God’s Ways; September 15, 2020

Exodus 33:13 “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

Here we have the heart of a leader pleasing to God fully exposed. Moses was not asking for anything personally for himself, he was asking to know God better so that he would be more pleasing to Him. I don’t know the Hebrew, but in Japanese, way, or ways, is consistently rendered with a word meaning street, road, or path. Way does have that meaning in English, as in highway and the like, but I don’t know that we think about it like that in this context. In a sense, Moses is asking for GPS – God Positioning System. That’s something we could all use, but we don’t think about it often enough. If we are following God’s route, not only will we arrive where we and He want us to go, we will see the sights along the way that He intends for us as well. Much of the time we hardly know where we are, much less where we are headed next! Moses was on a first-name basis with God, (Exodus 33:11) but he still wanted to know more of God and to be on ever better terms with Him. That’s certainly an example to follow! When we fail to keep pressing in for more of God, we end up drifting away, because the currents of life in this fallen world certainly flow away from Him rather than toward Him. Self-satisfaction ends up being disastrous! This is particularly true for those charged with leadership, as Moses was, because our “flock” doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to God.

Of course this applies completely to me, since I am a pastor and I desire to be pleasing to God. God has led me throughout my life but I haven’t always paid attention, and sometimes I’ve run into mud and potholes quite unnecessarily. I don’t have to know what’s around the next corner, but I do need to know where to turn! The longer I walk with the Lord, the closer I want to do so. I identify completely with the Bill Gaither song, The Longer I Serve Him, the Sweeter He Grows. I can understand how Billy Graham must have felt, when the only way he could get closer to God was to leave his physical body behind. I’m certainly looking forward to that day myself, but in the mean time He’s got work for me to do, and there is joy and satisfaction in it. Today being my 72nd birthday, it’s a milestone, and I’m deeply grateful, both for the road this far and the road ahead. I am constantly reminded that this flock belongs to Him and not to me, and I desire that all of His plans, for it and for me, be fulfilled for His glory.

Father, thank You for this, today of all days. I am frequently touched at the evidence of Your having guided in the creation of the monthly Scripture reading list, when the passage is spot-on for what You already knew would be happening. Thank You for enabling me to draw up the October list yesterday. Help me indeed follow Your path for me, drawing closer to You just as Moses asked, so that I may be fully pleasing to You. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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