Learning to Live with God
Over the last few years, it feels like our world and our lives have changed significantly. We have tried to learn how to live with a pandemic, selfishness, hatred, and violence (all of which seem to be never-ending). The world can feel like a very unsafe place. For some of us, it feels like we must learn how to live with God in a whole new way as the world shifts and turns around us.
Moses is someone who seems to have lived under some similar (yet very different) circumstances. In his life, the world changed drastically and became a very uncertain and unsafe place for him. Moses is someone who has a broken identity. He sees himself as an alien, as someone who does not belong. Someone who has been abandoned by both of his families – resulting in an inner turmoil that leads him to make some horrible decisions that result in Moses becoming a murderer. Each encounter that we witness Moses’ experience with God brings the reality of healing and a new identity deeper into Moses’ life. Along the way, Moses learns;
- To trust God.
- To not allow the rejection of others to form who he is.
- That his core identity is based not on Moses’ actions but on God’s presence with him. Moses asks God “who am I?” God responds, “You are the one whom I am with!”
- That God’s power does indeed flow through Moses. That power is displayed for others to see and experience God.
Moses also realizes that his part in this process is to not hold back. He cannot partially live with God. Moses needs to be committed to allowing God’s presence and their relationship into every corner of Moses’ life. This is a hard thing for Moses to do. His own brokenness, rejection, and sinful choices throughout his life have taught Moses to always be in control. Always be in charge. Always have a way out. So, Moses holds back. He partially follows God and is casually (convenient) in his choices of what instructions to obey and not obey. This gets Moses into trouble. Yet the trusting in God, living a life that is different form this world, and boldly speaking unpopular truths (the things Moses fears most) are the very things he desperately needs to do to break the unhealthy cycle of hurtful choices that Moses has grown accustomed to making.
Sound familiar? Many of us struggle in the very same way. We fear the actions that living with God bring into our lives, we hate making sacrifices, we detest uncomfortableness, and we – like Moses – transpose those feelings onto God. We start to think that it is God who has broken us, God whom we should cower in fear from, and most importantly that God (and God’s people) are the very people we should stay clear off. The temptation to runaway is great. Doing so is a tragedy, because if we do give in to these feelings, we separate ourselves further from the love of God. The very thing we need for healing.
Yes, learning to live with God does entail letting go of who we are, relying upon the promise that the new person God forms in us is far better off than the one we are saying goodbye to. We are thankful that God is patient with us. Yet the very presence of God in our lives calls us to constantly allow God to transform each and every area of our lives.