I discovered this gem (given in the title to this post) while speaking at the Harvest Men’s Retreat on Friday night, and it is an idea that resonates so much with me, it may be one that guides me the rest of my life. It comes out of one of my favorite stories, featuring one of my favorite people in the Bible. and can be found in Exodus 33:7-10.
The foundation of this whole story is that Moses wanted a place where he could meet with God, so he pitched a tent outside the camp, and he called it the “tent of meeting”. The passage tells us that “whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent” (v 8b-10).
I don’t know why I didn’t catch this before — maybe because I was so focused on Moses seeking to develop an intimate relationship with God — but now it is clear to me that the result of Moses seeking intimacy with God was that the entire nation worshiped God. People showed respect to Moses for purposing to have that intimacy with God — they all stood when he passed. But what sealed it was that God honored Moses’ seeking so much that He visibly came down in a pillar of cloud. So the process was that Moses sought God, God responded to his seeking by meeting Moses, and the people worshiped God, because the presence of God came down and was near them and among them.
Many of us dream of changing the world for God. Most of us would not think that the act of seeking intimacy with God could be what did it. But in the case of Moses and Israel, it is exactly what did it!
Up until now, I have often felt like my seeking intimacy with God benefits only me. Sometimes I realize that God seems to like it when I seek Him, and therefore it is not just for me. But now I see that my seeking intimacy with God can have influence that extends to many beyond me, even to the nation.
I personally feel affirmed that my objective is not only a worthy one for the sake of my Beloved, but one that can change the face of the earth! And I know there are others like me out there, and I hope each of you find hope in this, too! Amen!