Distinct: Our Great Treasure
Recently I was texting with a friend, who got upset with me because of the “tone” in my text. I was unaware that my text had a particular “tone” and the more that I tried to clear up the misunderstanding the worse the situation became. Finally, I went to my friend in person and cleared the matter up. I realized something important that day. I realized that relationships were not intended to be with only words and words alone (Sarcasm and emojis don’t mix well ;) Had my friend and I been face to face, we would have been able to understand the inflection in each other’s voices; we would have noticed each other’s body language; we wouldn’t have had to wonder what the other was thinking. We would have known. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case with Moses; He spoke face to face with God, “just as a man speaks with his friend.”
In Exodus 33, Moses tells us about the face to face encounter he has with God. Just before this meeting, the people of Israel had just made for themselves idols made of gold while Moses was away. God was ready to destroy the people, when Moses speaks up and pleads on behalf of the people for God to remember his covenant and not to destroy the people.
God tells Moses in verses 1-3: I will send an angel before you, I will drive out your enemies, “but I will not go up among you… for you are a stiff necked people”. When the people heard this, they mourned for it was a disastrous word, for His presence would not be with them. So Moses has another face to face encounter with God in the tent of meeting, where Moses says in verses 15 -16: “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring me up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
Moses was right! What makes Christians distinct from all other people is that the presence of God is with us. The presence of the promised Holy Spirit makes us unique from everyone else, as described in John 14. How then does our distinctiveness impact our lives? His presence is with us; it changes our perspective on life and our work, whether we buy or sell, labor or rest. Our perspective is changed because the Creator of the world lives in us, and we have opportunity to display His glory before the world. Colossians 4:5 instructs us to “Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.”
The way we use our distinctiveness will be the evidence to the on-looking world that Christ’s presence has made the difference in our lives. Let’s not be ashamed of what makes us distinct, for it is our greatest treasure.