FaceTime with the Father
The other day a dear friend sent me some dates for the next six months for us to meet for coffee or dinner. I was so excited for this face to face time with a wise woman who is a step or two ahead of me in life. That same day, I read a verse that caught my eye as it contained the phrase, “face to face.” I wasn’t sure why it resonated so, but I smiled as I realized that I was spending, “face to face” time with the Father and how very important this set aside time is for each of us as followers of Jesus!
The phrase literally means, “mouth to mouth” and “sharp or keen, as in cutting with a simple strike rather than hacking.” The two didn’t coincide in my brain until I read another verse with the same phrase. It is in Numbers 12:8 where God is speaking about Moses when He says, “…with him I speak mouth to mouth clearly, openly and not in riddles. He sees the Lord as He is…” Moses came before the Lord for some “FaceTime” and upon gazing at the face of the Father, received Truth the would cut through lies like the sharp edge of a sword! Kinda like mouth to mouth resuscitation! Wow!
This little phrase, “Face to face”, made me think about make a statement our pastor once made - a truth that struck a deep cord within…
He said, “Your face reflects what you are facing.” He went on to say that if the eyes are windows to the soul, then our face must be the doorway. Love it! It reminded me of the face of Moses when he came down from the mountaintop after meeting with the Lord. He made the long trek to the mountain’s peak in order to meet face to face with God, to seek His will, His wisdom and His ways…and when Moses finally came down, he was completely unaware that his face was radiant with the peace and glorious presence of Almighty God. Exodus 34:29 The radiant peace and presence was not contrived by Moses’s sheer will to work out the problem before him…it was simply a result of humbly placing himself at the feet of God the Father to receive all that His Father would offer. I sometimes wonder what was bubbling in Moses’s heart as he arrived to the mountain’s peak, exhausted from the long trek. Maybe he turned around and looked long and hard at the valley below that was filled with the countless number of the sons and daughters of Israel. Then, with his back turned to the Father, he breathlessly proclaims, “Lord! I
You cannot even begin to fathom or imagine how stubborn are the hearts of your people! The position you have placed me in is beyond bearable - I do not have the strength, the wisdom and the where-with-all to oversee the multitudes of people at the foot of the mountain! Circumstances are hard and I just don’t know what to do!!!” I then picture the Father, grasping Moses’s chin, turning the face of his servant from the problems of the valley to the magnificent, radiant face of the Father on the mountaintop. Patiently, the Father locks eyes with Moses and replies with this: “Exactly, my son. That is the point…” I don’t know about you, but sometimes it can be easy for me to face the valley of troubles that present themselves before me; troubles that tempt me to pull up the figurative bootstraps in an attempt to research and plan my way out of it. It is in those moments when I focus on the valley, that I can forget Whose I am, a daughter of the Most High King, and that He has and will continue to fully equip me to carry out His calling on my life - as wife, mother, daughter, counselor, cook, cleaner…
There have been mornings like this where I awaken and begin to ponder the day ahead…all that is before me and feel like there is so much that is out of my hands. I essentially turn my gaze towards the valley of difficulty, facing circumstantial evidence that causes me to shake in my shoes, and my face slowly begins to reflect the difficulties before me - in essence, I allow the difficulties to tempt me to become difficult. Impatience nestles up beside me, fear begins to enshroud me, and suddenly the darkness in my heart creeps up to my face, which unbeknownst to me, has become withdrawn, dark and downcast.
Talk about exhausting! Not only are the circumstances burdensome, but now I’ve allowed the circumstantial evidence before me become the only foundation on which to place my mind, will and emotions. Yikes!
And yet, I have also found time and again that if I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to make what seems like a painstaking trek to the mountaintop by creating the time and space in my day to approach the Father for some FaceTime, I suddenly find my heart infiltrated with His comfort and love, and, almost imperceptibly, my face becomes radiant with His peace, His love and His glory.
Just like the picture of Moses on the mountaintop with God the Father, I picture the Father grasping my chin, locking His gaze with mine, and gently whispering this,
“My child, when you fix your gaze on the valley of problems before you, your heart is darkened and your face becomes downcast. Self-sufficiency allows no room for my radiant glory. And yet when you choose to make a way to the mountaintop to face Me, even though nothing may change in your circumstances, everything changes within your heart, and just like Moses, your face will become radiant with My peace, Presence, and glory…”
The tenderness of that visual almost makes me teary and urges me forward to rush to the feet of the Father each morning…the sacred place where the Holy Spirit gently nudges me to fix my gaze on the heavenly face of the Father.
My prayer this morning is that we as a community would continue to seek and prioritize FaceTime with the Father each day, carving out time with Him before the pressures and stresses of this day and season attempt to encroach on our Peace. Father, let our faces shine with the brilliance of your glory, just like Moses’s, reflecting the very peace of your presence, clearing way in our hearts for good will toward men!”