your lives would be considered a close friend.  This is God’s wonderful provision for His people.
Although personal devotions is a very private act, it necessarily  springs out from our hearts’ deepest longings. It can’t stay private for long for it shows itself in a whole sort of different ways which Jesus calls ‘fruit.’ My apple trees are dormant during the winter. They have the energy in them that has been stored up last fall and again in early spring. The juices begin to flow. First, the leaves, then the beautiful pink blossoms and then the apples, the fruit. I am a bit romantic, I like to think of the beautiful blossoms and scent as fruit too, but I dare not eat them. What quietly goes on during devotions is at its proper time released in fruit.
Bud > Blossom > Fruit
It is through this fruit that our Father in heaven gains glory. ““By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8).
We are not talking about a lot of time, but sufficient time to read God’s Word, talk to God, intercede for others and prepare yourself to live for Him that day.
We might think of our regular times with the Lord similar to the way we use food to nourish our bodies. We do not eat one huge meal each week. People are made to eat each day. Eating is designed to be a pleasurable task. Without this normal food, we would soon face problems. Just because it is something we do each day, we should not fear or hate it. The whole thought and act of eating should bring pleasure to our lives and so it is with our regular or typical devotions. Meeting God is something we look forward to. By meeting Him, special spiritual nourishment is provided for our spiritual lives. Next =>

Pursuit | Typical | Experiential | Adventurous | Stages | Torch | Exercises

This is the fourth session of the ADT 3-Day Seminar on Renewal

Reviving Your Faith | Deepening Our Reflections | Tracing Our Life's Journey | Pursuing Our God 

The Heart of Discipleship (Isaiah 50:4) | The Heart of Discipleship ( Isaiah 50:5-9)

Exodus: Overview Christ in Exodus 3 Whys in Exodus

Titus: Overview Pastoral Overview Called into His Service (Titus 1:1-4) Church Planting (Titus 1:5-9)

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

By Paul J. Bucknell

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