Tag Archives: exodus

Crash Test Christianity

That’s the thought that came out of the teen class lesson yesterday as my co-teacher Doug taught our youth. My brain goes strange places sometimes and either like honey or mud, it’s stuck in that place until I dig around and find out what the Lord needs me to know about that word.

The word was “prove”. Meaning to demonstrate, show, give evidence or verify something.

It’s what most of us want on the everyday front of life; we want evidence that we’re going the right direction, that God is pleased, that we’re forgiven. And God tells us that’s okay. He wants us to prove Him.

But sometimes proving Him leaves me feeling a little like a crash test dummy. Not that God wants me to be that. He’d rather I be the evaluator. Not the demonstrator. But I hit the wall again and again. I’m no different than the original crash test dummies, they however were on camels not Kia souls.

Behavior Lessons

In Exodus 15:24-25 it says

And the people murmured against Moses, saying, what shall we drink?

There third day into the trip and they’ve already found something to complain about with leadership. They’d arrived at Marah and couldn’t drink the water because it was bitter. And that was Moses’ fault.

Yesterday, my grandsons Luke and Parker were wrestling in the floor and knocked something off the table. Within a second of the crash Parker yelled, “Luke did it!’

We’re always looking for someone to blame for our problems in life rather than taking responsibility for it ourselves. I’m not apt to throw someone under the bus, though I might, but more than likely I’ll blame circumstances for my errors. Knowing it was my fault.

But God gives Israel the bitter water to prove something about Himself.

Verse 25:

And he cried unto the Lord and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for a statute and an ordinance and there he proved them, and said, if thou wilt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth you.

Praise God for grace! We are not bound by the law. But that doesn’t make the law nonexistent. It’s still there. But now it proves that we cannot keep ourselves. We depend on that grace to clean us up when we crash and burn.

And He does. The name of Grace is Jesus.

Faith Lessons

In Exodus 16 we find the children of Israel complaining again, but this time its about the food.

Verse 3

And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

For some reason that scripture struck me funny. Although I don’t find it funny when my provision isn’t coming in like I wish it would. If you’ve ever lacked (and we all likely have), you can understand the children of Israel’s mindset. We often chalk them up to being a bunch of whiners, but if you’re a million strong in the wilderness and you’re not seeing a Walmart, you’re worried. But the Lord intervenes in the conversation:

Vs. 4

Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

More evidence. More being tied to the law. Again… praise God for grace! Our provision is not tied to the law, it’s tied to faith.

Philippians 4:19 ~ But my God shall supply all your  need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 9:8 ~ And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Philippians 4:6 ~ Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God

Verse after verse we’re given about the provision of God. And yet ye all know that there have been times when we’ve been without. Is that a lack of faith? Perhaps it’s just another way God proves Himself to us. Paul said it like this in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Sometimes it’s about learning that we can survive without it.

One of my nephews crashed a motorcycle one time and once the downed bike stop sliding and he stopped rolling, he jumped up and said, “I’m fine.” No one was any more surprised than he was. He learned that sometimes we can crash and not burn.

The last place I want to talk about being a crash test dummy is in Exodus 20:20

Grace Lessons

 We just talked about it through Paul. So how does grace work with the laws of God.

And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

Moses had just given them the Lord’s Ten Commandments. They had seen God come down as lightening, thunder and the noise of a trumpet and they wanted no part of it. They wanted an intercessor. So do we.

Remember, this was before the days of sci-fi and special effects. This was the real deal and I probably would be afraid too. The only one not shaking in his shoes was Moses and that was because this wasn’t His first rodeo with God. He’d been in conversations with God before.

But now. Glory to God!!! We don’t need an intercessor. We have a more excellent way. There is no need to go through a priest. Christ took care of that on the cross.

Matthew 27:51 – And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Ephesians 2:18 ~ For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Second to the Resurrection, which proved my Lord’s power over death, my favorite part of that story is the renting of the curtain in the temple. The very thing that kept the common man out of the Holy of Holies was gone. Torn in two from top to the bottom, and opening our way to have direct access to God Himself through the Holy Spirit.

God proves that every day to His children by showing them His presence in their lives.

While the children of Israel felt condemned by the law, there is no condemnation in Christ, only grace for those who come to Him.

Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

There is no crash and burn for the child of God. Just like those crash test dummies, we my crash, but  we’ll be fine. Because the Lord is on our side!

Dwelling on Past Negatives Accomplishes Nothing Positive

everyone

It’s so very easy to get thrown into a negative frame of mind, is it not? This morning as I read the scripture of Moses’ trek to the mountain to receive the word of God, and Aaron’s transgression of listening to the people’s request for a golden idol, my mind went reeling into the negative side of the church.

  • Why must we always fall by the ways of the world?
  • Why is it that faith is so hard?
  • Why are we such a fickle lot?

I had in my mind that I would bible journal about the golden calf this morning. There were plenty of golden calves in my own life that I could use for illustrations, but my heart wouldn’t let me ponder those passages. It was if God said, “I don’t want you lingering there, read on…” And so I did and was I ever glad! What encouragement there was in Exodus 35. Moses and Israel had had their time in the wood shed, they were moving on!

Exodus 35:21

And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord‘s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.

There was my point to ponder today. Dwelling on past negatives accomplishes nothing positive. It serves to take you back into that place and feeling of failure. Who needs that? But refocusing our attention on the service of the Lord and what He has given us stirs within us a desire to be better, and I for certain need that in my life!

And they came…. It’s time to get busy!

Every one whose heart stirred him up… (or her as the case may be). If you’re a child of God He has given you the desire to serve Him and not only the desire but the ability and means to serve Him where you are.

I could dwell on how I’ve failed, I could look at the failures of the church as a whole, or I could make an eternal difference in someone’s life with my talents today. They didn’t cost me a dime! Now, some of the tools for which I need to use my talents cost money, but God has generously supplied those too, how can I not give them back. And if you look at your life, I would guess that you’re in the same boat sailing with blessing!

Put on your robe of righteousness that was received by the blood of Christ and serve Him today! I love positive encouragement it does a soul good! Serve God with a smile!

Don’t Stop!

the stones

There are people who have been on my pray-dar for years. That’s my radar that alerts me when someone I love is away from God and I plead their cause to Him; asking for more days, weeks, years of mercy. Whatever it takes to see salvation come. Somedays its gut wrenching. Other days I’m so frustrated with their lack of respect for the holiness of God and His divinity that I want to throw them under the bus myself and help God out. But that’s the flesh not the spirit.  The Spirit of God says lift them to me. It’s a reminder that came to my attention this morning as I read the details of Aaron’s breastplate. Twelve stones, twelve names, twelve tribes… born before the Lord in that holy place continually.

Exodus 28:29

And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.

“Don’t stop.” That’s what I heard this morning. Keep lifting their names to Me, I hear. And so I will continue with my list of people, the jewels in my life that I love so much, bearing their names on my heart to the Lord, asking for deliverance to come. That’s probably a good word for you too… “Don’t stop.”

God’s in the Details

God of details

When reading scripture I often get very Shari; which is to say, from slightly distracted to a form of glassy eyed, let’s just get through this so I can get on to the next adventure, type of reader. But what had often been beyond my comprehension (by choice I believe) this morning captivated my mind’s eye in the book of Exodus Chapter 26; which is the description of the curtains of the Tabernacle. I began to read, and then re-read, and re-read again the details that God laid out for Moses as he stood in the cloud on mount Sanai. Every thread, every seam, every ornament of detail, God instructed Moses in the manner of interior decorator extraordinaire. I was kind of awe struck that God cared so much about curtains. But these weren’t just any curtains. There were the curtains that were His home among His people and then as is the case with me my mind drifted to other places and things of modern day. Like me… where God now dwells. My eyes welled up with tears when I began to think of the attention to detail that God laid out when designing me, and my people.

I’m an odd duck. People who know me would be inclined to shout “Amen!” My mind doesn’t work the way sane people’s minds do. Someone shares an idea and my mind take it, bends it and distorts it until it’s a plan. I’m a planner! No, I’m an extreme planner. I don’t just stop at the basics, there’s always got to be a bigger, better, more exciting way of accomplishing what others would believe to be mundane. I drive organized people to brink of tears with my constant chaos and change of direction. I have over my 20 years of salvation allowed God to reign me in and not drive church people nuts always. But sometimes I’m chaotically extreme.

But God is perfectly extreme. Every finite detail that He spoke into creation makes me want to shake the atheistic notions out of people. How can you dare say there is no God when you are so complex?  “Science” they say… God will make monkeys out of the scientists someday when they meet Him face to face. I’d really rather He didn’t. I’d rather they got it before it’s too late.

This morning I’m just grateful that all the detail that God put into those curtains, lets me know how very valuable I am to Him. That the inner sanctuary of my heart where God dwells, is more splendid that I can imagine. Which leaves me much, much more to explore!

King David realized it when he wrote Psalm 8

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

He said in Psalm 139:14

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

God has put a great many details into us! Rejoice in who He made you to be!

What to do when the Walls close in

exodus 14It’s a dreadful feeling to feel like the walls of life are closing in on you from within and without. I’m a frequent flyer with that emotion because I’ve a constant supply of things on my plate. I’m not the authority of teaching how to prevent it, although in my heart I’m relatively sure I know the answer (God). But my only problem with telling people “no” is that it always comes out of my mouth, “No… I wouldn’t mind.” Followed by the wall of emotion and the thought running through my mind, “What were you thinking!” But then…I finish the task at hand and that oozy goozy feeling that occurs when you’ve helped someone out comes over me and the overwhelmed feeling goes away…until tomorrow.

This morning as I pondered the 20 things I have on my plate and the three I have time for, the verse in Exodus stirred my soul with a word from Heaven. The wall of water for which the children of Israel walked through wasn’t to overwhelm them in its vastness or to create fear; it was to make the way while God held the world in its boundaries. And that became my prayer for today. Lord, keep the world in its boundaries and me on the path.

Exodus 14:13 gives us three points to ponder today if your plate is like mine:

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

Fear Not

Fear is a marvelous tool of the Devil to stop you in your tracks. It will put the journey of life on hold. I speak truth because I speak with experience. I’ve had some notions in my noggin for several months of a path I’d like to take, but I’ve allowed fear to stop me. Because it’s a great deal of work, and it’s a path I’ve never trod, it’s had me overwhelmed. I didn’t know where to start, even though God’s said go. I have a feeling when the children of Israel seen the sea before them and the Egyptians closing in behind, their apprehension level soared. What had they done?! They even ask Moses “have you taken us away to die?” At least in bondage they weren’t hunted down! That’s how they felt.

Well, that’s how I’ve felt since I began serving the Lord. Hunted. And Satan is a mighty hunter! But Moses give us the second point to ponder…

Stand Still

What?! With the enemy on our tail and you want us to stand still? That doesn’t work for me Lord. I like and need to be busy doing stuff. That’s my response. But my methodical busy work is often undoing what God is doing. The Lord wanted the Israelites to see that it was He who would make the way to their freedom, if they’d just stand still and not try to make another way. And then those miraculous walls went up! The ground was dry, the path was straight and they were going places! But not until they shushed and let God move.

And See

And so they did. They seen the walls go up and Pharaoh’s army go down. They seen what protected them had destroyed the enemy. That’s exciting news for me today, how about you? Rather than looking at the wall closing in, I’ll just stand still and wait for God to do something amazing!

We Speak of Him

somethin

“Why on earth did You allow that to happen?” A question posed to God on a pretty regular basis with me; especially in the wake of the recent news reports. I don’t even watch the news but it’s so horrific that it’s a part of the conversation in every venue of life. So I’m pondering that question again today… “Why God? What could possibly be the purpose?” We know Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  We know the breakdown of it (all things work) not all things are. All things are not good. When people are born sick, killed in a senseless act of terrorism, there is no good in that. So this morning I ponder again, “Why?”

It took me 3500 years to get it… I guess I’m kind of slow.

Romans 9:17-23

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Three types of news spread like wild fire on a dry windy day.

  1. Tragedy
  2. Miraculous epic events
  3. Absolute lies.

So to Pharaoh God said (to Shari quote it) “I made you who you are, because people would tell your story, even though technically… it’s My story.”

The history of the Exodus and the continual provision for the Jewish Nation of God is an ongoing saga and one that captivates the world. Saved and unsaved alike have a fascination in the lives of Israel because they are the chosen people of God. Their story has been filled with tragedy and miraculous epic events that are worthy of sharing… and in so doing… there are conversation of God.

So what does that have to do with the tragedy of the day in the news?

Read on weary pilgrim…

Vs. 18-23

Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

The news:

  1. Tragedy
    • In tragedy we seek God to make sense of the unimaginable and we speak of Him.
  2. Miraculous epic events
    • In miracles we acknowledge God for the unexplainable and we speak of Him.
  3. Absolute lies
    • God may be unexplainable, but He is most certain undeniable. And we speak of Him.

If the world were rotating in perfect harmony, no sickness, no heartache, no unexplainable or unimaginable events…. Would we seek Him or speak of Him? No. Adam and Eve are proof. So in the heartache of it all, God allows (He does not create the chaos – we do that) but allows it so that we will see the only steadfast controlling factor of the universe is He Who created all. And we’ll speak of Him.

Speak of Him today…

chick encourage 2

Whew Doggies…. that’s what grace does!

chick grace home

This is why I love, love, love the Word of God and teachers of the Word of God who share their knowledge. And it didn’t cost me 19.95 for a CD or download… just sayin’

Perry Noble’s teaching on the book of Acts and brings out this truth…

On the day that Moses came down from the mountain having been given the 10 commandments, he discovers the idiocy of Aaron, whom he’d left in charge. At the peoples request Aaron makes an idol for them to worship (the golden calf). God’s angry, Moses is angry and the people are sorry… a little too late. In God’s anger God gives this order in Exodus 32:27 “And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.”

And they do as they’re instructed and we see in verse 28 that “there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.”

BUT CHECK THIS OUT!

In Acts 2:41

On the day of Pentecost when the believers were filled with the Holy Ghost the scripture says

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

When the law was given 3,000 people died, when the Spirit was given 3,000 people came to life!

Whew Doggies that’s what Spirit of God does! It brings to life that which was dead. I couldn’t keep the law… so God made Grace the way. Oh, I am so glad He did!

Why are you cryin’ to me?

Exodus 14:15-16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

I’m starting an extreme study on Exodus for an upcoming event that I’ll be announcing on January 1st. And this scripture is my launching point. The images that flood my mind of the Israelites exodus from Egypt are vivid. Although Hollyweird has given us an idea of what it may have looked like, I’m certain the reality of it was greater than anyone could imagine! Here stands Moses with the sea before him and the enemy behind him and God says (to country quote it) “Why are you cryin’ to me? See that rod in your hand? it has a purpose…”

I am just now discovering the rod that God has placed in my hand. Today its an iPad, tomorrow it will be my voice in a Sunday School class room at Victory Baptist Church. On April 12-14, 2013 it’s a whole new day! God does the work, but He does it through the tools He has blessed me with. I’m about to get happy!

Here Moses stood with the enemy on his heals at the bank of the Red Sea and God says “Why are you looking at me, I’ve given you what you need to be successful, hold it up and go! Our lives are all about lifting The Lord up for others to see. I’m ready. God has been filling my tool box with rod’s that I hadn’t even noticed. He sent me countless Aarons and Hur’s (Exodus 17:12) into my life to strengthen me in the times of battle. Not until eternity will I have enough time to thank them.

But this message is for you too. I’m not an exclusive, I’m a messenger. Open up your Bible (the ultimate tool box) and find out what The Lord has for you today. I guarantee it’s something. He is faithful! Are you looking for direction? Hold up that rod and watch the waters part. Can I pray for you? It would be an honor….