Every day I deal with someone and/or something that’s difficult. From small things like annoying drivers and stepping in puddles I didn’t know were that deep, to personal attacks, flat tires, or trees through the roof.
My response to an event can empower it to bless me or curse me. Today’s problem may be what I think of on the day I face a Goliath, and remember my faith-full response produced an enemy-embarassing victory.
I won’t get all of them right. If I’m not facing some of them with my purpose in mind, though, I probably won’t get many of them right.
In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul advised the believers to avoid making the mistakes that Israel made between the time they left Egypt under Moses’ leadership and the time they entered Canaan being led by Joshua. He said the things they experienced happened, and were written down, to admonish us, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
It is a good exercise to read the Bible from Exodus through Joshua, paying careful attention to every mistake Israelis made on that journey. Especially the Israelis whose mistakes caused them to be buried in the desert.
Their first mistake was asking Moses, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?” (Exodus 2:14)
Today’s life-changing or Life-giving opportunity may be cleverly hidden behind responsibility or sacrifice or something scary.
Ask the Spirit where to put your foot every time you pick it up to take a step.
2 Samuel 15:13-21
13 A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.”
15 The king’s officials answered him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.”
16 The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at the edge of the city. 18 All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.
19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. 20 You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness.”
21 But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”
“… don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Please read the first 24 verses of the 10th chapter of Luke. Read it with no thought about what it might be saying about the church. Meditate on every phrase to extract what it might be saying about the Kingdom.
That is the subject He instructed 70 people to go preach about. Not that Messiah had arrived. Not that Yeshuah (Yahweh’s Salvation) had arrived. That the Kingdom had arrived.
When He mentioned a church issue it was that it is grander to be saved than to be doing Kingdom works (vs 20).
There wasn’t good news about Salvation to preach yet. There is still good news about the Kingdom to preach. Do both.
We are depending on you. But that means something different for each one of us.
I’m depending on you to help me with my work. He’s depending on you to make him feel better about himself. She needs you to pay her on time so she can pay them on time. He needs $5 to get some gas because he is on his way to Florida to see his son, who’s having surgery, but he ran out of money (or, he needs some beer, but it’s hard to tell). She needs for you not to have a problem with your debit card while you pay for your groceries because she’s already late for something someone is depending on her to do…
What do you really owe any of us, though? How many of our expectations did you set, and how many are just demands we make because you keep paying off? What is the balance between the demands made by people with whom you have a covenant and people who ran out of money on their way to their next drink or smoke?
Your Shepherd gives you more than enough resources to do what He has placed you to do. People who are afraid of being condemned by someone who places a demand they won’t meet usually have more dependents than resources. People who are afraid they won’t have enough if they are generous usually have more resources than dependents. People who are insanely generous usually end up like the son who wasted his inheritance and had to get a dirty job.
Listen to the Spirit every time anyone asks for anything. Especially if they are demanding or manipulative. Even if you have the time or the money or the space to spare. You may have it for the next person who asks. Someone else may have what the first person needs.
Ask Him. Then trust Him. Then obey Him.
Gideon was hiding from bands of thieves in a wine press to thrash wheat. An angel, in the typical angelic style of needing to follow up by saying, “Oh – don’t be afraid!”, terrorized him by suddenly popping into view and saying, “Hail, Valiant Warrior!”
Gideon then spent a few minutes arguing with him about how not valiant he was… Soak up some clues:
- Yahweh is right when His opinion differs from yours
- If Yahweh sends an angel (“messenger”) to you with a message, spend more time listening than talking during the meeting
- You haven’t been picked for the assignment because of your brain, gold, muscles or good looks, and you’re not disqualified for the assignment by your lack of any of those valuable qualities
- Yahweh has His own abilities in mind as He assesses the project. What He has in mind regarding you is your availability
- Gideon was a valiant warrior when he obeyed the instructions. It was impossible, in fact, to be as awesome as he was if he had been alone.
- With God, all things are possible, and you are with Him.
Yahweh called Abram out of Ur. He didn’t call Lot. Either Abram invited him, or he invited himself.
Abram became Abraham as he moved into his destiny – changed from “Exalted Father” to “Father of a Multitude” (Genesis 17:5). Lot didn’t change.
Lot wanted more land so he could have more possessions. Abraham asked Lot what land he wanted, and he took the fertile valleys, so Abraham took the mountains. When he went into the mountains, Yahweh showed him from that height how large his estate was.
Lot wanted to become prosperous. Abraham wanted to fulfill his calling. Lot’s heritage became the Moabites. Abraham’s heritage continues to grow as the people of Yahweh.