Exodus 24:12-18 As God’s elect, we must reorder our soul and usher in His kingdom with power
Exodus 24:12-18 As God’s elect, we must reorder our soul and usher in His kingdom with power
Now the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. 14 But to the elders he said, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them.” 15 Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. 18 Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
God returns in majesty and awe-inspiring terror through the thick cloud. It appears the imagery of the terrifying God (see Exodus 19) has not changed. What has changed is His relation to Israel; Israel has become His children. And the kingdom of God was coming upon them. God called His elect, Moses, into His presence to prepare him to usher in the age of the Kingdom. The kingdom of God comes with breakthroughs and abundant living for God’s people. Today, Jesus is calling us into the wilderness so that we may be sanctified and receive the anointing. Today’s devotion teaches us: As God’s elect, we must reorder our soul and usher in His kingdom with power.
Now the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.”
God instructed Moses to go up to Him on the mountain leaving Aaron and Hur to tend to the people. Not only will Moses receive the tablets of stone, but also further instructions for the people. He will receive instructions and design for the construction of the tabernacle.
Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.
Here, God returned in majesty and awe-inspiring terror. Moses remained there for six days while the glory of God rested on the mountain in the thick cloud. It is only on the seventh day that God called Moses from the midst of the cloud. And Moses will see the heavenly temple where the perfect Lamb will be sacrificed for the sins of the world.
As God’s elect, we must reorder our soul and usher in His kingdom with power
The need for deep self-reflection
Moses spent six days on the mountain alone during which he reordered his soul to meet God. This process of deep self-reflection is the prerequisite to understanding and receiving the kingdom of God. People cannot grow in experiencing the Kingdom, because they do not practice deep self-reflection. They have never learned to question the traditions that were handed down to them. Their hearts are misaligned with God, and in their minds reside simplistic beliefs, strongholds and sacred cows. These prevent them from understanding more profound truths apart from the basic tenets of faith. This is played out in the way they run their lives. Driven by their own wisdom, always busy but with little accomplished, such often wonder where their time and resources went. As a result, many find themselves precisely at the same point 10 years later. They maintain the same beliefs, neither enlightened nor experienced but simply stiffened.
When Jesus began His ministry, the Spirit drew Him into the wilderness for 40 days during which He practised self-reflection and received God’s commission concerning the kingdom. After that, Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district (Luke 4:14). Similarly, Moses received his commission, but not without first reordering his soul according to the divine order. For six days, Moses reordered his soul and spoke to God face to face concerning the unsearchable things of heaven. At the end of 40 days, Moses came down from Mount Sinai in the power of the Spirit so much so his face shone (see Exodus 34:29).
Reordering the heart
This process exposes and reveals the things that drive us. A heart aligned with God is driven by the very same desires and purpose that drive God. In the stillness of the wilderness, the heart tends to become restless. And underneath the restlessness are desires for accomplishment, man’s approval, riches, power, self-preservation and aggrandisement, even fear and anger. Having faced up to what drives us, we submit our desires to the Spirit. And the Spirit submits them under the lordship of Christ. After which, we will sense God’s unconditional love mingled with a sense of security. And we become more settled and yielded to God’s perfect will. In the process, not only will we be able to separate the good from the bad, but also the best out of all the possible good.
Reordering the mind
While the heart pertains to desire, the mind pertains to customs and beliefs. Many harbour sacred cows passed down by culture and misguided religion. A sacred cow is something that is unreasonably immune from question or opposition. For example, in some Asian families, parents are perceived as always right. Or the husband must play the role of bread-winner; to be the house-husband is demeaning. These strongholds or sacred cows are often shielded by pride or even fear. Unless they are removed, they pose as hindrances to growth. In the stillness of the wilderness, these strongholds appear as mental blocks preventing us from going out of our comfort zone. They project a false sense of safety, keeping us from venturing into uncharted waters where treasures lie waiting to be discovered. As we lay down our pride and age-old presuppositions, these strongholds begin to breakdown in the light of God’s love and wisdom. Below are some of the mental strongholds and misguided beliefs:
I must keep thanking and praising God to gain His favour. – Not true. God looks at the heart, not the appearance of thankfulness. And He blesses the charitable and generous at heart.
To experience God’s continual blessings, I must ask unceasingly. – True and not true. God is more willing to give than we think. Instead, we must seek the things that pertain to Christlikeness: virtues, wisdom and spiritual gifts.
The more I know the bible, the more I know God’s will. – True and not true. We know God’s will only when He speaks specifically to our situation.
I must do “great” works to please God. – True and not true. To please God, we have to obey His directives daily however mundane they may be.
I must spend much time in prayer and fasting to acquire the anointing to do His work. – True and not true. God calls and grants authority to one whom He thinks is ready to do His work. And one who is guided by a man of God.
All leaders/politicians are chosen by God, and I must support all that they do. – True and not true. Democracy has relegated God to a minor role in the appointment of leaders across nations, organisations and even churches. However, we must always respect leaders and pray for them. But, we must never follow in the things that are uncharacteristic of God (see Matthew 23:2-3). A leader can be chosen if he obeys God and rejected if he disobeys (see 1 Samuel 15:10,23). That said, the bible speaks of a King who deserves our highest worship and adoration; the Christ, who possesses authority to exalt and bring down rulers from their throne (see Luke 1:52).
I must work hard. Rest and play are a waste of time. – Not true. God commands us, our workers, our machines and buildings to rest (especially the Sabbath). This is so that all can enjoy the relationships and the things that God has given.
Assurance of salvation comes through the continual hearing of the word of grace. – True and not true. Assurance of salvation or God’s approval comes not from knowing but from obeying God’s word. When God sees our transformation, He assures us and calls us faithful.
I must not seek greater authority from God, even to accomplish God’s will. – True and not true. We must never seek divine authority to glorify ourselves. But we must seek Christ to whom belongs righteousness, power and glory.
I must expand and accomplish all things in the shortest time possible. – Not true. We must live our lives according to God’s directives one day at a time. Great things comprises a series of small and mundane things.
All that I received, I will have to return them someday. – True and not true. God does not require of us (if it’s even possible) to return all that we have received. As Christ gives Himself willingly to God for our sake, we respond by giving ourselves willingly for the sake of others.
It is uncharitable to not respond to people’s needs or wants. – Not true. We must always inquire of God if it is His will that we should help or how we should help (see 1 Samuel 23:1,2).
It is unchristian to keep people at a distance. – Not true. We should draw close to those of like values and goals. Jesus kept himself from people who harbour mixed agendas (see John 2:24).
To forgive is to restore intimacy to the way things were. – Not true. Forgiveness differs from reconciliation. To forgive is to cancel all debts, to release others from having to pay for their wrongdoings. To reconcile is to restore trust and intimacy. God forgave the sins of the world. But only those who repent will be reconciled to God. That said, we must look forward to their repentance and our eventual reconciliation with them.
Believers must not be afraid to think and even to question age-old beliefs. In the light of God’s love and infinite wisdom, we must put off worn-out beliefs in exchange for higher truths and understanding. Unless we discard the old wine skin, we can never enjoy the new wine. That said, reordering our minds involves denouncing the old beliefs and traditions. And God will destroy demonic strongholds and fortresses that reside in our minds. Paul said,
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
Consider taking three days leave from work to fast and pray. To be effective, you must not work but spend time in solitude. During which, you will read the bible and converse with God. You may fast for lunch and drink lots of water. You will begin to feel more connected to the Holy Spirit and to understand His will.
Dear Lord, I desire to know your heart and your mind. Reveal to me what is important in the last days. Here I am, send me. Use me to bring many to salvation. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.