“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.” –Exodus 34:29
I love this verse. Moses went up on Mount Sinai and spent a long time in the direct presence of the Lord. When he came down, He was so affected by the glory of God that his face literally shone with light! This occasion has something to teach us all. When we spend time with Jesus, it should affect us. I believe that the affect will be visible to others. When we spend intentional devoted time with Jesus something of the glory of heaven will truly change our hearts. In John 8 Jesus declares that He is the light of the world and that all who follow Him will not walk in darkness but have the light of life. In Matthew 5 Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world, and that we should let our light shine so people will give glory to God. What is happening here is that we draw near to the glorious light of Jesus Christ and are affected by His glory. We go out from our time with Christ to let His light shine through us into a dark world.
The key element is spending time with Lord focused on prayerfully studying the Bible. It is by reading the Bible that we hear God’s word. When Jesus prayed for future believers – you and me – He prayed that we would be sanctified (set apart in holiness) by the word of God (John 17:17). As we daily set aside time to draw near to the Lord, and ask the Holy Spirit to give us faith to believe what we read in the Bible, our right knowledge of God grows. As our understanding and experience of God grows, our belief and character are transformed. As we seek after God in the Bible and prayer, like Moses, something of heaven will transform our souls. Something of the real indwelling Holy Spirit will affect us, sanctify us, and make us more like Jesus.
As we pursue time alone with Jesus in the Bible, the Holy Spirit will use these times to bear spiritual fruit in our lives. We will find that being with Jesus will cause us to be more loving, more gentle, and more self-controlled. The more we are intentionally alone with God and then intentionally together with other believers in the church, the more we will partake in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). The more we have the mind of Christ. The more we are transformed by the renewing of our mind, not conformed to the lusts of this world.
It’s impossible for an inward transformation of this type to not have outward visible manifestation. It will show first in love. The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love. If we are affected and shaped by the Holy Spirit, we will be a people who love each other. If we are being sanctified by Scripture the result will be that we are a people filled with the love of Christ Jesus. Jesus prays in John 17:26, “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Jesus recognizes the love between the Father and the Son and prays that Christians might love one another in the same way.
Paul writes about Moses’ encounter with God in 2 Corinthians 3. Paul compares the veil Moses put over his face to shield others from the glory of God radiating from Him, to those that cannot comprehend the glory of God because it is veiled to them. But not so with those who have believed in Jesus as Savior and draw near to Him. 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is Spirit.” We, like Moses have the chance to stand before the Lord without a veil of division. We daily can come to the throne of grace upon which our glorious Savior is seated. We can understand who God is as He reveals Himself in Scripture. By this we are transformed and taken from death to life, from bondage to glory, then from one degree of glory to another.
This week may you take hold of each day and make time to draw near to Jesus, and in being near to Jesus may you be changed. May the glory of Jesus shine from your countenance and the fruit of the Holy Spirit be evident in your life.
Draw near to us oh Lord,