Category Archives: Musings

Fresh and seasoned thoughts about the practice of Sabbath.

Three Valentine’s Day Tips From Rylie

Have you bought that special someone in your life that special something yet?

No?

Well Good!  Because you are going to want to hear Rylie’s advice before you do anything.  You have just enough time left to take advantage of these genius tips.

IMG_0174.JPG

1. Be Original

Every other kid is giving away Valentine’s cards with tattoos in them today.  Don’t be every other kid.

Go out on a limb.  Be creative.  Explore your heart and express your true feelings.

Here’s a simple formula to remember: Unique = Awesome.

2.  Be Personal

It’s not as easy as going out and buying a Hallmark card.  You have to have the person you are giving a card or gift to in mind.

What do they like?  What will make them happy?  What will put a smile on their face?

IMG_0167.JPG

3.  Invest Some Time

Time is the key factor in making great Valentine’s gifts.

When we invest time into what we give, the value of the gift increases exponentially (that is if you’ve followed the first two pieces of advice and have made the gift unique and personal).

Postscript

A couple of my friends made my day extra special. I got these two cards earlier this week.  I have them on my desk at the office and have been showing them off to everyone who comes through my door.

IMG_0165.JPG

IMG_0166.JPG

Happy Valentine’s Day!

To Move Forward, Look Back From Time to Time

FullSizeRender.jpg

Last words are powerful.

We’ve been looking at Moses for the past couple of weeks.

We’ve heard some of his objections to following God’s call on his life.  We’ve started to see how God’s responses to Moses’ objections lead him to obedience.

Now, for a moment, we’ll turn our attention to Moses’ legacy.

Moses handed the keys to leadership down to Joshua Son of Nun.  Joshua led the people of God across the Jordan river and into the Promised Land.

Before Joshua died, he gave the people of God a parting word to direct them to stay faithful in following God’s plan for their lives.

He reminded them that God has proven himself to be faithful.

Sometimes, before moving forward, we must look back.  We need to look back over our lives and see how God has proved himself in his goodness to us.

We need to look back and remember that God has never abandoned us or forsaken us.

We need to review the promises God made to us that set us on the course he laid out for us.  Those promises are still as good today as they were the day we accepted the salvation God freely offered.

Our God is a promise-making and a promise keeping God.  He doesn’t fail.

 

What Kind of Name is I Am?

Image-1.jpg

I Am Who I Am.

There is no other way for God to describe himself to Moses.  He is the incomprehensible one. He is ineffable.  He is eternal and we can’t get our limited minds around this limitless God.

So when Moses goes back to the people, he is supposed to say, “I Am has sent me!”

God unpacks the depth of his name for us.

Here’s how God expresses that:

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’”
Exodus 3:15

The people remember Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. These are the fathers of the Hebrew people. It was to these men that God communicated his will, and his desires, and his promises.  God didn’t have to offer them a name, because then knew him personally.

The patriarchs gave God authority over their lives by believing him and pursuing him in obedience.  That’s what the patriarchs were known for: their faith in God!

As we’ve see, the great I Am was with the people from the beginning.  I Am’s presence with the people was seen in Egypt as God prospered them and prepared them to be a great nation!

I Am is faithful to his promises.  Because God is who he always is, his promises remain the same.

I Am Keeps His Promises.

When God tells Moses, I Am has sent you, he’s telling him that nothing has changed about the covenant and the promises I made to Abraham.

God is good and his goodness has not been abated with the passing of time.  His memory of the promises he made long ago has not deteriorated in the least bit.  All is firm and secure.

 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’”
Exodus 3:16-17

God made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that were irrevocable. Everything that has happened up to this point has been done in order to get God’s people to the promised land.

God is not working against the circumstances.  God is creating the circumstances necessary to to get his people, all of his people, out of Egypt and into the land he promised their forefathers.

If God’s people had not come into Egypt in the time of Jacob, they would have starved to death.  They came in and settled in the fertile Nile delta with it’s rich grazing pastures.  They prospered and multiplied.  If one Pharaoh after another that rose up would have left them alone, they would have stayed there for not just hundreds of years but perhaps thousands of years.  But there arose a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph.  Do you think this was an Accident? Or perhaps providence?  God made Egypt stink so badly that his people would want to leave.  They would be ready to “get out of Dodge” because of the forced labor and the murder of their boy babies.

Through Moses, and the plagues, God was going to make the Egyptians ready to send the Hebrews away.  Egypt would be to be so glad to see the Hebrews leave that they would send them off with their gold and silver and clothing!  God was orchestrating all of this so that God’s promises, which have not changed in the least, would be fulfilled to his people.

When I AM who I AM makes a promise, his promises never fail.

Your Future Lies with I AM.

And because God, I AM, was faithful he could assure them of the future he had planned for them.

God turns from telling Moses who he is, and of the promises he made in the past to Abraham Isaac and Jacob, to telling Moses about the future.

Attached to the great I Am, is the connotation that I AM Will ALWAYS BE I AM.  And that eternal I Am has created a future for his people.

The people of God have no future in Egypt. They are destined for destruction if they remain where they are.  But with God, with the I Am of the past, present and future, they have a reason to set out in faithful obedience to God’s instructions.

In essence, God tells Moses, “Your Future, And the Future of the Israelites, Lies With Me.”

The gods of Egypt can not help you. Pharaoh himself is against you.  The silence of God has been broken by the thunderous command of God to GO!  Now, your course is set and you must leave.  As the Israelites leave Egypt, God gives them a picture of the blessings the future holds for them:

“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”
Exodus 3:21-22

‘You’re future LIES WITH ME,’ God tells Moses. God gives Moses a glimpse of what is to come, and the blessing God’s people are to receive, and the resources they will have, all by being obedient to follow God in this uncertain time!

Hello…Hello…Who Is This? Three Questions We Ask When God Calls Us.

Listen to Moses’ second objection to serving God by going back to Egypt:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
Exodus 3:13

DonAdams.jpg

Do You Have Authority?

Previously, we heard Moses object to the calling, the enormous calling of God, on his life, by asking “Who Am I?” But now, he turns the objections toward God.  He asks, “Who Are You?

Who are you that I should serve you?

Who are you that I should obey?

Who are you that I should believe in you?

Given the polytheistic background of his upbringing in Egypt, we can hear Moses asking God, “Do You Have Authority?”

There were lots of gods in Egypt. There were lots of gods among the people of Canaan, the place where God was taking them.  So who was this god who was speaking to Moses?  Was he as strong as the gods of Egypt?  And where did he rank on the hierarchy of divine beings?

Moses needed to make sure that there wasn’t a higher authority to appeal to.

I think we can relate to this objection.  When we consider our lives, and the lifestyle we’ve built for ourselves, who is this God who comes to us and tries to disturb what we’ve established in order to get us to serve him?

The people of Jesus’ day struggled with this issue of authority.  They esteemed their scribes and rabbis and teachers of the law.  But when Jesus came onto the scene, he taught them, not as their teachers of the law taught, but with authority!

See how the Sermon on the Mount ends:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Matthew 7:28-29

When people heard Jesus, they knew they were hearing for no mere man.  He was God’s Son and as God’s son was speaking the words of God to them.

And Jesus’ teaching was backed up by miracles.  He punctuated his teaching with Sings and Wonders and Miracles that proved he was God-sent and authoritative.  In his ministry he exercised authority over nature, over disease and sickness, over the demons and over the lives of those he called to follow him.

When Jesus walked on the water, his disciples call out to him, and asked if it’s really him. Jesus called back to them and said, “I Am.”  In the Greek, it was Ego Eimi.  It was him, but through his use of words, he was showing who he was in his association with the God who revealed himself to Moses and spoke to Moses from the burning bush!

God Says, I Am, and I have authority to command and to send and to empower and to protect and all of the above.

Can I Trust You?

Besides asking if God is authoritative, we hear Moses asking in this objection, “Can I Trust You?”

Do you trust God?  Responding to the calling of God, or entering into service with God, can be a dangerous thing.

We don’t know where the path will lead us.

We don’t know what we will face along the way.

We have to ask God, like Moses did, can I trust you?

Who are You that I can trust you?

The people of Israel knew what they were getting in their bargain with Pharaoh.  They provided slave labor, and Pharaoh gave them a little sustenance.

They were slaves but they were safe.

Moses remained in Egypt as long as it was safe and comfortable.  When it became unsafe to remain in Egypt he fled for the desert.

I think Moses is asking this question of God for himself and for the people.  His objection to obeying God is going to be the people’s objection for not following God.  They wanted to know if this God they were going to obey was trustworthy.

We ask the same question of God.  Can I trust you?  Can I trust you with my heart?  Can I trust you with my family?  Can I trust you with my safety?  Can I trust you with my life?

Listen to what God says through Peter about trusting him:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

God is trustworthy enough that he can carry the weight of our concerns. He’s trustworthy enough that we can place our anxieties on him and he will bear their weight. He’s trustworthy enough that he knows what we need exactly when we need it!

God Cares for us. We don’t have to rely on an earthly Pharaoh any longer.  The safety of Egypt seems pitiful in comparison to God’s abundant goodness toward us!

Where Have You Been?

But I think there is still another concern that Moses expresses that  will be an obstacle to the people of Israel in being able to follow God: Where Have You Been?

The people will have been in Egypt for generations by the time Moses leads them out.  Enough time has passed that they have become unfamiliar with the God who brought them into Egypt in order to rescue them.   Moses is saying,

“We are a little rusty at this religion thing.  We’ve been immersed in polytheism far too long.  We’ve been out of touch with you.  We don’t even know your name right now.  How can we follow you if we don’t know you?”

During all of this time, what has God been doing?  For all these years, why have you not come to our rescue?

It helps to step back and see the history being created here.

  • God brought them into Egypt to rescue them from famine during the time of Jacob, through Jacob’s son Joseph.
  • When the Hebrews arrived in Egypt, they were allowed to make their home in the best grazing land of all of Egypt. God moved them to a home where they could expand and flourish.  God promised them through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that they would be a great nation, but so far, at them time when they entered Egypt, there were only 70 people in all. That’s not much of a nation.  God was going to have to do some work to get them to be a nation strong enough to enter the Promised Land.
  • In all the years they were there, God prospered them. Even in times of difficulty, or maybe it’s better to say, through or because of times of difficulty!  Exodus 1:12 says that they more the Egyptian oppressed the Hebrews, the more they grew in number!
  • Even when Pharaoh ordered the midwives to kill the sons of all the Hebrews, and they disobeyed, God was there to bless the midwives and the people grew numerically.

God was with them, preparing them to be a great nation.  He was growing them numerically and socially.  It takes a while to grow up a nation.

Sometimes we get so busy in our lives and in our tasks that we forget about God.  Perhaps Moses had been spiritually inattentive.  But he was going to come to see God’s great purpose in history being worked out even through the struggles and trials he and the rest of the Hebrews had to endure!

God works on his time, not ours.  We don’t have the plans of God in mind, so God’s work might seem slow to us.

Peter reminds us:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

And the Psalmist tells us:

A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
Psalm 90:4

God brings his good plans to fruition in his good timing!

Which God is the Right God?

You probably don’t think we have a problem with Polytheism.

 

Undecided

Most people have settled on one version of Monotheism or another.

It wasn’t that way in the ancient world.

When the Lord God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, God could have been one of many gods people worshipped in the Ancient Near East.  Moses was raised in Egypt, a Polytheistic culture.  There were many gods in Egypt who spoke to people, controled  the environment, provided blessings and dispensed curses.

When God called to Moses and told him to return to Egypt, Moses was a little reluctant because he wasnt sure WHO was sending him back to Egypt.

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
Exodus 3:13

This was a point that Moses wanted to be absolutely clear on.  Knowing the God who calls us is a matter of giving him the authority to send us!  By asking God, in a sense, “Who are you,”  Moses is asking if God has the authority to send and the power to provide.

It would have been tragic to have returned to Egypt and without the certainty that God was in control and greater than the other gods worshiped in Egypt.

I don’t know the names of the gods worshipped in Egypt, but I’m fairly certain that some of the gods we have to battle  in our day, were there the day Moses heard from the Lord God.

When we hear from God, when we are prompted by him to pursue a certain path or undertake a particular ministry, we have to settle in our own heart the matter of God’s authority over us.  If God is God, then he has the authority to command our attention and our obedience.

But……

But the god of complacency speaks to us and reminds us that we are satisfied with the status quo.  Complacency tries to convince us that things could be much worse, so why not settle for the way things are?

And….

The god of procrastination cools the fires of our urgency.  He tells us that anything worth doing is worth doing perfectly and if we can’t be perfect, we shouldn’t even start.  Procrastination makes every tomorrow more favorable than any today for our service to start.

On top of that.

The god of apathy reminds us that there is nothing really in it for me.  Why should I be excited about enlarging God’s glory, reaching hurting people and making the community stronger.  Obviously there are other people who can go in my place.  If God were wiser he would find them and send them.  There is no use in getting worked up over something someone else can do just as well or better than I can.

In Conclusion

When we get to the bottom of it, the god we make the god of our heart is the god we obey.  Moses heard from the God of Heaven, the God of Creation, the God of the Covenant, and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Rather than staying in Midian with complacency, procrastination or apathy, he returned to Egypt in the company of the King of Glory…..and the rest is history.

 

Competing or Cooperating With God? 4 Keys To Greater Obedience To God.

Moving from Objections to Obedience

How do we move from our objections to God, to obeying God?  What can a Christian do to foster greater faithfulness to their calling?  Here are 4 personal keys to find ourselves in greater cooperation with God.

Unknown.jpeg1.  Move Beyond My Past

Just as in the story of Moses, we have to Move Beyond our Past.

Our mantra for moving forward is found in Paul’s words:

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13

To move forward with God in obedience is to move beyond our past with all of its limitations.

2.  Practice Dying To Myself

To move forward with God in obedience requires that I must Practice Dying To Myself.  The practice of dying to myself involves giving greater and greater authority over to God.

Jesus tells us that the task of being a disciple involves some of this self-dying.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Luke 9:23

Taking up the cross daily is how we follow Christ in faith and obedience. We pursue him by seeking to be less Us, and more Him.  We mortify the flesh so that the life we live will Glorify our savior!

3.  Cooperate With God, Instead Of Competing Against Him

The more we live for him, the more we live in cooperation with Him. Moving forward in obedience is always about moving forward in Cooperation with God.

Think about it this way, when we present our objections to God, we are entering into conflict with the God who created us, who has authority over us, and who has a divine design on our lives.

Our objections put us in Competition with God.

God is jealous for our heart and for our obedience.  He doesn’t want you to give your allegiance to another. He doesn’t want you do give your life, or your worship, or your affections, to anything or anyone less than himself.  When we object to God, we are competing for that space, or that control over our lives, that God desires.

God doesn’t want competition.

What God wants is cooperation.  When we obey God, we cooperate with him.  Obedience puts us in cooperation with God.  God works with us and through us.  His blessings are made known to us as we experience him in faithful service.

It’s always better to be in cooperation with God than to be in competition with him.

What areas of your life are you competing with God for control over?

4.  Embrace God’s Calling

Finally, to move from Objections to Obedience, each and every one of us has to embrace God’s calling on our lives.  We have to take ownership of what God desire to do through us.

It’s not just our calling, it’s our salvation!

It’s our rescue.

It’s our purpose.

It’s the thing we were created for.

By surrendering to God, we show ourselves to be citizens of another world.

God has a calling on each and every one of us.  God has a plan for us to pursue.  God wants to employ us in his work.  God wants to bless us as we cooperate with him.

Will you let him use you?  Will you give yourself to the tasks at hand?

Roadblocks to Service. Outline for Week 1.

Background

Hebrew by Birth

Raised as an Egyptian

Rejected by Both

Exodus 2:11-15

40 Years A Shepherd

“After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai…”  Acts 7:30

The Call

 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.  Exodus 3:9-10

The Objection: “Who Am I?”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11

The Task is Impossible.

Shepherds don’t challenge kings.

The Assignment is Dangerous.

Moses was a wanted man.

The Change is Irrational.

God required a radical change.

Objection Breakers

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Exodus 3:12

I Will Be With You!

You Are Not Alone

You Have My Support.

You Have Access to my Power.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20

It’s Not About You!

It Starts with God.

It Proceeds with God.

It Ends with God.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  Galatians 2:20

It’s Already Accomplished!

A Driving Vision

Confidence in the Outcome

Grace to be Bold

…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11

Moving from Objections to Obedience

Moving Beyond My Past.

Practice Dying To Myself.

Moving Forward in Cooperation with God.

Objections Put Us In Competition with God.

Obedience Puts Us In Cooperation with God.

Embrace God’s Calling on My Life.

3 Words From God To Get Us Moving.

God knows just what we need to hear to get us moving toward serving him.  Moses’ objections we met with God’s assurances:

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Exodus 3:12

God breaks down Moses’ objection to service with an assurance of his presence with Moses.  I Will Be With You!

images.png

1.  I Will Be With You

We need God’s  presence just as Moses did, because we can’t see into the future.  We can’t see how things are going to turn out. We don’t know what obedience to God is going to require of us from day to day.  So God’s first response to our objections to following him is to say, “I Will Be With You.”

Kingdom Service, and the calling of God on our life, is part of a relationship with God.  God tells us, “You Are Not Alone.  I will take you by the hand and lead you into this new field of service.”

And where we have God’s presence, we have God’s support!  God doesn’t outsource his support of his children.  God doesn’t phone in his care.  He doesn’t do a mail order kind of encouragement.  God supports us up-close and personal.  He validates our calling by affirming us with his presence.

And his Presence is always accompanied by Power.  God wasn’t sending Moses on a suicide mission. He was sending him on a rescue mission. God was sending him, in order to accompany him, to accomplish salvation and liberation and the fulfillment of promises to the people of Israel.  None of that was possible apart from God’s power.

God’s power works through his people on account of his presence with them!

Consider Jesus’ last words to his disciples in the book of Matthew:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus sends us. his disciples, on a rescue mission: to rescue the world through the message of the Gospel.  And he assures us, just as God assured Moses, I WILL BE WITH YOU!

When we tell God, “who am I to serve you,” God answers, “I will be with you.”

2.  It’s Not About You

And that leads to the crux of God’s reply to Moses.  As Moses asks, “Who Am I”, God answer is, “It’s Not About You!”

Our calling, just as in the calling of Moses, Starts with God. Moses didn’t initiate this conversation. God graciously called to him through a miracle.

Moses didn’t think up this plan about liberating Israel from Egypt. This was God’s initiative.

Moses did set out to be a great leader of people.  He was content herding goats in the wilderness.

What starts with God, Proceeds with God.

God leads us, for HIS NAME’s sake.

What a disaster it would have been if Moses had set out, with only human strength, and human will, and human resources.  But what God initiates, God empowers.  The whole journey was going to be about God, not about Moses.

And Ultimately, what Starts with God, and Proceeds with God, is going to End or Conclude with God.

Here’s God’s goal in calling Moses: To Bring God’s People Back to God in Worship!

“You will Worship Me On This Mountain!”

Your life, and the calling that God has on your existence, is not about you. It’s all about him.  When we glorify God, and live for God, our calling is never about who we are or what we’ve done, or where we are going.  It’s all about him.

All of our objections to serving God die away in the realization that it’s not about us. God calls us into greater service to fill our lives with purpose and the whole earth with the knowledge of his glory!

The Apostle Paul is a great New Testament example making his calling all about God:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
Galatians 2:20

It’s not about Me. It’s all about Him!

If we have been crucified with Christ, then our lives have bene dissolved into His.  We are Hidden in Him!  It’s not about us, as we focus on Him and what he desires for us and how he wants to use us to glorify himself, bless us, and bring people to himself through us!

3.  The Mission Is Already Accomplished

To Moses’ objection, God says, “I Will Be With You.”  He says “It’s NOT About You.”  And additionally, God’s response communicates to Moses, and to us, “What I’m Calling You To Has Already Been Accomplished!”

God’s doesn’t say, IF you bring the people back.  He says, WHEN.

God does this so Moses, as he gets over his objections and pursues God in Faithfulness, will have a Driving Vision.

God doesn’t leave room for any ambiguity about the outcome.  Moses is going to need the confidence that only God can provide through God’s promise of his presence and his power and his promise of what the future holds.  Moses is going to need this confidence as he talks to the leaders of Israel and ultimately goes before Pharaoh and challenges the most powerful king in the world.

Knowing that these things are in God’s hands and not our hands gives us the liberty to act according to our faith, not according to our limitations, not according to our ability or lack thereof. It especially gives us the ability to overcome our fears in acting in the first place at all!

 

The Irrational God

People will tolerate change if they can see the benefit.

When God called out to Moses, there was little benefit in God’s plan for Moses.  It was simply to return to the people who rejected him and speak to the people who wanted to kill him and propose an unfavorable course of action.

When Moses responds to God by saying, “Who Am I….,” I think a layer of Moses’ objection sounds something like this:  “This Change Is Irrational.”

We mistakenly assume that God’s plans for us have to make sense to us.

We assume that we can line up the reasons for God’s call on our life with a little bit of human rationality!

That’s not the case with Moses.  For Moses, God required a Radical Change.

It was a humanly Impossible Task.

It was a Dangerous Assignment.

It was Irrational from a worldly point of view.

It’s the Irrationality of God’s calling upon Moses that reminds us:  We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight.

God was going to use Moses’ faith to accomplish this task.  In the process God was going to transform Moses into one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.

And after Moses gets over his objections to service, God would reveal himself to Moses more thoroughly and intimately than to anyone else who has even lived up to this point.

There comes a point in our journey of faith where we have to stop seeing only with our eyes, and to start believing with our heart.  God leads us with fetters tied to our heart, more than to our mind.

It’s in believing that we see.

FullSizeRender.jpg

I’m Glad That God Doesn’t Ask People To Do Dangerous Stuff!

The objections we offer up to God for not following or not serving or not obeying may seem simple or straightforward, but can be pretty deep and complex.  Yesterday we heard Moses question God by saying, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?”

images.jpeg

As we further unpack Moses’ objection to serivce, we can see there are still deeper levels to his reluctance to return to Egypt.

Perhaps beyond a feeling of inadequacy for the task, we can also hear Moses saying, “The Assignment is Dangerous!

For Moses, returning to Egypt was an extremely dangerous mission. He was going to be unwelcomed by his own people and the Egyptians wanted to kill him as a criminal. Moses was going back into what was now Enemy Territory.

Moses was a Wanted Man.
He risked Arrest.
He Risked Humiliation.
He Risked Death in going back into Egypt.

Here’s the deal: God isn’t limited to what he can call us to do by our sense of peril.

God sends people, his people, into peril. As you follow God’s calling on your life, it may not be that you will face the dangers Moses was trying to avoid (arrest, the high probability of an early and terrible death, etc…) but you do risk the kind of danger that comes with having to change and adapt your life to fit God’s calling.

Change is dangerous.

We get comfortable. We like being comfortable.  It’s like our spot on the bed during a cold night. When the morning comes, we don’t want to leave our warm spot. It took us all night long to warm it up. All the rest of the real estate on the mattress is cold, the covers are cold, the air is cold, and we don’t want to move. It’s dangerous!

But God calls us to go, to get out of bed, and take on the day. Nothing starts until we wiggle out of the warmth of our comfort zone, and put our feet on the cold floor and start moving! That’s where it all begins to unfold. That’s what we don’t want to face.

When we consider Moses’ objection in our own context, it’s not so much the peril Moses was facing that limits us, it’s our fear of endangering our comfort.

We say to God, “I would pursue your call on my life, but I’m too busy right now. Serving you would put my plans in peril. God, serving you is fine and dandy, as long as I don’t have to go anywhere. Don’t change my address and I’ll be just fine. Lord, make some plans that don’t jeopardize my ambitions.”

But’s when we respond to God’s calling on our lives, and engage in greater Kingdom service, he does put our lives, and our comfort, in Jeopardy. His plans for us can knock down everything we’ve built.

But we learn to go anyway. We learn to go because what is ahead is infinitely better than all that lies behind.

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel  will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Mark 10:29-31