Face To Face

Exodus 33: 11
The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.

When does God speak to you face to face?

Are we too busy hiding from God to notice His face? Are we more interested in our day than His way? Do you have the kind of relationship with God that allows you to speak with Him face to face? Do you want to?

Moses chose to set apart time to receive wisdom from God concerning his decisions. He was humble, but still bold enough to approach the God who did miracles of deliverance in Egypt and miracles of provision in the wilderness.

I understand the importance of good decision-making skills. I understand that better now than I did as a teen because of my experiences as a parent. Moses wasn’t in charge of a few kids, but rather millions who followed him out of Egypt. And because he knew his decisions affected the life and death of the millions of people in the camp, he knew he’d better hear from God.

Moses was not without sin, yet he was put in charge of God’s people. I’m not completely perfect either, but God put me in charge of a couple of kids. The responsibility of making decisions that affect the lives of others would be unbearably heavy if I tried to achieve success on my own.

But I don't have to do anything on my own. By the blood of Jesus, God has given me a way to have a relationship with Him.

Like Moses, I can go to God for wisdom.

And like Moses, I have the opportunity to speak to God face to face. And so do you.

Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

John 13:23-25
One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means." Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"

One of the things that speaks the most about your relationship with God is how you speak to him. Your posture when you're in conversation with someone you respect but don't feel close to is different than when you're with your best friend.

John's relationship with Jesus was very close. He was comfortable with him. He could ask him anything. The others were with him every day, but couldn't bring themselves to ask boldly whatever was on their hearts.

Can you imagine yourself face-to-face with God? What does his face look like to you? Would you be bold enough to lean against him? Or would you be unable to look into his eyes?

What is your posture like when you seek God?

Compassion and Guidance

Hosea 11:8-11
My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man – the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria, I will settle them in their homes, declares the Lord.
As a mother, I understand compassion for rebellious children. They’re going to mess up. They’re kids, and kids need a parent’s guidance.

Hosea chapter eleven begins, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.”

It takes time for kids to mature and make good decisions. God has given me a way to see my children through His eyes. When my kids mess up, God reminds me of His patience for me. Has there been a year when I haven’t needed to repent of something? Probably not.

God holds out His compassion for me while I struggle to mature in spiritual things. He’s the cheerleader in my life, making sure I don’t ever give up. I like noticing the areas where I’ve grown and achieved victory. When I look back over those areas, I can see that those victories would never have come without God’s compassion and guidance.

I want to grow up in God’s ways, seek Him with maturity, live like He wants me to. I want to please God, but I can’t if I’m focused on getting my way.

What is my plan? My plan is to seek God’s plan.

When I recognize that going my own way is rebellion, it’s easier to settle into God’s comforting hand of guidance. He is where I belong.

What Is Help?

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

What does help look like?

Help comes in many forms. It is a strong hand picking us up so we can walk again. It is a wagon carrying us forward. It is instruction so we can figure out the problem. It is medication, a ride to work, or a comforting phone call. It is a prom dress. It is a miracle. Help is God using people to correct or encourage each other. Help is God’s compassion leaning down to us.

A friend called to ask for prayer. Her mom had a terrible fall and fractured a vertebra in her neck. Of course, I prayed. But while I prayed for that family, God led me to pray for something that, on the surface, wasn’t related to hospitals or doctors. It wasn’t what I expected to pray, but I could see how God could use it to help the family.

You don’t really know in advance how God is going to lead your prayers, but if you allow Him to participate in the process, He will far exceed your expectations.

God knows our physical needs very well. He also knows about every other kind of need that we have. Generally, we miss out when we tell God what we want Him to do. If we’ll listen to Him tell us what to pray for, surprising blessings will come to pass.

So let us approach His throne and seek God’s face with an attitude of expectation because He’s listening to us with mercy and grace already in His outstretched hand.

Simple Gifts

Proverbs 21:13
If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.


March was Missions Month at my kids’ school. I went to their assembly that was the culmination of the month’s ideas. There, the total missions experience was boiled down to three displays and a few words from three teachers. A reminder that God is busy everywhere doing acts of love through the hands of people.

I’ve been involved in missions and can show my kids the pictures of my work in different places. They can see my face and the smiles on the children around me as proof that God was at work.

Genuine love expressed to God-seekers of all ages has impacted many communities through the actions of missions workers. I’ve seen changed lives. I’ve seen people whose hearts flip-flopped over the awesome presence of God. When people want God to show up and He does eternal things, joy abounds.

I want my kids to know that you can spread God’s love where we live. We don’t have to get on a plane to find people in need.

The kids’ school assembly reminded me that I once drove a church van full of the high school youth group to their Christmas party, but stopped along the way at a homeless shelter. We sang Christmas carols with the homeless children and played with them for a while before driving on to our destination. The youth group experienced an opportunity to share God’s love with those who needed a little attention. They put others before themselves and enjoyed giving their gift.

Anyone can do that. Anyone can spend time loving someone else with the pure love of Christ.

You don’t have to be wealthy to give. You don’t have to spend a lot of travel time. You don’t need a certification, license or degree. There’s no for excuse for not participating in a local ministry when a high school group can agree to stop by a homeless shelter on the way to their Christmas party.

That day, I looked at my youth group and saw how their gift affected them. I think it affected me too.

Aren’t you curious about how giving your simple gifts could affect you?