How Do We Reflect God?
One of a kind! The best way to describe my kids and grandkids is with that phrase. No one else is like them. They are distinct in the way they look, how they act, and even the way they carry themselves. These distinct characteristics – some that seem familial and some that are amazingly unique – set my kids apart from others the same age. These distinct characteristics can be used to trace a line of family traits that have been passed from generation to generation. In a room full of people, someone can quickly tell who they are related to by voice, laughter, and mannerisms.
The same is true for the people of God. Exodus 33 starts by telling how God spoke to Moses face to face. This is followed by Moses requesting of God, “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.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
God’s Presence is the distinguishing mark that differentiates God’s people from everyone else. We need His presence to be with us and transforming us into His likeness. When we hunger to learn His ways, the Holy Spirit is within us, providing a peaceful, restful presence. The work of the Holy Spirit is what sets us apart.
The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives. In the most trying of circumstances, the presence of God is most obvious. In these cases, the distinguishing mark of the Presence of the Holy Spirit looks like love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Moses desired the presence of God over entering the Promised Land. Believers are challenged to desire the presence of God over any blessing that might be provided. Our desire is not the fruit of the spirit. Rather our desire is for the presence of the Holy Spirit, the one who helps the fruit of the spirit become realized within our lives. We need Him at work in us and through us.
How do I know if the Holy Spirit is at work in me? I anticipate that Moses addressed it in his question to the Lord. Am I hungry to learn God’s ways? In my life, is there evidence of new teaching and application in my life? Do I look like the other people in the world or am I distinguished by the presence of God’s rest?
These words of Moses prompt me to ask myself this same question. What distinguishes me from all the other people in the world? Moreover, as a church, we must ask the same question of ourselves. What distinguishes us from all the other people in the world?
God is at work. As we seek His presence, He transforms us. As we listen in prayer and scripture study, He transforms us. As our eyes remain steadfastly fixed to Him, His presence goes with us and He gives us rest. As we allow God to work with in us, we become one of a kind, uniquely His with characteristics that point to our Heavenly Father. - Caroline Poe