Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Thursday, March 29, 2012

~ Read Exodus 33-34
Lord God,

Though I have always understood that anytime you instruct your people to go somewhere new, you are also instructing them, by necessity, to leave another place behind, somehow, in the past, I have missed the spiritual significance of that truth. However, today, as I read Exodus 33-34, it occurred to me, that you are not just telling Israel to leave their encampment around Mount Sinai, so they can enter the Promised Land. You are also commanding them to leave behind the people they were in that place, and before. You are commanding them to leave behind their grumbling and pride. You are calling them to abandon their selfishness and sin. You are directing them to give up their envy, lust, laziness, and pride, skepticism, injustice, hatred, and faithlessness. You demand that they give up the idols of their hearts to enter the Promised Land.

Ultimately, Lord, you want your people to be devoted to you. You expect them to make your glory their top priority. Unfortunately, it rarely happens. Though I'd like to believe otherwise, I know full well that I am not very devoted to you, because I am too focused on myself, my happiness, my comfort. I am much too concerned with my reputation and success.

Consequently, I am just like the Israelites who built the golden calf at the bottom of Mount Sinai. I would rather be happy, than holy. I prefer to be popular, than pure. I would rather be comfortable, prosperous, famous, and strong, than faithful, obedient, and true. Though I want your forgiveness and salvation by grace, I confess that I am much less willing to give up my sin.
Help me, Lord, and forgive me today. Let me stand in your presence and see your glory. Give me rest from all the turmoil and strife that engulf this world. Save me from my selfishness and sin. Have compassion on me and show me your mercy. Remember your promise to be my God, and I will always be your child. Redeem me, Sovereign Lord, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, who bled on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, for I have no other hope, except him.
By his grace and for his glory, I pray these things in his great name. Amen!