Walking with Moses through Leviticus: Purity and Holiness

Purity and personal holiness. Yup, that’s what’s on my Re-stARTist’s heart and mind this new year as we begin 2015. Probably because I’ve been hanging out in the book of Leviticus for my daily quiet time, and although I wasn’t running full throttle with excitement toward this book of the Bible (sorry, God), I’m learning to be open and more positive to the lessons that He has for me tucked away inside as it’s chock full of instructions, explanations, and details on how to worship Him. Leviticus teaches us about the purification laws back in the days when the Israelites needed to learn the right way to worship the one true holy God, not the false gods that they’d been witnesses to the idolatry worship of during their 400 years in Egypt. God needed His people to distinguish between what is clean and unclean, just as we today still need to be clear about.

One of the principles our teaching leader put forth in lecture last week was this: “A holy life is characterized by purity, both inward and outward.”

Purity: Inward and Outward

Purity: Inward and Outward

It made me think about my life as a holy offering for God. What am I putting into my physical body? (Yuck, I shudder to think of the garbage I like to eat, the media I let myself take in, etc.), and then conversely, the what that comes outta this old mouth when the tongue is unleashed? Ouch. Oy. Eeeeeks. Zowie. You get the picture I’m sure! I think I’m definitely in need of a fresh start when it comes to personal holiness.

Fifty-six times in the book of Leviticus, the word “holy” is used. That’s a whole lotta repetition, no? God says, “Be holy, because I am holy.” And we wonder if our personal holiness and our daily behavior really matter to Christ? I hadn’t realized this but apparently, holiness is derived from the word “whole.” Makes sense, right? And the person of Jesus Christ represents this wholeness, so as we read the scriptures, it was suggested we try replacing the word “holy” with “whole” to see what kind of difference it makes. Interesting…. I want to be whole, as much as I joke about being complete in my incompleteness, but that’s just a cute cover-up to help me make myself feel better when I know that Christ is offering me more and I’ve instead gone and chosen my own selfish ways.

My friend, Elisa Pulliam, over at More to Be published a great article this week on the topic of purity too. It’s one that really grabbed hold of my attention in regards to how parents can teach our teen children about the life-long pursuit of purity rather than barking out a list of don’t do this’s and don’t do that’s.

Pursuing Life-Long Purity

Pursuing Life-Long Purity

And it’s amazing how God’s perfect timing orchestrated its arrival in my inbox precisely at the same time I was grappling with this purity/holiness topic on my own! Lovin’ that God again and His oh so perfect timing! Please do yourself and your teen/tween a favor and drop by More to Be to get yourself a copy of this article that will bless you and your family for years to come as you move toward the vision of living a life of holiness for the glory of God. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

But I digress. There’s still so much more that God brought to mind as I studied this week, like in Jeremiah 17:9, the Lord tells us about our deceitful hearts. How careful we must be to keep ours pure with all of the present-day temptations surrounding us. If God has set us apart to be wholly His, are my daily choices pleasing to Him? What am I modeling to my children, my friends, and my community through my actions? Where can I be a better reflection of God to others in my daily life? These are the thoughts that have run through the head of this simple Life Hostess as she’s committed herself to showing up, just as she is, wholly herself, responding to who God sends her and to what God puts in her path, daily, moment by moment.

And I guess those are some of the questions too that I’ll be chewing on while I’m perched in front of my washing machine and dishwasher in the days and months ahead. When asked to think of a way in my daily life that I could remind myself of these truths about God and His desires for us, wouldn’t ya’ know that those appliances were the first things that popped into this quirky lil’ head of mine, so perhaps you’d like to join me in front of your dishwashers and sinks this winter so we can scrub-a-dub-dub our hearts, minds, and souls together in spirit across the miles?

Perched at the Dishwasher: Cleanse Me, Lord!

Perched at the Dishwasher: Cleanse Me, Lord!

Come and wash over us, Lord, purify us making our hearts and minds holy and set apart for you, just as the water washes our clothes and makes our dishes squeaky clean.

And gals, from one Life Hostess to another, I’m sending you encouragement through the virtual scrubbing bubbles, till we meet again.

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Lessons from Exodus: Serving God with Your Craft

Although BSF study is on hiatus for Christmas break, our assignment still has us reading through Exodus and Leviticus, and I can’t say that I’m uplifted and overjoyed as I make my way through the text. Lots of it focuses on the sacrificing of animals for atonement, the purification laws for Israel, the different types of offerings to be made at the Tabernacle, and the distinction between what is clean and unclean for God’s people. So as I read, I keep asking God, “What is it you’d have me take away from your sacred text during this precious advent season of waiting?” I know He has something for me tucked away in the pages of His holy Word.

And here’s what I came away with today as I reflected, first on the completion of the Tabernacle and how God’s presence led His people for 40 years through the desert in the form of a cloud! That in itself is pretty amazing, no? My revelation is that over and over again throughout Exodus and Leviticus, God repeats: “I am the Lord your God.” There it is in a nutshell. So who am I to question Him? He is my maker and my creator. He has the perfect plan, and my job is to trust and obey Him. The Bible shows repeated instances of blessings that follow obedience, so why do we have such a hard time doing “just as the Lord commanded?” (Exodus 40:16).

If you skim through Exodus 35-40, you’ll no doubt be bowled over like I was with the level of detail that God gave in the building of the Tabernacle and all of its accompaniments. These people, the Israelites, were in the middle of a desert, with no Lowe’s or Home Depot nearby to run out to for a quick purchase of supplies, yet they were still able to build this ornate, hand-crafted sanctuary to serve as a dwelling place for the Lord!

Where's the nearest building supply store?

Where’s the nearest building supply store?

Lowes“And how is it that they could pull off a feat like this?” you might ask. Yes, I wondered the same thing myself, but anything is possible with the Lord on your side. And still I read further and noticed that in Exodus 35 alone, the phrase “all who were willing” was repeated four times. This phrase referenced how the Israelites were able to gather up the supplies and earmark the workers who would be able to participate in the completion of the Tabernacle.

Hmmm…. A good question to ask ourselves perhaps? Are you willing to come and do the work that the Lord has established for you? His Word tells us in Psalm 90:17 that the Lord establishes the work of our hands. What skills and resources has He given you, and how are you willing to use them for His service in your home, your church, and your community? And when the Lord calls, do you respond by getting up and following Him, just as He expected from the Israelites in the desert? This part really threw me for a loop, because I could just imagine myself as one of them, with all of my movable belongings as a wanderer in the desert. And then, there’s the Lord, in the form of a visible cloud, dwelling at the entrance of the now built Tabernacle. cloud over tabernacleWhen the cloud settled, the Israelites stayed put, and when the cloud lifted, at the Lord’s command the Israelites would set out. Sometimes the cloud would settle for days, months, and years at a time, and then there’d be other instances where its movement would be more sporadic. Can you imagine the Hebrew town crier calling out, “The cloud is moving!” and everyone would have to pack up their belongings STAT and hurry to follow the cloud indefinitely?  I don’t know about you, but this kind of lifestyle would surely get to me after about a day or two! If you’ve ever lived out of a suitcase in more than one location for an extended time frame, you surely can relate to this kind of experience. Try living it for 40 years in a desert!

When I think my days are tough and unpredictable, when I wonder what the Lord has in store for me and I’m not sure I can handle the unknowns… it’s then that I can remind myself of the wandering Israelites and their really difficult situation of living a life constantly on the move, never knowing what might lie ahead, just having to trust God in every moment for every need. There’s no way I could have survived in a tent in the middle of a desert having to respond to the unknown movements of a cloud! Thanks be to God that He has me where He has me, today, in this moment, for this time and this place!

I personally was encouraged by the names of the two craftsmen in Exodus 31, Bezalel and Oholiab, whose names were recognized by God and preserved for all of history for having served Him with their craft; so much so that I broke out the sewing machine this weekend to re-stART some old pieces of clothing and fabric scraps!

Pjs turned ruffle skirt

Pjs turned ruffle skirt

I’m hoping that I can spread some Christmas cheer with a few handmade gifts showing up in goody bags over the holidays season, gifts that show others that all things can be made anew because “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2Corinthians 5:17, NIV).

Old t-shirts turned infinity scarf

Old t-shirts turned infinity scarf

Jammy sleeves to scarf

Jammy sleeves to scarf

T-shirt ruffly scarf

T-shirt ruffly scarf

Won’t you consider joining me and serving God with your own craft as the holiday season fast approaches? And if you need help discovering what your craft is, I’d love to help you discern that too. Just message me and we can talk about some personal coaching options to get you well on your way.

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Got Your “Whine” On?

My study of Exodus this week lands me in chapters 15 to 18:27 as the Israelites are learning to walk with God. They’ve escaped Egypt through the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, and God has protected them once more by leading them (albeit on a long, indirect route) to a safe spot in the desert, a spot where He knew they’d be able to avoid attack.

Freedom for Israelites

Freedom for Israelites

This was especially important since they’d just come out of an arduous, physically exhausting escape situation. And can you guess what the Israelites’ disposition is, just 3 days out of their miraculous rescue? 3 days out from when they were singing songs of praise in worship of their great God? Well, if you’ve read this story before, you know full well that their disposition was one of complaining, whining, grumbling, and complete negativity, brought on by a shortage of water – as if God wouldn’t be able to provide for them once more? Worse yet, their thinking became faulty in the midst of their miserable attitude, as evidenced by their remembering their time spent in cruel slavery in Egypt as one in which they’d “sat around pots of meat and ate all the food they wanted.”

One Big Happy Meat Fest

One Big Happy Meat Fest

Really? This is how they characterized their captivity in Egypt – as one big happy meat fest? Oh c’mon now, Israelites! Let’s get real!

Well, before we come down too harshly on our brother and sister Israelites, perhaps we could stop for a minute and ask ourselves, “Does this kind of thinking ever happen to me and to you?” You know, the kind of thinking where perhaps the fear of future unknowns keeps you from moving forward, and worse yet clouds your memory causing you to recall the strongholds of your past as maybe “not so bad after all”? And how often do you and I stop right there with our negative “stinking thinking” rather than compound the situation by taking it one step further, barking out complaints, whining, and grumbling to anyone and everyone we can get to listen?

Complain, Whine, and Groan

Complain, Whine, and Grumble

Yes, that’s what our Israelite compadres did when they accused Moses of bringing their entire assembly out into the desert to starve them to death. Sheesh! Can you put yourself in Moses’ sandals for just a quick second?

Get ready for a sandal thwap!

Get ready for a sandal thwap!

I’d have had to whip those bad boy strappy shoes right off my feet, thwap a few Israelites upside the noggin with ‘em, and go running for holy ground faster than a dog on roller skates!

Running for God!

Running for God!

And checking back into the real story in Exodus, that’s sort of what our buddy Moses chose to do. Well, maybe not the shoe-slapping incident, but definitely the “running to God fast” part. Moses opted for running to God, time and again, as he continued to lead the Israelites on their desert journey. The Bible tells us that, “Moses prayed and the Lord answered.” Is this your typical pattern? i.e. consistently running to the Lord in prayer? Who is grumbling against you right now? Or maybe there’s someone you are grumbling against? What about surprise disappointments? How are you responding to those? Do you find yourself complaining about your circumstances, like the Israelites? The truth of the matter is that God is the God of all circumstances, and when we complain, it shows our lack of trust in Him, just as in the case of the Israelites. Anytime we grumble, it’s against how God has ordered our lives. How foolish we are to think that we have the power on our own! Apart from the Lord, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

So now that the Thanksgiving holiday is behind us and we look ahead to the joy of Christmas and a new year in 2015, will you join me in focusing on the positives, seeking to find what is good and what is going well this holiday season? Will you commit to cultivating a heart of gratitude knowing the truth that God provides in times of both sweetness and bitterness? He is there-ALWAYS, so for me, it’s going to be an effort toward less grumbling and more trusting. How about you?

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From Plagues to Life Hostessing

Ten plagues in Egypt, and so many lessons for us to learn from them. Several of my recent posts have focused on the plagues, and still I find myself gleaning new insights from them all the time. This time, in Exodus 10, God’s Word tells about the plague of locusts, but the one word that caught my attention was “worship,” because it was repeated four times in just the first eleven verses alone. As I circled back to re-read those verses and dig deeper for meaning, I saw that as Moses asked Pharaoh to let God’s people go so that they could “worship” the Lord their God, he expressly mentioned that he wanted to go with “our young and old, with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord” (verse 9).

Women and Children? We will not leave them behind!

Women and Children? We will not leave them behin

Naturally, Pharaoh countered with a compromise offering for only the men to go, but that wasn’t met with success because clearly, God had never considered the worship of women and children as something that was optional.

And isn’t that encouraging to hear? I know for myself, I was blissfully giddy after reading that passage in the Bible. Sure, it’s not like I didn’t realize beforehand that God’s people have always included women and children, but to be reminded of it again in a fresh new way made my heart gleefully skip a beat. And it might just be related to a prompting that God has been gently pricking my heart with over the course of these past few months, perhaps trying to get my attention? Well, now I have to let Him know that I’m really, really listening! And I’d like to invite you to perk up your listening ears too and join me in thinking about this notion. It’s one I call “Life Hostessing.” I know. You’re thinking, “What’s Life Hostessing? What do you have to do to be a Life Hostess?”

I Am Life Hostess

I Am Life Hostess

And the answer? Basically, it’s nothing fancy dancy but it’s something that many of us women are equipped to do, especially those of us who find ourselves in the SAHM (stay at home mom) role or perhaps the role of new retiree, grandma…. And yes, it’s even applicable to the roles of friend, co-worker, aunt, neighbor…. The list could go on and on. Suffice it to say that Life Hostesses are those of us who want to ensure that no one, including women and children (thank you, God for that encouragement!!!), get left behind in this life, because we want to maximize the opportunities for living and bringing God glory as He grants them to us in each and every moment. Obviously, we can’t set out as Life Hostesses with a goal of saving the world in a day, but perhaps if we back it up and think of it on a smaller scale starting out, then maybe it’d become more doable. So humor me for a moment by asking yourself this question:

What would it look like if you woke up each morning celebrating the gift of a new day and then committed yourself to showing up in it, all day long right where you are, as you are, being fully who you are and serving to the best of your ability the people who God sends to your proverbial table of life?

I love that mindset and that visual image, maybe because I can see myself flitting all around in one of those colorful, foo-foo fabric aprons taking care of my guests as they’re able to sit and relax and enjoy themselves around my beautifully appointed shabby chic cottage style farmhouse dining table?

Dressed and Ready for Life Hostessing

Dressed and Ready for Life Hostessing

Come, Sit Around My Table!

Come, Sit Around My Table!

(Oops, hope I didn’t lose you there for a minute while I danced around inside my head. Sorry. That was a quick Life Hostess Table for One Minute, but I’m back)!

And I must thank the abundantly talented author Emily Freeman whose book, A Million Little Ways, that I read last summer also got me thinking about this concept of living fully in the moment, showing up and serving at this so-called “table”, and uncovering the art of one’s life. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend checking it out by visiting her website here at Chatting at the Sky. Chock full of good, good stuff for one’s soul! 

I’ve only shared the Life Hostess notion with a few select people to date, but here and now seemed like the right place and time to let it loose, given the topic of Moses making sure not to leave the women and children behind in Egypt. If God’s plan has always included women and children and those who might not be able to “go it alone,” then by golly, we gals can join Him in this effort to be welcoming and inclusive to those whom He places in our daily path, right?

I’ll have more to share about Life Hostessing in the days and weeks ahead, but for now, I hope you’ll ask God about how He might be able to give you a fresh set of eyes to see new opportunities, even in the usual and mundane, as you begin to approach your days from here on out with a Life Hostessing mentality. Grab yourself a pair of Life Hostess glasses (rhinestone studded or maybe something less blingy – what’s your style?),

Got your Life Hostess Eyewear Ready?

Got your Life Hostess Eyewear Ready?

and run to the table, ready to serve, girlies! I’d love to meet you there.

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A Heart Condition – What’s Your Response to God?

What's the condition of your heart? Sweet? Soft? Hard?

What’s the condition of your heart? Sweet? Soft? Hard?

I’m studying Exodus 6:28 to 10:29 this week and seeing how Pharaoh responded to God through the plagues. Instead of surrendering to the Lord and softening, Pharaoh consistently chose to harden his heart each time.

It’s sad to see that story unfold as I read through it in the pages of Exodus, but even sadder to watch it unfold in real life, both in my own life and in the lives of those around me. And here’s why: If every response to God either strengthens our faith or hardens our heart, then we ought to pay really close attention to how we are responding to God.

Gifts Overload

Gifts Overload

Christmas is fast approaching along with traditions of gift-giving and in the case of many Americans, there will be material abundance and presents in overload capacities. It’ll be easy to get sucked in by the mass marketing and TV commercials telling us how we need the newest products on the market, or how this gadget will make our lives better than ever. Maybe we’ll have friends or family members struggling this holiday with an illness or a severed relationship that tugs at our heartstrings, and we’ll wish that these burdens could be taken away at the snap of our fingers, believing that a quick fix would make everything better. But the truth of the matter is that the most dreadful thing in this world in not the physical suffering or the loss of material goods. The most dreadful thing in this world is to be alienated from our Creator and Maker, Father God. His desire is for all people to come to know Him and to be in relationship with Him, which makes me ask myself a really important question this holiday season: “Am I giving myself wholly to Him?” How about you? Is there anything functioning as a god in your life that you need to get rid of so you can give yourself wholly to Him? Is there anything you’re desiring more than you find yourself desiring God?

Got Idols?

Got Idols?

Pharaoh is a great example of someone who received and knew God’s truth yet he chose to reject it, and oh, how dangerous that was. God will not compromise with idolatry and we cannot compromise with God. He has provided the revelation. His Word tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” (Psalm 19:1).

Heavens declare His glory!

The heavens declare His glory!

Perhaps we ought to pause for a moment in the middle of all the hustle and bustle this December and check the condition of our own hearts. How’s yours doing? Is it soft and pliable, strengthening in the faith, or is it leaning more towards rock hard? Here’s the best news. It’s never too late to reverse a rock hard heart condition with God as your great physician. Just keep checking your response, re-committing yourself wholly to Him, and you’ll have one of the most tender hearts around!

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Lessons from Moses: Any Pharaohs Standing In Your Way?

This week, I’m reading about the plagues in Exodus Chapters 7-11 and wondering what they were all about. Ten of ’em. Really? Moses had to keep showing up repeatedly in front of Pharaoh, even after having been told in advance by God that Pharaoh would not listen to Moses. At first read, I’m wondering, “Why even bother to go and tell Pharaoh if you already know that his answer is going to be a big old NO?” And then, I go back and re-read it. I sit with it for awhile, and it hits me: obedience. When the God of the Universe tells you to do something, you go and you do it, because after all, there is only one true God, and yes, he has a purpose for everything He does.

Apparently, the Egyptians had gods they worshiped for just about every aspect of life and everything they did. There were gods of the river, gods of the land, and gods of the sky, and so the plagues were God’s way of bringing judgment upon all of these false gods of Egypt. Through the plagues, He was able to demonstrate His ultimate power over any and all of the things that the Egyptians had held sacred. Matter of fact, during the third plague, Pharaoh’s magicians even admitted that they couldn’t compete and conceded that, “This is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:19).

The Finger of God

The Finger of God

So how about you? Do you believe and live as if there is only one true God? Or is there something that you’re letting take the place of God in your life? Last week, I wrote about being lost in the desert of Egypt, just like Moses was, and I compared how my family’s “Egypt” had become the search for a college for our only child who is completing his senior year of high school right now. And this week, I’m wondering if we might be treating this college search process as if it’s as important as the place of God. Could it be serving in opposition to God, since that’s how an idol is defined in our lives? Are we finding ourselves trying to compromise with God while we make our way through this search? “God, if you give our son an acceptance at this university, then we promise we’ll do this next big thing for you;” or, “We’ll drop everything on our schedule and travel to that school next weekend since he was invited if you, God, will guarantee that means getting him into that college.”

Obedience. No Compromise.

Obedience. No Compromise.

Looking back at Pharaoh’s example, we saw how he tried to compromise as he negotiated with Moses, not just once but on four different occasions. It’s as if Pharaoh wanted to be able to keep a close eye on his Israelite slaves, not releasing them completely but tempting them with one foot in the Egyptian world and one foot out. And doesn’t Satan try that whole “compromise tactic” with us too? He wants us to think that we can have the best of both worlds, but God’s Word tells us differently. It says that we “are not of the world” (John 17:14) even though we have been sent “into the world” (v. 18). Hmmm….more to contemplate. We know that Jesus fell back on the Word of God when He was tempted by the devil in the desert. He even cited chapters and verse numbers to face His enemy square on! Is this our method of attack when we’re being tempted by Satan? Might it be a good idea? How’s the old methodology working for us? Perhaps it’s time for you and me to take the offensive – to stop talking to God about our problems and start talking to our problems about God, and the way we can do that is through regular prayer time and the knowledge of God’s Word. It’s no coincidence that I’m also reading Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge at the same time I’m going through this BSF study of Moses.

Draw the Circle

A few weeks ago, I had decided to circle our son’s college unknowns in prayer over a 40 day period when I sensed that we were in our own little “Egypt” and wondering if it was becoming a family “idol.” And what a blessing this prayer journey has been just 14 short days into it. Wildly enough, today’s reminder from Mark’s book was that, “Prayer has the power to change the heart of Pharaoh,” which I’m beginning to taste and see for myself as I wait upon the Lord. I mean who doesn’t have a Pharaoh or two in their life at any given moment that they have to contend with? Don’t we all have Pharaohs standing in the way of things we want and the things God wants for us, just standing there making us all angry and such as we let them become our mini-gods, our idols? UGH!!! Well, I loved Mark Batterson’s suggestion of what he did when the Pharaohs in his life got him angry. Every time he felt his anger coming on, he decided to switch gears and pray instead. To him, it was the closest he ever got to “praying without ceasing,” (1Thessalonians 5:17) because he was angry all the time! Sure, prayer has the power to change the heart of Pharaoh, but if you ask me, better yet, prayer has the power to draw us closer to God so we can experience for ourselves how His power works mightily for the good of those who trust Him. God’s power is stronger than any of our idols’. Plus, every time we respond to God, our faith will either be strengthened or our heart will be hardened. What potential there is there, huh?

So, back to the beginning with the ten plagues and Moses showing up even though he knew Pharaoh was going to reject his request. Looks like that was ten opportunities for Moses’ faith to be strengthened, while for Pharaoh it was ten more hardenings of the heart. “Wasted time?” I ask you. Never. Never. Never. Not in God’s economy, for He tells us, “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2Chronicles 7:14). God is sovereign, and He will not compromise. Those who oppose Him will be broken in the end just as Pharaoh was. Our calling? Believe. Obey. Trust. Submit. Pray. All to the one true God.

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Lost in Your Own Egypt: More Lessons from Moses

No More Rejected

God Promises Deliverance: No More Rejection

This week, as I’m reflecting back on my BSF study of Moses, particularly in Exodus Chapter 5-7:5, it has me thinking about the Israelites ~ their captivity, oppression, hardship, and suffering. They’re still in Egypt, still being held as slaves, and they’re being told to produce just as much as always by Pharaoh’s slave drivers, but now with limited resources. Because of this, discouragement arises and they begin feeling doomed to failure. These same Israelites, who in the last chapter of Exodus were bowing down and worshiping the Lord who they heard had been concerned about them and who had seen their misery, are now cursing Moses and Aaron for making them a stench to Pharaoh. My, my, how quickly their tune changed!

Do you ever find yourself in that situation, where one minute you’re believing God for all His promises and looking forward to your future, but then in the next breath, your world comes tumbling down and you find yourself, much like the Israelites, doomed to failure in your own little Egypt? You feel stuck, like there’s no way out, or cheated, like some one or some thing is always stacked against you? We’ve been facing this feeling ourselves recently in our own little family of three, as we prepare our only child to face the world of college in just a few short months. Will he get into the school of his dreams? What if he doesn’t? What if one school accepts him but another doesn’t? Will he get passed over? Where’s the fairness in that? How can we better control the situation and make it turn out exactly like he hoped it would turn out? Aaaaaaahh! This is our Egypt.

And just as the Israelites turned to Moses with their whining, complaining, and doubts, we see in the Scriptures that Moses returned to the Lord (Exodus 5:22) sadly with the same type of negative attitude. More whining, complaining, and doubts. A-ha! Could it be that discouragement is contagious?? Sure, Moses first tried to talk to the Israelites, reminding them of all that God had promised, but the Bible tells us that they didn’t listen because of their discouragement and bondage. That leads me to wonder, “How well do you and I listen when we are discouraged? And who are we turning to in our discouragement? Is it the Lord whom we’re seeking for His godly counsel?”

Discouragement and Listening:Can you hear?

Discouragement and Listening:Can you hear?

If we look at God’s response to Moses, we see that once again, Moses is reminded of all that the Lord promised. God uses “I” to reference His power 9 times between verses 6:28-7:5, and He reminds Moses twice that, “I am the Lord.” It’s like He’s screaming, not just at Moses and the Israelites, but at His people for all times and all generations – that’d be me and you, too, that we need to, “Listen up!” When God repeats something over and over again in His holy Scriptures, it’s definitely something we ought to pay attention to, don’t ya think? So the question remains, “How well are you and I listening?”

"I AM the Lord."

“I AM the Lord.”

The priniciples that we can glean from these scriptures in particular are that, “Obedience to God may mean increased difficulty for myself and others,” and “Discouragement comes when I focus on my circumstances instead of God.” If you find yourself this week lost in your own Egypt wondering if you’ll ever be delivered from your suffering and bondage, maybe you can learn a new lesson from our friend Moses and try returning to God, minus the whining and complaining. Lessons from MosesThat’s right, I’m gonna cling to God’s promise in Exodus 3:17 that says, “I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into…a land flowing with milk and honey.” C’mon, who’s with me? Milk and honey or misery? That’s an easy choice! Get your sweet tooth on and let’s journey together!

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