"The Meeting Place"

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By: Emily Watkins

Exodus 33:7, 11, “Now Moses use to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp...The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend.” (NIV)


Worship does for me what a cup of Starbucks coffee or a chocolate sundae does for some. Sometimes when I worship, I can feel the gratifying warmth and joy of God's presence, and then all my problems seem to hide and I tremble in the awe of the all-powerful Creator. A touch from the Holy Spirit is wonderful, but I want so much more than just a pleasant experience, more than just “goose bumps and tears.” I want the constant awareness of the fullness of God in me, not just when I worship. Just like Moses, I want to speak to God “face to face” as I would to a friend.

Moses had many responsibilities as the leader of Israel, but amidst his busyness, he set a special time and place to meet with God. He took a tent and pitched it far away from the noise and chaos of everyday life, somewhere quiet and secluded where he could listen to God. There, in the tent, the Lord “would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks to a friend.”

I have always found this amazing about Moses. There are few men in the Bible that God spoke to audibly, let alone “face to face!” In the Old Testament such an encounter with God was a rarity, even though everyone in Israel had the opportunity to meet with God in the tabernacle every day. All they had to do was go outside the camp. It is interesting that God did not tell Moses to put the “tent of meeting” in the middle of the camp, which would be more convenient and accessible for everyone. Instead he chose a location that would require sacrifice and discipline to reach. God would reveal Himself only to those who took the time and effort to go outside the camp to meet with Him.

This passage teaches me that “wanting” a deeper relationship with God isn't enough. Just like the Israelites, I have to be willing to step outside my “comfort zone” and radically pursue God as my closest friend.

Building any relationship takes time and effort. Sometimes it requires sacrifice. When a girlfriend calls me and wants to get together, I do everything I can to make time for her, even if it means putting aside the things I would rather do. Sometimes it requires effort on my part, but it is worth it. God promises us “great and unsearchable things” if we will only be His friend and talk with Him (Jeremiah 33:3).

God's not going to force us to be His friend. Even though His heart is bursting with longing towards us, He still gives us a choice. The Bible compares Jesus to the father in the story of the prodigal son and to a lover peering over the lattices - He is constantly waiting, and desperately longing to meet with us every day (Luke 15:11-32, Song of Solomon 2:9). All we have to do is go, go and be with Jesus, drop what we are doing and run after Him. What could be more important than spending time with the King of Kings?

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank You so much for being my closest friend and for loving me with everlasting love. I know that many times I choose other things above You, but help me to choose what is best: spending time with You. Guide me out of “my comfort zone” into Your “tent” of close friendship. I want to be a friend who is there for You always, just like You are for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

The Bare Bones Bible Handbook for Teens: Getting to Know Every Book in the Bible, by Jim George

Biblezine 2009: The Complete New Testament for Girls

Think About It:

What did the Israelites have to do to meet with God?

When was the last time you just sat and talked to God like a friend?

Live It:

Set a side a time each day to meet with God. I have found that if I don't plan God into my day, then most of the times He will end up getting left out. Think about your daily schedule and pick a time when you can be quiet and spend time alone with God. I like to have my “quiet times” in the mornings before school or my activities for the day, because then I know that no one will disturb me. I encourage you to come “out of your comfort zone” and spend time with your best friend – Jesus. Let Him speak to you face to face.

Power Verses:

John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this,that he lay down his life for his friends.” (NIV)
(Jesus laid down His life for us!)

Isaiah 30:18, “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” (NIV)

© 2009 by Emily Watkins. All rights reserved.

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Tell Us About It:

Where do you like to go to spend time with God?

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this devo! i Long each day to be in awe of his presence!
yvonne

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yvonne, are you the Yvonne that writes the devos?
Sincerely amused,
Katie

Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol. yes i am Katie!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) cool! lol...
Katie

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