Jesus Grows Us Gently

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Exodus 20:18-19 (NLT) This is a story in the OT where Moses comes down from Mt. Sinai after spending a significant time with God receiving the Ten Commandments. The scene is filled with intensity and the people of Israel become afraid and say in response to Moses, “Speak to us yourself… But do not have God speak to us” (Exodus 20:19). God isn’t satisfied to simply speaking to the spiritual leaders (pastors, parents, small group leaders, etc…) in our lives; God desires to speak directly to us. Speaking with someone face to face is intimate and intimacy is God’s ultimate goal with for each one of His children. God doesn’t want to use a mediator between us and Him, He simply wants to speak to us, no matter our current role in life or maturity level. When my first son was born, I did not say to my wife, “Jacob is not mature enough to speak with me yet, I will wait till he is older.” I did just the opposite. I spoke to him and interacted with him exactly where he was developmentally as a baby. And so I held him physically and rocked him so he could feel my presence. I would speak softly and gently so he would know I was not a threat. Little by little, day by day, month by month, and year by year my vocabulary increased as he was ready and my physical interaction moved from cuddling to playful wrestling. What I did with my son, is exactly what God does with us. From the moment we become His children, He meets us where we are, as spiritual infants, and begins the parent and child journey of social and physical interaction. His interactions with us are exactly what we need for the spiritual age we are at. Based on our maturity, God may communicate to us through a movie, a friend, an impression we sense, a spiritual leader, and yes, even the wishful act of opening the Bible and pointing to a random verse in hopes God will speak (yes, we all have done this). God speaks in many ways to us as we mature, but ultimately He desires for us to become familiar with His voice and direction through His Word and His Spirit’s leading. This, like any growing process, takes time and experience. There will be no shortcuts, only a relationship that is grown over consistency and commitment. Know that the work Jesus has begun in you, He will be faithful to finish it. That is His promise to you (Philippians 1:6). It’s His work and it is based on your surrender. Surrender to Jesus so you may grow up into His likeness. Prayer Lord Jesus, Thank you that you meet me exactly where I am. Thank you that you remain with me every step of the way and encourage me to grow more and more into Your image. Give me the grace to continue to recognize your fingerprints in and around my life. Amen

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