“Please show me Your glory.” Exodus 33:18
By the time that Moses made this plea he had already seen the burning bush and the miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and much more, and spoken directly with God on many occasions. Even so he wanted more of God.
While listening to the songs with lyrics, “I’m hungry for You” and “We want to see Jesus” I began to reflect on whether my desire to depart this body of death for the resurrection body was from a pure motive.
There is little doubt that one who is truly born of God will find this life less than satisfying. Like Satan, it promises everything pleasant but delivers everything painful and empty. Consequently we may desire to flee the flesh in order to obtain fulfilment and bliss. Surely that is a valid motivation but if it is the sole motivation then it may be of fleshly origin simply to escape pain and discomfort.
Moses’ plea came only after extended periods with the Lord and living years of an obedient and faithful life with the Lord. Yes, he was weary of shepherding a rebellious people and that provided some hiccups but the motivation we see come to the fore now is that he really wants to see the Lord for who He is. He wasn’t just tired of the earthly life; he was hungry for the Lord, to see and be with the Lord.
As I listened to the songs and reflected, I was reminded that often my motivation was simply to escape the effects of the curse on this world but I was pleased to discover the Holy Spirit at work in my heart revealing a love for Jesus and a desire to see Him just for who He is. As John writes, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2, emphasis added).
We may readily find motivation to “not love the world or the things of the world” (1 John 2:15) but do we really love Jesus? We sing songs that say we do but we might do well to meditate on Peter’s profession (John 13:37), denial (John 18:17, 25, 26) and restoration (John 21:15-19). Before the cross he believed he loved Jesus to the extent that he would gladly give his life. After denying knowing Jesus he could not confess to loving Jesus with unconditional, self-sacrificing love. Oddly enough, this was probably the moment when he loved Jesus with all purity. It may be that for many of us we are too glib in our confession of love for Jesus. When we seriously question our love for Jesus and feel His gaze into our hearts that is perhaps when we love Him most.
How will it be when you see Jesus face to face; joy or shame? John went on to write, “… we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). Looking forward to that great moment when we see Jesus face to face in resurrected and glorified bodies will purify our motives for wanting to see Him as well as purify the way we live now.