A Discernible Difference

“Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.  So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.” Exodus 34:29-30

Can people tell that you’ve been with God?

In the New Testament book of Acts when the apostles Peter and John were arrested for preaching about Jesus for the first time the Jewish leaders were surprised by their answers and Acts chapter four verse thirteen says that “they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

Our focus text tells us that Moses, after he had been talking with God face to face, would return to the people with his face glowing with the glory of God. The children of Israel feared to come near Moses when his face was glowing so he took to wearing a veil when he was among the people and taking it off when he would go into the presence of God.

In Revelation chapter eighteen, God’s people, presented in the symbol of an angel coming to earth with God’s last message of warning and call for salvation, are described as having a glory that illuminates the whole world. Whether the glory here is a literal and visible light shining forth from the people or whether it’s a figurative description of the energy and effect of the life and message of God’s people one thing is certain, the world can tell that the people of God have been with God.

So I’ll ask the question I started with again. Can people tell that you’ve been with God?

If you’ve been with God the experience ought to make a difference in your life. People may not understand what the difference is and they may even find it disturbing, as it appears they did with the light shining from Moses’ face, but there ought to be something different about you as a result of the experience of having been with God.

And the thing is we ought to be different from the rest of the world. The apostle Peter says we’re a “holy nation” and a “peculiar people”. Holy means that we’re set apart from the rest of the world, and peculiar means that we’re different. If we’re not different that either means that we haven’t actually been with God or we’re trying to hide that we’ve been with God from the world.

Friends, Jesus came to this world to be with us. The Holy Spirit still works to bring Christ’s presence to us. The world needs us to shine the light of Christ. Whether they understand it or not the light of Christ shining in our lives is a beacon of hope in this sin darkened world and that’s not something to be avoided or hidden away.

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