Exodus 33:18-20 (New Living Translation)
Moses responded: “Then show me your glorious presence.” The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.”
Moses asked to see God face-to-face—not in the future after his death, but right then in his present. What an audacious request! I love that Moses was so bold. Moses had witnessed incredible miracles and had spoken directly with God, but he yearned for more. Moses trusted God so much that he was able to ask God for the deepest desire of his heart. His prayer was answered a little differently than he probably hoped (apparently it’s impossible for a mere human to gaze upon unfiltered divinity and live), but God honored Moses’ prayer. Moses was given an indirect glimpse of God’s presence.
In John 1:18 we read: “No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” In Jesus, we see God’s very nature revealed: compassion, wisdom, power, and grace. God loves us, and wants us to be talking with him, to be sharing with him. God wants to be in conversation with us about the deepest desires of our hearts.
That’s why the apostle Paul urged us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Paul had full confidence in the goodness and mercy of God, and faith in God’s willingness to listen to and answer our prayers. Sometimes when we pray, God’s answer to our request is “yes.” Sometimes it is “no.” Sometimes it is “wait.” And, like with Moses, our prayer may not be answered in exactly the way we anticipate.
But if we don’t ask, we aren’t giving God the opportunity to show us his loving attention!
What is it that you really want to ask God right now? What bold, audacious request do you have for God?