Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Moses’

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the stories of great decisions in the bible. I am sitting here shaking my head at how many people made the decision to give up life as they knew it for something completely unknown. For some, they didn’t even get to see anything that resembled what God asked them to do. Their fruit would be seen long after they had left.

Would I say yes to that? Would you?

Abraham believed God wanted to tell a story through him, so he packed up his family and all he had and left for a desolate land that only held the mirage of a dream.

Noah built a huge arc with the faith that what God wanted to say through him would come to fruition

Moses was on the run only to be asked to go back and take on Pharaoh to let thousands of his people go into freedom. He believed God was going to do something through him.

Job went through living hell, grief, abandonment, and loss for his faith. God had a story to tell through him that he would never sign up to tell for himself.

Hosea said yes to a life full of loss and betrayal from his wife all for the sake of a story being told through him.

The disciples walked away from everything known to follow and lead an unknown life.

Paul said yes to God telling His story through him. He abandoned life as he knew, and believed, it to be for the sake of God doing something with him.

Every one of our lives goes through the process of abandonment to get to a place where God wants to speak and act through us. Every one of us has to make the decision to leave something known to walk in faith towards something unknown and unpredictable.

The truth is that the life you really want will always take you down the road of abandonment. Sometimes that life is rich in pain, frustration, and question marks, but it’s still the story He is telling through you.

Abandonment is a scary word. It’s risky. It has no comforts, only hope.

It is one thing to say yes to abandon a life that needs it, but what about saying yes when it will mean hard and pain?

I can’t wrap my brain around those who said yes to God using their lives to tell a story they would never choose for themselves. Hosea’s life was just plain hard and heart wrenching. Mary said yes to potential scrutiny, shame, ridicule, and shunning. God asked to tell a story through them.

Would I? Would you?

Is your life a story God is telling that you would not choose to tell for yourself? Is He asking if you would be willing? Even if this story leads to hard and pain, would you be willing? If He wanted to tell a story through your life that was only to bear fruit after you were gone, would you do it? Are you living this way now?

Living out faith doesn’t always look like favor and bliss. It doesn’t always resemble “blessings” and good fruit. Sometimes faith looks like persevering in the midst of a sea of tears and question marks. Some stories bear the harsh contractions of waiting and being misunderstood.

Scripture says that “some people escaped the edge of the sword and some died by it,” but all are walking in faith.

Would I? Would you?

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The battle of the heart is just a strong battle. It is always an ongoing one as well.

I am confronted every day with thoughts that seem overwhelming and challenging to my identity. Every day I am battling against some fear and insecurity.

We are bombarded with messages that say we are not enough. We hear messages of ugliness and needing to be more.

Lately, I have been marinating on how characters in the bible processed through God being enough. It all comes back to surrender.

I have been thinking about Moses a lot. Here was a guy who grew up as royalty, but found himself as a shepherd in the middle of nowhere. Moses battled his fears and insecurities all the time.

When it came time for Moses and God to start dialoguing about setting the Israelites free, Moses brought his battle of excuses. Moses let God know that he wasn’t the guy for the job. He felt inadequate and disqualified. God saw him differently.

If you read on in Moses’ story, you will be able to see the progression of God getting hold of his heart. Moses started out his journey believing he was not enough, but ended it knowing God was. We all need this process.

Moses went from starting sentences like, “I can’t” to “if you won’t, I won’t.”

Moses learned his true identity through his growing intimacy with God. He had to go through the process of really believing that God was enough. He was changed.

Everyone experiences this same process. Every day our identity is being challenged by messages of lies and fear. God is patient and faithful to walk us through the process of belief. God makes known our true identities in him through intimacy.

I still find myself starting sentences like, “but God…” and “I can’t.” I am quick to dismiss the me, he sees and created. I need the process. It also takes surrender for me to really make the shift in thinking. I want to be the person who God sees. I want to get a place where I am not dismissing God according to my perceived inadequacies.

He is patient. We are in the process.

God is always inviting us to know a life that is different. I am so thankful that he cares enough to challenge my areas of unbelief.

In what ways do you dismiss who He sees in you?

 

Read Full Post »

Life has a way of being very unpredictable. It is full of mountain tops and valleys. It is shocking sometimes how close the tops and valleys are together.

Have you ever felt like one day you are on top of the world, and the next the top seems so far away?

The bible has some extreme mountain top and valley stories. Some of them are just dang funny.

For example, let’s look at Elijah. Elijah was a prophet of the Lord, who strutted some faith confidence. He did not hide his belief in God, but actually called a dual to all those who were following after the false god, Baal.

Elijah challenged Ahab to go toe-to-toe, (god-to-God), on who’s God was the real God. He gathered everyone possible together as to not miss this. Elijah was so confident that God would show up that he started trash talking with taunts. Both Ahab and Elijah set up alters for fire to rain down. The fire would prove which God was actually God. Needless to say, God showed up for Elijah and the hearts of the people where turned.

Not too long after that amazing display by God’s power did Elijah’s valley appear. Ahab returned word to Jezebel, who was killing all prophets, what had happened with Elijah. Jezebel sent a death threat to Elijah, and Elijah was afraid and ran.

WHAT! These two stories are back to back. Where was Elijah’s trash talking now? He had just witnessed God’s power, and now he was running afraid. How quickly he forgot the abilities of the one who just rained down fire.

Elijah is not the only story with this crazy disconnect. David defeated the giant Goliath and then ran in fear of Saul. Moses saw God’s power all the time and yet responded in fear. The disciples experienced God’s power when they were sent out to do amazing things in his name, and then had no idea how to feed 5,000 people. Peter experienced Jesus intimately and yet denied him three times in fear.

We can be so quick to forget.

Fear has a way of creating a disconnect from what we know to what we perceive. Sometimes we can treat God as situational, and think he only has enough power/skills for that one thing.

I can look back at my life and see many ways I have treated God as a situational God. I can look back and see how I have treated God like the Batman signal – I need help and the God light goes up in the sky. God is not situational. He is the all powerful and the all able.

The story of Elijah has confronted my disconnect with who God really is. He is able. I am starting to look at my fears in a different way. When I feel like running, I want to remember that God is the same God in both the mountain tops and valleys.

Have any stories of experiencing God’s power and then running not too long after?

Read Full Post »

Life is filled with question marks. I honestly can’t remember a time where I didn’t have questions about my future, dreams, desires, seasons of life, and the what’s next. I seem to always be painfully aware of the unknowns  and question marks in my life.

The more I read the bible the more I am realizing that God is not a God of guessing. I am not the first person who has had questions about life and what’s next. I am not even the first person who is aware of the unknown.

In both the old testament and new testament, God talks about what the next thing is for his people. We often miss the message because it almost always has to do with our hearts and not location. God brought prophets with messages of his heart and desires for his people. His messages always included what would happen if people continued down the path they were going. He also included what would happen if people would turn their hearts back to him.

God instructed Moses all the time with messages for the nation of Israel. Some of those messages were directional, but for the most part the messages were about their hearts. Moses lead the people from Egypt to the desert by God’s leading. After Moses, Joshua explained to the people what was next as he lead them into the promise land.

God told Jonah where to go and what to say. God built the wall through Nehemiah, spoke wisdom through Solomon, and gave dream interpretation to Daniel and Joseph. God illustrated a deep love story through Hosea that includes everyone of us.

I can’t tell you how many times God called out the fate of the his people. He brought person after person to tell his people “what’s next” for their lives and hearts.

God even spoke through Isaiah to tell of the savior to come. He explained how he would save the world from sin once and for all. God told of his grueling death hundreds of years before Jesus came.

God told Mary what would happen through the life of her son if she would say yes. Even after Jesus was born, he brought confirmation after confirmation for her to rest secure.

John the baptist set the stage for Jesus. Jesus told of things to come by way of truth and the kingdom of God. Jesus talked about his death to come more than a few times. He talked about the holy spirit to be given after he rose again. Jesus explained the purpose of his death and resurrection. He explained how the world will hate us because of him and that we will know trouble.

With all of these stories I still miss his message. I wonder how my times God beats his head against a cloud because I miss his answers. He is not a God of guessing. He cares about the state of our hearts. That is why we have scripture to read to know him. We have a God who always reminds us about what life is like lived apart from him.

We don’t have to guess about forgiveness because he has already told us about his unfailing love. We don’t have to wonder whether or not he is the truth, because Jesus states that he is the “way, the truth, and the life.” We don’t have to question if he has a plan. Jeremiah already came with that message.

God cares about our hearts. He cares about us believing in him. We have questions marks and unknowns, but in that he still said, “seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all else will be added unto you.”

What’s he telling you about your question marks?

Read Full Post »

The desert seems to be a time of significance in peoples lives. Today, the desert is used as a metaphor for experiencing some times of trials, lonliness, or just waiting. The desert is a rough place. The desert is vast, desolate, and quiet. A perfect training ground for solitude.

Lately, I am becoming aware that the desert is a theme for those who are about to begin something. The desert is the pinnacle point for the beginnings of new seasons, or maybe a sign of redirection from something.

An equivalent to the desert might be described as a waiting room. The waiting room enables trails of patience as well as growing in an understanding that our time is not our own. The waiting room is definitely full of time. I work part-time in a doctor’s office, so I get to see firsthand the trails of the waiting room. They should really call it the “impatient room of trials and frustration.” Not to mention the unspoken waiting room of after your name is called.

I digress.

The desert/wilderness has been an essential step for great leaders in the bible. Moses spent significant time in the desert before he led a nation of Israel out of Egypt and into the desert. Israel then spent forty years wandering around the desert before entering the promise land. John the Baptist spent significant time in the wilderness before baptizing. Jesus spent forty days in the desert being tempted before his public ministry began.

The desert is valuable to the life of a believer. The desert is a place where transformation takes place. I have not met anyone who enjoys the desert. Unfortunately, there is no set time for a desert season. This time is unique to you. Annoying Encouraging right?

For me, the deserts have been times of character building and preparing for something new to come. The desert is a place of quiet for me. I am not quieted easily. For me, the desert is a place of learning how to surrender.

The desert, in its desolation, comes with temptations. Jesus experienced three specfic areas of temptation in his desert time. This week I want to look at those three areas of temptation. If they were temptations for Jesus, then maybe they have significance for my life as well. So if his temptations have something to do with me, then maybe his responses do to?

Would love to hear your thoughts on the desert times as well as temptations.

Read Full Post »

This past week I met with a wise mentor of mine. We were talking through areas where I feel stuck in my own emotional and spiritual life.

I am a person who has learned to figure myself out pretty well. From an early age, I have had to learn how to be self-sufficient. This is where I now wrestle with my weakness of self-sufficiency and independence. I can get stuck on thinking that this life is up to me.

This particular mentality gets in the way of what God’s thoughts are about me. It even gets in the way of others getting to know a deeper me. I have many “great walls” in my life. I am learning that they are not as effective or safe as I might perceive them to be.

In light of my growing understanding of my heart, I am learing where I get stuck in knowing who God is. My walls seem to keep even the creator of my heart, out.

My mentor described the person of Moses to have some of the same characteristics. Moses wanted to know God so bad. He asked, maybe even demanded, that God show Moses his glory. Moses craved knowing and understanding as much as he could of who God was. I have that same craving. In my self protection and self-sufficient mind set, I can demand God for the same thing.

My mentor challenged me to read the gospel of Luke 10 times in a row. I guess I should also add that it was through negotiating that 10 was the final number. Why Luke? Luke is said to cover the person of Jesus more so than the other three gospels. Matthew describes Jesus as king. Mark focuses on Jesus as servant. And John talks about Jesus as the Son of God.

The challenge is to read Luke straight through, not looking for nuggets or anything in particular, but just reading to learn about the person of Jesus. So hard for me. I am a nugget girl!

Maybe you want to take the challenge with me. If there is another aspect of Jesus your heart is more curious about maybe choose one of the other gospels for the challenge.

Read Full Post »