After the Israelites left Mount Sinai and were headed to the Promised Land, they grew tired of the Lord’s provision of mana. They began to complain about it to each other and then openly. They wanted meat. They began to fantasize about the meat they had in Egypt while they were slaves. The Lord told moses that He was going to provide meat for all of Israel, not for a day or two, but for an entire month. He said He would provide so much meat that they would get sick of it. God was upset that they were rejecting Him and longing to go back to their old life.
After the Lord spoke this to Moses, he struggled to believe God could provide that much meat. He reminded God how many people they had, how little meat their food resources were and where they were. I love God’s response in Numbers 11:23. He said, “So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not” (MSG). The next morning so many quail descended on the Israelites that no person took home less than 50 bushels of meat. God went above and beyond what Moses could comprehend.
The question to us is: Are we looking at our problem, with our resources, in our situation wondering how God is going to come through? Sometimes God uses what we have, but don’t limit Him in what He can do. Don’t you think He can take care of you? Remember, Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (AMP). God can multiply what you have or supply your need out of His supply. Trust God to meet your need. He can take care of you. Just believe.
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The Story of Moses leading the Children of israel out of Egypt is one we’ve heard since we were children. It’s such a familiar passage that we are often tempted to just skim through it when we read it in the Bible. One of the verses that pops out at me when reading it comes from Exodus 2:25. It says, “He (God) looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act” (NLT). I love this verse because it reminds me that God is not unaware of things going on in my life even though He isn’t doing anything about them. There also comes a time when He decides to step in and do something about it at just the right time.
As you know in the story, Moses was in the wilderness running from Pharaoh because he had killed an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite. While there, he meets Jethro, marries one of his daughters and becomes a shepherd. While watching his flock, God appears to him in a burning bush that isn’t being consumed by the fire. In Exodus 3:10 God says, “Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” I think this verse is important, especially as it relates to the verse above. When God sees a need here on earth and decides go do something about it, He looks to participate with us in that process.
God could have easily sent angels to deliver the Children of Israel out of Egypt, but he chose a person to do it. I believe God is wanting to act on injustices in the world today and He’s looking for people, like us to partner with. If we’ll hear His voice and trust Him to do the impossible, we can be the people He uses. Moses didn’t feel like he was ready or able either, but when he agreed, God did some amazing things through him. What God partners with you on may not be that large. It may be helping a stranger in a time of need or a person you know going through a terrible time. Be sure to say yes to whatever God is wanting to partner with you on today. Pray and ask Him to show you how He wants to use you today.
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Whenever I was in school, I remember one teacher who enjoyed giving tests. He would wear a “test tie” on the days he was giving a test, which was really an uncoordinated, loud tie. Some he would wear a red contact lens. Once he opened a bag of chips and started eating them and crinkling the bag during the test. Whenever he gave tests, I made sure I studied because I knew there would be distractions and the test would be more difficult than the other classes. I used flash cards and met with other students to prepare to make sure we passed.
It’s funny that we spend so much time preparing for school tests, but very little time preparing for life’s test. God had so much faith in Job’s ability to pass any test that Satan could give him that he agreed to allow him to be sent through the wringer. Satan even tried to get in his head to distract him with his wife and friends who constantly accused him of wrongdoing. However, Job was prepped for the test, In Job 23:10-11 he says, “But he (God) knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside.”
Job put something inside of him that was greater than any test he would face: God’s Word and a determination to stay on God’s Paths. When life tests us and we aren’t prepared, we may be like Job’s wife and friends who wanted to curse God and die. But if we will determine in our hearts to stick with God and trust what He’s doing in our life, we will pass any test that comes our way no matter how many distractions there are. God has enough faith in you to allow you to be tested. It’s time you trusted your faith in what you’ve been taught and pass.
To me, one of the most challenging things God has spoken to anyone in Scripture is in Genesis 12:1. “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you’” (NLT). He was 75 years old at the time. He was well established, and yet God asked him to pack everything up and go to a destination that would be shown to him at a later time. His faith in action is inspiring to me. The Bible later says that his faith was counted at righteousness. That’s a faith we should all aspire to have.
Fast forward to the New Testament and Jesus spoke something very similar to all of us. In Luke 14:31 Jesus said, “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.” Every one of us who follows Christ is given the same call that went out to Abram. I believe it’s God’s reminder to us that this place is not our home. Everything we have here is temporary and we can’t take it with us. We must be willing to let go of earthly things so we can receive from God the spiritual things that matter for eternity.
My wife and i try to keep an open hand for the things we have. When your hands are open to God, He can place things in them and take things out of them whenever He wants. Faith is trusting God with all you have and with the direction of your life. You may not get to know the destination. You may he asked to walk away from everything that’s familiar to you. God’s greatest blessings are stored up for those who are willing to give God whatever He asks for and for those who follow Him wherever He leads. What are you willing to let go of should God ask for it? Pray that God would help you keep an open hand and heart.
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As we close the door on one year and open the door to another, I think it’s good to have a spiritual resolution for the new year as well. I believe Philippians 4:4-8 provides us with some great things we should resolve to do not just in the coming year, but throughout our life. Verse 4 says, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (NLT) In 2019, don’t let anything steal your joy. Joy shouldn’t be based on your circumstances, and it’s where you get your strength from. Trust in what God is doing and stay joyful.
Verse 6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Refuse to let worry have a foothold in your life. It uses today’s strength for tomorrow’s problems. Turn your worry into prayer. Let the The things you can’t control push you closer to the One who can control them. Prayer changes our perspective and helps us to let go of the burdens that are too heavy for us to bear. Put them in God’s hands and take His burden which is light.
Verse 7 says, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Having peace in your heart, your mind and in your life is a wonderful thing. We were not created to live in turmoil. When we learn to trust a God with our decisions and with the things in our life that we can’t control, we can have God’s peace. Let His peace guide you in the coming year so that you operate in His will for your life.
Finally verse 8 says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Choose what to think about. Your thoughts are powerful and determine the direction of your life. Don’t dwell on what could be, but focus on what is true. One true thing I focus on is that God is in control, and nothing that happens in my life is a surprise to Him. 2019 is already history to God. Resolve to make it the year that you trust Him completely and you will experience joy, peace and faith.
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