Scripture Reading: Exodus 34:29-35
If you’ve ever read through the book of Psalms, you may have noticed that King David doesn’t always go into God’s presence with a really happy attitude, but he usually comes out with one.
Just flip through the Psalms and see how many times this happens. Psalm 4, for instance, starts with, “Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer” (verse 1), but it ends with, “I will lie down in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (verse 8).
Over and over the pattern repeats. David starts out pretty angry with God, and angry with the people around him, but he ends up by praising God and trusting Him completely. Why?
Because spending time in God’s presence changes us. Sometimes we don’t even notice the change, but others do. And when they notice the change in us, it changes them, too.
Take a look at the change that took place in Moses when he spent time in God’s presence. In Exodus chapter 34, the change was so visible, it was reflected in his face:
“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD” (Exodus 34:29-35).
Here’s a man with a super-tan! Moses had just asked God in Exodus chapter 33: “Show me your glory.” Later, when Moses came down from the mountain, he had God’s glory all over him! He was so radiant, so physically changed, that he had to put a veil over his face when he talked to other people!
Spending time in God’s presence changes us. The more time we spend with God, the more we’re changed we’ll be―physically, emotionally, spiritually―in all kinds of ways. Whenever we ask to see God’s glory, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that His glory is reflected in us.
What causes the moon to shine so bright? It’s the reflection of the sun. There’s nothing inherent in the moon to make it light up the night. That’s what God wants to do through each one of us. He wants us to spend time with Him, absorbing His glory, so we can go out and reflect the light of His Son into the darkness of the world around us.
Moses wasn’t even aware how his time with God had changed him. But others were. The glory that covered Moses was certainly for Moses’ benefit, but it also overflowed to all of those around him.
If you’ll diligently spend time with God, you’ll start to see that the overflow from your time with Him will naturally touch other people. Although this may not be your main purpose for spending time with God, He can use the overflow of your experience to “prime the pump” for others.
Spending time in God’s presence changes us. Although you may come into His presence tired, angry, frustrated or broken, chances are good that a little time with the Creator of the universe, the One who gave you life and breath, will give you new life, too. He’ll restore you, encourage you, strengthen you and help you to put your trust in Him more and more.
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.