Close Encounter

The other night I was sleeping and I was awoken with this thought: When you follow God at a distance, you get to see His acts; but when you follow God up close, you get to see His ways.

For instance, God wanted to have communion with the Israelites, but they were afraid of Him. So when God ascended upon the mountain, they kept their distance. Instead of them being close to God, they sent Moses up the mountain to intercede for them. As a result, the Israelites only experienced God’s acts, His miracles; but Moses got to experience God’s ways, His goodness. The Israelites got to pass through the Red Sea, but Moses got to see God pass by him. David realized this when he wrote “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.” (See Psalm 103:7 NKJV)

Another example is the disciples and the crowds that followed Jesus. The crowds experienced Jesus’ miracles; but Peter, James, and John saw Jesus revealed to them in a way they never saw before on the mount of transfiguration. Jesus talked to the crowds in parables, but He spoke to the disciples plainly. Jesus referred to the disciples as His friends.

I heard Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, say “In order to see Jesus more clearly, you must follow Him more nearly.” In other words, the closer and closer you get to God, the better you see Him.

So if you’re having trouble seeing God more clearly, take a step back and examine yourself in order to see if you are following God at a distance or if you are following Him up close. Are you experiencing God’s acts or are you seeing His ways?

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