In the abandon of deep worship especially if accompanied by music, we all make declarations – things like “Purify me, sanctify me, oh Lord. I am yours. Take me, use me….”
These are deep commitments we make in our quiet times with the Lord and believe me at those times, we mean them big time! But after the euphoria of an encounter in God’s presence we return to our daily life walk on Earth and we all aspire that in our daily walk, we are God chasers, glory carriers, trying to leave up our commitment to be sanctified and purified by each occasion God brings our way. Little do we know that with this prayer comes trouble, trial, testing that will indeed bring out sanctification and purification.
For years, I have held on to a promise from God which I believe He made to me. I was not dreaming nor hearing things but sure I heard this in my spirit. I held on, believed, trusted and for so long, I did not see the manifestation of this promise. After a while I became bitter and as with any relationship, my relationship with God was strained, I felt I was lied to, forgotten about, cheated…I was going through the motions and after sulking and realizing my attitude and emotions did not move God, I snapped out of it and just believed that the promise was never mine and God had bigger and better plans for me. This was the rational part of me and my logical response to make sense of it all.
Truth be told, deep inside I felt the way I thought Moses would have felt having not entered the promise land.
I have a confession to make. For years, I believed God was unfair to Moses. Each time I read Numbers 20: 6-13, I would say to myself and in prayer, “God, you were and are harsh. Why did you treat your servant this way after all he did for you and how he obeyed you? Could you not forgive him this time? Anyway, Lord it is what it is. You are God and you will do as you wish; you are wise an all knowing.’’ This is what I love to say when I do not have control,
Fast forward to 2017. I am at a women’s conference and the speaker said out my secret thoughts – she, too, thought God had been unfair to Moses, taking him away that way. Deuteronomy 34: 5-6 tells us he died on Mount Nebo in the land of Moab (not the promised land) and that the Lord himself buried him in a valley but an unknown location and till today, no one knows the exact place. Like me, she always wondered and felt this piece of information unusual until she was studying Mark 9: 3-8 – the story of the Transfiguration – and it hit her (as she spoke, it hit me, too). There was Moses, glorified and in the presence of Elijah, the prophet and our saviour centuries after, in a place of honour and glory way beyond what the earthly promised land of Canaan could ever give him. He was transfigured with Jesus. What a glory. Though he missed the earthly glory and pleasure of Canaan, he was experiencing a greater glory in the presence of the Lord. My heart raced as the speaker shared her revelation. This was indeed true!!
What this taught me –
- Obedience comes with Humility: Moses had struggled with the spirit of anger for years; he let his emotions get the better of him on few occasions, one being the episode as a Prince in Exodus 2:11-12, to the waters at Meribah Numbers 10:10-12, He would obey God but sometimes half way, his spirit was humble before God but not humble before men to take it all, suck it in, be quiet, zip it up. Sounds familiar? How many times have we been in that place?
- Tolerance: To act out your obedience to God’s word or instructions, we need not only humility and putting aside of self but also tolerance with others who were not there and do not know what you know, did not hear what you heard.
- It’s not always about Spiritual Maturity: God knows YOU. Not only does he know you, He loves you and knows what’s best for you and He allows you to misbehave sometimes, suffer the heartbreak that brings because He knows what you need to shape you. He has our back even then and uses us for his glory. Imagine He said of Moses in Numbers 12:1-16, when Miriam (Moses’ sister) and Aaron (his brother) accused him for marrying a non-Hebrew: “Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’’ Even after saying this of Moses he still chastises him to purge out those parts of Him that were impeding him to be used of God completely! So, it’s not about how high or deep you are in God or how much He has used you, it’s about complete surrender and obedience each time.
- There is transformation (change, alteration, mutation, modification, evolution and transfiguration) and reformation (the action or process of reforming a practice) in the wait: I choose to share dictionary meanings and definitions to show that God’s final purpose indeed was transformation of Moses’ heart and character. We did not hear much of Moses’ anger and snappiness after this. We only hear of him leading the people and bringing the new community and society to order. His heart had been broken…. he was broken inside but guess what, he was submitted, trusting that even though He would not enter the promised land, there was something greater in store for him. A transfiguration!! Would he have ever thought he would be one of the greatest prophets ever to have lived so much so to be transfigured with Elijah and Jesus? NO!!
This is not to say we should wait till death and after life to obtain the promise or accept defeat and challenges that many times come from the enemy but there are times trials and tests in the wait are God-allowed because you have been chosen to go through an experience that will shape you and form you into a better, purer version of yourself that God can use. This was well said in Job 23:10, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
He really knows us in and out – anytime you feel the wait is too long, that you have been hard done by God, left behind, forgotten, always remember you have been chosen and not cheated! By the way, I am still waiting it’s been 10+ years and these days, I don’t mind waiting, I see the changes he has wrought in me. I am not the person I used to be and without this wait or trial, I would never have been transformed and still transforming!
Written by Bee
Be Your Best Self for God series