When something great happens in our lives, we call our friends. If we have great news to share, we tell people we love. Moses enjoyed a close friendship with God, and God showed Moses His greatness.
The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. . . . Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” (Exod. 33:11, 18–20 NIV)
Obviously the language about Moses speaking face-to-face with God is imagery because just a few verses later God tells Moses that no one can see His face. But the imagery is powerful and illustrates the close friendship Moses and God enjoyed. Moses would talk to God as a friend.
And because of their close friendship, Moses asked God to show him His glory, the greatness of all His attributes. Amazingly God agreed. God put Moses in the cleft of the rock and let Moses see the backside of His glory.
Asking God for a great day and asking Him to show His glory are two very different prayers.
William Carey famously said, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” I fear we often live bland and boring lives because we don’t press in and enjoy friendship with the God who reveals His greatness to His friends. I fear we miss out on the greatness of God because we pray small prayers and attempt small things for God.
By God’s grace, I want to pray “God, show me Your glory” type of prayers and not mild and tame “help me have a good day” kind of prayers. I want to be such close friends with Christ that He is constantly showing me His greatness. I want to be a part of big things for God, things that can only be attributed to the greatness of God.
Adapted from Identity (2008, B&H Publishing Group)