Sunday, January 30, 2011

You Want Me to Do What?

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Do you ever feel like something tugs at your heart: a God-sized tug, asking you to do something difficult but your immediate reactions is, how? I was running the other day with things rolling around in my head about the future, and I felt this nudge from God asking me to do something that is way out-of-the ordinary and my reaction was surprisingly, “Yes Lord! I will do it.” But shortly thereafter, about ½ a mile down, I was like “Wait a second, do what? Me? How!?!?” I feel like this is often God’s way of working through his children: telling them something he wants them to do but not always going into great detail on how it’s going to be done. That night while I was running, I was immediately reminded of the story of Moses and his conversation with the angel of the Lord who was revealed through the burning of the bush. I giggle at Exodus 4. I so wish that I could have been a little bird on the ledge watching and listening-in on their conversation:

Signs for Moses

1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
2 Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
3 The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
6 Then the LORD said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.
7 “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
8 Then the LORD said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”
10 Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
14 Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

Do you feel the sense of God’s anger burn, literally, when he replies to Moses in verse 11 (paraphrased) “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes the deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now Go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

‘Now go, and I help you speak and will teach you what to say.’ Man. If that isn’t the best pre-game coaching pep talk. Ha! God would run circles around the all-time best football coach in pep-talk: ‘Just go, I will do everything for you.’ I like the transition into verse 14 as well where the Lord is like “Ok, ok, you have a brother, Aaron—I know he can speak well (ha! I created him, of course I know he can speak well!), will you go if you put the words into his mouth like I would into yours? All God needed to do is say, ‘Please’ and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a parent and his or her child being instructed on cleaning a room. God: ‘But you have still have to do the miracles—sorry Charlie.’ Sorry, I am not trying to make light of the situation or paraphrase in disrespect but once you read through this text, you cannot help but see yourself as the sputtering, excuse-ridden Moses mustering up every reason to not go and be used by God. God told him what, but Moses simply does not know HOW it’s going to all happen. The horrifying two-letter word continues to pop up in the conversation: what IF they don’t listen; what IF they don’t believe me.

God replies with a simple three-letter phrase, “I AM”

Moses: “but…but…”

God: “ I AM.”

So God is asking you to do what? Do it. Just do it! Be honest, obviously God was patient with Moses and didn’t have the bush smack him over the side of the head like I would have it: maybe just burn his big toe a little. Express your concern to the LORD, but trust Him with it too. Don’t miss the opportunity to see water turn into blood, to lead a group of people out of captivity, to see a mighty sea part ways ---being lead in the wilderness by a cloud by day and a flame at night. And you realize, all those miracles are secondary to being so close to God and experiencing His holiness, grace, mercy, love and power. You may not know how but He does and that’s all that matters!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Eternity Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions 2011 -So often we find ourselves striving for physical improvements and financial gain when planning our New Year's Resolutions---I somewhat felt compelled to reflect on areas of my heart that truly need changing and found scripture that I hope to memorize throughout the year. I encourage you to make resolutions for yourself---they can deal with weight-loss and being a better steward, but my prayer is that you also reflect on resolutions that will not only impact 2011, but eternity.

Oh Lord, I am a woman of unclean lips! I am a sinful woman that is unworthy of even being within the realms of your creation. Oh Lord, forgive me for my wretched heart---my pride, my fears, my disobedience, my lack of faith and trust in you as my God. Lord, as I embark on this New Year—I desire something far greater to occur in my earthly life than I can or would be able to imagine. I know that is a risky thing to ask, but God, I desire to be continually transformed in my mind, in my emotions, in my physical body and ultimately my heart. Lord there are several areas of my life that are in desparate need of your redemption. I hold on and grasp thinking that I can fix them or I can handle them when in reality Lord, I am nothing without you. Lord I pray these things knowing you will be faithful!!

1)I want to obtain a better grasp of what it means to fear you. The beginning of all wisdom is to fear the Lord. Lord, I feel like it would not only give me a better picture of you, but it would grant me a better picture of myself in light of who you are. I desire that Lord. (Isaiah 6)

2)I desire Lord to feel burdened for lost souls. I know it’s horrible to be weighed down with the heaviness of lost souls but it is a true sign of genuine faith when a person is so overwhelmed and concerned for the needs of others. I pray for a burdened heart that is not just sad within, but is compelled to do something about it. (Matthew 9:36-38)

3)Lord I pray that I would meditate on your word daily and memorize what it says word-for-word, text-for-text so that I may forever encourage others while I delight in it myself. (Psalm 1:1-3)

4)I pray for an increased level of communication: a balance between me praying continually and seeking you moment-by-moment but also being still and allowing your hand to work in my life. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17; Psalm 37:7)

5)I pray for my influence on others to be one that draws others to you: I pray to decrease mightily as you increase mightily. (John 3:29-30)

6)I pray and ask for boldness in these hard times. I trust Lord that you will grant me the confidence to stand firm in my faith and fully rely on the HOPE I have in your son and my sweet savior and friend, Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)

7)Lord may I command Satan in his place by the power of the Holy Spirit’s work of redemption in my life. May I cling to the power that is presented in the resurrection of Jesus and may my life be an example of the resurrected Christ.
(1 Peter 5:8-10)

8)I ask that I would bear fruit---souls, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness and self-control. May jealousy or envy not litter my soul but may I find my life hidden in Christ and my identity a beautiful thing only because of Christ’s work in my life. (Galatians 5: 16-26)

9)I desire to lead others Lord. I desire to demonstrate and to serve—both within the family of God and my immediate family. Forgive me in my selfishness, pity and pride. All I am is yours Lord and all I have is yours. (John 13:14)

10)God I love you and I desire to learn more about you. Teach me your ways and lead me into a closer relationship with you. I desire contentment in you and you alone! (Psalm 119:33-40)