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Matthew Bauer
 

Matthew's Blog

You are here:  blog  >  February 2016

Remove My Veil

removemyveil.jpgDear Lord, remove my veil. Let the world see you clearly. Exalt yourself in me and strip from me everything that hides your perfect presence from shining forth from this broken vessel to all your creation.

In Exodus 34, we see what happens to a man when he immerses himself in the glory of God. “Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai… that he did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with God.” The brilliance of God’s presence shone like light, glowing off the skin of Moses’ face. It’s said that when a woman is pregnant, she has a glow about her from the life that is within, but this life within Moses was far greater than anyone could have imagined, and it radiated from him with such intensity that even his own brother was afraid to come near him.

In verse 33, we see Moses’ response to that fear, as he put a veil over his face to dim its brilliance. “Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out; and he would come out and speak to the children of Israel whatever he had been commanded. And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone, then Moses would put the veil on his face again…” (v. 34-35)

I’m in the midst of preparing a message for next Sunday about the New Covenant, and in it I talk about this glory, how the Israelites were afraid to come near it, and how in the New Covenant, God invites us to not only draw near to His presence, but to be filled by it and shine it forth, just like Moses. But today, I’m struck by the other side of this story. It was Moses who put on the veil to hide the presence of God from the people.

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know that my prayer lately is this… “make me more like Jesus.” And in that prayer, my conviction is that in being like Him, I will have the boldness to share who He is without reserve.

It’s been a long time now since God gave me the conviction not to “dumb-down” my teachings, lest they offend or frighten or confuse people, but I remember His words to me every time I speak, every time I write, every time I pray, or every time I minister. “Do not hide My presence,” He says.

And I don’t want to be complacent with God’s presence. I don’t want to shrink from His greatness to give the world a god of mediocrity or passivity or weakness. I serve a God, in whose presence people are healed! I serve a God, in whose presence people are set free! I serve a God in whose presence there is no lack, no fear, no hatred, no perversion! I serve a God whose mere words create galaxies! I serve a God, by whom the touch of His shadow can make me whole! Is this the God I am showing the world?

I am broken now to the point of tears, because I know I wear a veil. It’s the veil of my own fear, of my own misunderstanding, my own disbelief, my own satisfaction with mediocrity, my own disappointment when God has responded in seeming silence. It’s hard enough to believe in this God for myself, let alone to share Him boldly with others!

And so I cry, “Dear Lord, remove my veil!”

“I want to see You as big as You are, and I want the world to see that through me. I want to see You as close as You are, and I want others to draw close to you through me. I want to see you as powerful as You are, as loving as You are, as healing as You are, as pure as You are, as selfless as You are, as beautiful as You are, and I want the world to see that through me.”

“Dear Lord, remove my veil!”

In Matthew 27, we read of the crucifixion of Jesus. He cried out in a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. And then, immediately after He died, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” (v. 51-53)

Jesus came that we might know the Father. His death fulfilled that purpose when the veil that hid our Father’s presence was torn. It was the veil that only the holiest of priests could walk through and live. It was the veil that kept everyone else safe from God’s presence. And it was the veil that WE put there – not God.

Jesus did some amazing things on this earth (and still does via the Holy Spirit). But He told us to do likewise. He told us that we would do even greater things than He did – for it was our task all along. He came to give us a jumpstart and a change in perspective so we could receive all we needed to fulfill it, but now it is OUR job to show the world our Father and King. It is OUR job to heal the sick and feed the hungry and care for the orphan and the widow. It is OUR job to proclaim freedom to the captives, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach good tidings to the poor, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, to comfort those who morn… (see Isaiah 61). And we can do these things because the veil was torn.

At least God has done His part. But what veils of our own have we put up to keep us safe from a wild, powerful, and unpredictable God? What veils do we hide behind when we go out into the world because we are ashamed of our faith, or because we doubt God will use us, or because we are afraid to fail in our attempts to make disciples? What veils still cloud His presence?

My prayer for you today is that you will join me in the brokenness of this cry, that your eyes will be opened to the veils that cover His presence in your life, and that this, too, would be on your lips as you go out into the world… “Dear Lord, remove my veil!”
Posted: 2/27/2016 3:03:23 PM by Matthew Bauer | with 0 comments


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