Exodus 33:1-23, John 1:14, Matthew 17:1-5
We have some good married friends who are also marriage counselors. One of the core practices they live and counsel by is something called “the traffic light principle.” In any significant decision they face, they individually ask for God’s direction then come together and compare answers: red (the answer is no), yellow (maybe, but not now), and green (yes, go for it). Simple, huh? But it would amaze you how powerful that can be.
Of course the whole point of that discipline is to give God primacy in their lives. In other words, God goes first.
Their years of married highs and lows have shown them that when God doesn’t go before them, their relationship suffers. And by virtue of the fact that none of us live in a vacuum, they’ve seen their children and friends are also affected in not-so-good ways. They’ve learned, regardless of what it is, that it’s just not worth it if God is not first.
Moses had the very same attitude when it came to leading the people, even going so far as to tell God, “If you don’t take the lead here, then call this off right now. It’s not worth it.”
In light of where Moses and the people were, that was an incredibly weighty statement. But Moses meant it, and God honored his honesty. In fact, what followed Moses’ conditional statement was an experience of a man seeing God’s glory like no man ever had before. His vulnerability led to a greater revelation, which at first hearing sounds almost like bumper sticker theology. But that’s what Scripture says happened.
If you don’t have some practice to give God first place in your life, consider some variation of the traffic light principle. It’s simple, so much so that anyone can understand it. And the weight of testimony, from the likes of Moses to the likes of our good married friends, indicates that it’s a wise idea to say, God, you must go first.
If God is not first, then regardless of what’s in front of you—even if it feels like freedom and looks like a land flowing with sweet milk and wild honey—it’s not worth it. It’s just not.
Written By John Blase