Numbers 23-24–It’s Not About Location

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection. It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission.

The Moabite king was convinced that he could curse Israel.  So, he summoned a local mystic–Balaam, to come and do the job.  Balaam asked God if he could take the job, and God said no. The King’s men came back and got Balaam to come–Balaam told them he would not do it, they urged him to come anyway.  God said fine, go, but only say what I tell you to say.  So, for the next several days, Balak, King of Moab, ushered the mystic from place to place. In each place, alters would be built, sacrifices made, and then–Balaam would bless Israel.

The King became furious–but, the prophet  would simply respond, I can only say what God has told me to say–and again the prophet would bless Israel. In the end, the King knew he had been stupid, his nation, and the allies of his nation were put on notice–Israel is and will be blessed by God–do not expect to defeat them.  In addition, your peoples will be destroyed, Have a nice day.

The bottom line is that the natural man does not understand the things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14+ says it well, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 

People think that they control their destinies. They simply do not.  There is a God who created and controls everything. The world simply thinks that because God allows evil to exist; that He must not be in control. SO Wrong! God has a plan and He will execute it to the letter. Israel was marching through the desert–awaiting the day they could enter the Promised Land. While they waited, they still were being prepared by God, provided for by God and were living under God’s protection.

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection.  It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission. That is why the promises of Roman 8:18, 28 and 34 are so significant. No matter how difficult our struggles–they cannot compare to the blessings that lie ahead. Further, all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Finally, there is nothing in this world that can separate us from our God. Israel saw that daily. Paul wrote about it as a testimony to an amazing journey; and, we can live it–if we will simply trust and follow God!

God Bless You

Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
    who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a]
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!

“Like valleys they spread out,
    like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
    like cedars beside the waters.
Water will flow from their buckets;
    their seed will have abundant water.

“Their king will be greater than Agag;
    their kingdom will be exalted.

“God brought them out of Egypt;
    they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
    and break their bones in pieces;
    with their arrows they pierce them.
Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
    like a lioness—who dares to rouse them?

“May those who bless you be blessed
    and those who curse you be cursed!”

A New Direction–Exodus 2 Continued

Moses’ life took a big turn. From prince to fugitive, he had to recreate himself. He escaped to Midian, where  he immediately saved some ladies in distress. Humble, heroic and unique, he was quickly adopted by the local priest and married his daughter. 

This would never have been how he would have scripted his own journey, but, now the prince and chosen one of Israel was safe, provided for, and free from the threats of Egypt. 

It is easy to allow course corrections in our lives to embitter, discourage and nullify our walk with God. When we become entrapped by the circumstances, we miss the many underlying blessings that accompany the change. 

God asks us to simply trust his plan and follow him. When we do, especially with a humble and grateful heart, he can mold us into his image and use us to accomplish great things. Otherwise, we find our lives spin horribly downward and we miss the joy set before us. Thank you, Lord for setting out the journey and blessing me along the way. 

God Bless You 

Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

“And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.

God Provides–Genesis 24 part 3

Make me successful today, what a great prayer. So often when we are following the Lord, we are not sure what his plan is. But, as in the hunt for a wife for Isaac, God has a plan in place. As we seek him, often we may not know the details but we know his direction. We pray accordingly, and he works to answer the prayers and accomplish his plan.

If we look back over time, and begin to see how many specific prayers he answers, then we will be better able to trust him for all the big and small needs in our lives. Our prayer life becomes amazing and we look forward to each and every chance we have to trust and follow him. That is the epitome of faith.

God Bless You

Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.

See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water.

May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor.

God Does Provide. Genesis 22 Part 2

<It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.&It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.;It is rarely easy, it is often challenging but, it is always rewarding to trust God. Big or small, walking by faith is always the right answer. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son…but God was not. God had provision ready. He allowed Abraham and history to see that faith is always correct.

Abraham’s faith showed his son and the world that God loves us and will not ignore our needs or our willingness to follow him. In our lives, we have opportunities daily to trust him. The more we do the easier it becomes to follow him any and everywhere.

As we follow, like Abraham, we impact those we know and those to come. We can never know how great his impact will be on our lives and the lives we touch. That is why each day we must continue to trust and serve him.

God Bless You

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

Praying to a Loving Father–1 John 5 Final

Pray according to his will…it is what every Father wants.  He wants to give us the desires of our heart.  He wants us, however, to know him.  He wants us to know what not to ask him about.  In his eyes, there are no small requests.  But, he does not want us to ask for things that go against his very nature.

God is not a stick in the mud.  He created the world and its beauty.  He wants us, however, to follow him so that we can experience it in freedom.  Don’t ask God to let you run the show…he loves you too much.  Don’t ask him to make you great at your sin or dependencies.  Do not ask him to put you in harm’s way.  No child would ask these things of their dad.  It is OK , however to ask him to promote you, protect you and provide for your needs–that is his sweet spot.  He is not only good at it; but, he loves to do it.  He truly wants your desires to be eternal–so he can give them to you all day–every day!!!

God Bless You

 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

2 Samuel 22–God’s Favorite Psalm

David was quite a song writer, you may have heard of his greatest hits album—Psalms.  Also known as Worship With David and Friends. In the collection you can hear ballads by David, the sons of Korah and even Moses. But, as the Bible winds up the story of David’s Journey, God throws in one of his favorites—God My Deliverer.  Amazing, the truth is that I and II Samuel tell David’s story, but the Star of the story is still God our deliverer. That is the truth of the Bible, and the truth of Life.  Many great men have lived and died walking in the path of God—David, Solomon, John, Paul, Moses, Elijah, Billy Graham, Martin Luther and DL Moody just to name a few. As we learn their story and study their journey, we see a common theme—Those men were their greatest when they were submitted to and walked in God’s leadership.

Common themes can be great teaching tools.  If we were to take the risk and submit to God; then we could also see his hand of mercy, faithful leadership and true greatness in our lives.  History reminds us that that process is difficult.  It promises trials, tribulation and temptation that are unmatched. BUT, it also shows–that a life submitted to God is one he takes seriously.  He will move mountains to protect, provide and propel his chosen ones.  All he seeks from us is humility, submission and faith…graciously, he provides the rest.

God Bless You

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
from violent people you save me.

“I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and have been saved from my enemies.
The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

“In my distress I called to the Lord;
I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears…

12 He made darkness his canopy around him—
the dark[e] rain clouds of the sky.
13 Out of the brightness of his presence
bolts of lightning blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at the rebuke of the Lord,
at the blast of breath from his nostrils.

17 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
20 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalms 91–God is My Refuge

Where is your refuge? Is it in your career, family, possessions, Government? The Lord calls us to allow him to be our refuge. David was on the run for his life.  He was being pursued by Saul and his army, he was portrayed as an outlaw and traitor to the nation.  He was scorned by a farmer whose land he had been protecting—Clearly David found out that his refuge was not in any normal human, place or thing.  God stripped them away and left David with the best refuge of all, God himself. David quickly found that when all that is left is all that you need—You have an amazing God and an amazing refuge.

In our lives, we too have sought refuge in a variety of established places—family, friends, position, power, money and a host of other things.  When circumstances are difficult, however, we realize that the only and best refuge is the Lord God. When we hide in him, no matter the circumstance—he shows himself faithful and amazing in protecting, providing and granting us the peace we need to face the chaos of life.  He promises us that we will not be defeated or destroyed if we are willing to follow him.  Help me Lord to make you my refuge.  Help me to allow you to protect, provide ad grant me peace.

God Bless You

If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”