LIFE-CHANGING ENCOUNTERS WITH A HOLY GOD
It is the far side of the wilderness… a remote place near Mt. Sinai (Mt. Horeb) … the Mountain of God. Moses is tending sheep for his father-in-law Jethro. He leads his sheep to this pastureland, not knowing that it will lead to a life-changing encounter with God. The Lord calls to Moses from within a burning bush…
“Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer… Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” — Exodus 3:4-5
Moses is awestruck. He hides his face, afraid to look at this holy God. All who encounter God in the Bible are struck by their own unworthiness in the presence of such perfect majesty. Moses is commanded to take off his sandals… a sign of reverence to God and separation from the world with its defilement, its sin.
For this is holy ground, rendered holy by the presence of the Holy One Himself. In his encounter, Moses approaches God with great respect and deference. He understands the immense privilege of being before this Mighty One. He is a mere shepherd whose heart is open to hearing all that the Lord wants to share.
Moses is personally called by God to lead His chosen people to the Promised Land… a high and holy calling. This shepherd would soon be shepherding the flock of God back to this very pastureland. At this mountain, he would again meet with the Lord to establish a covenant, a promise, to make His people a holy nation. On holy ground, in this solitary place, Moses encounters God and his life is forever changed.
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” — Luke 5:16
Throughout His ministry, Jesus often sought out holy ground… the quiet, the isolated, the deserted places where He could be alone, away from the world clamoring for His attention… places where He could personally encounter His Father. Jesus understood that time with the Father was of utmost importance. He placed the highest priority on this sacred time of prayer.
How much more important is it for us… encountering God on holy ground? For our Lord had no sins to confess… no people to forgive… no doubts or fears to overcome… no power needed to live a holy life.
Yet on holy ground Jesus prayed. He prayed for His Father’s will to be done in the lives of His disciples and in the lives of those He came to save. He also prayed for Himself. He drew strength from the Father to carry on… to face the unfathomable work of the cross that lay ahead. To follow through with God’s will… a plan of redemption from the beginning of time.
“Christ Jesus our Lord, in Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” — Ephesians 3:12
Jesus has paved the way for us to come before the Father boldly and confidently. For He paid the ultimate price for us. The curtain has been torn. There are now no barriers to fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Jesus led by example, teaching us to search out our solitary places where we can meet with the Father on holy ground.
Daily we seek to center our lives upon God. Like Moses, we recognize the incredible honor of being in His presence. We cast off our “sandals” in worshipful reverence, breaking ties with the world. Our wandering thoughts are reined in. On God’s holy ground, we bow in adoration and awe before Him. We recognize His glory and magnificence. We are humbled by His immeasurable love and concern for us.
Before our Lord alone, we pour out our hearts… knowing He is more than willing to listen to anything we tell Him. We meet Him with repentant humility and a heart of forgiveness… yielding in deference to His will and plan for our lives. We are cleansed and made holy in the presence of the Holy One Himself.
Like Jesus, we pray God’s will for those we love… those in our world who need the love of Christ… and for ourselves. Our God listens with a heart of compassion to our prayers. We pray for strength to carry on… to follow His will amidst the roller coaster that is life. To resist temptation… to rise above evil… to overcome by His power.
“We must never rest until everything inside us worships God.” — A.W. Tozer
Spending time in the majesty of our Lord’s presence is a privilege of the highest value. In these sacred times, we are open and receptive to hearing from Him. Who knows what He may be wanting to share with us? We may receive new directions… answers to prayer… renewed priorities… special promises… and revelations that can change our lives.
Many Bible greats encountered the magnificence of God. Ones like Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Paul and John came into His majestic presence on holy ground. God met them where they were and brought them lovingly to a new awareness of Him. Their lives were forever changed.
We, too, are privileged to spend sacred times with God. He meets us where we are as we come before Him in prayer. In His presence, we are surrounded by His love… anointed by His grace… endued with His power. Not every encounter may be life-changing. Yet we will never come away quite the same after being on holy ground.