On Experiencing God — Exodus 33 [a practical, devotional study of scripture]

Excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle… So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:9-11, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice).

Go ahead and read through this passage several times. As many times as you need to let the scene settle into your heart. Moses and God experienced one another in friendship. They experienced one another face to face.

Jesus says, I no longer call you servants, I call you friends. Jesus is friendship with God. He came to the earth to call us to friendship with him. What does friendship look like between you and him? Is that a new thought for you? Why don’t you take some time and ask God what friendship looks like for you two. Write down any thoughts that come to mind and thank him that he wants to relate to you in these ways.

My personal engagement with this session

What do I have if not friendship with God? This is the very purpose of Emmanuel [God with us]. He no longer calls us servants, but friends. For me, to only experience God as a far off and distant creator is to entirely miss what Jesus came to us to restore. He is Emmanuel, God with us! This is staggering to me. What is my response? I begin with friendship as a primary filter for my process. God, my friend, I want to know what you think about this situation/circumstance/individual/etc. God, my friend, this is how I think about…

I have been brought into the family/community of God and into real conversation with God. I’m not just saved from death. I am brought into a community of friends. Friendship is an ever evolving experience. My experiencing God continually evolves. He is not summed up in the words of a devotional text. Nor is he a far off, distant God. He is my friend. I experience him and he experiences me.

 

An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice

 

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