THE FOCUS IS PRAYER.
…Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Today’s reflection is about what’s going on and being grateful that I know who God is and that His plans and purpose for my life are in His hands. This week has had some disappointments, feeling sick and revising things. When disappointments come, we must get quiet and seek the Lord for clarity and/or peace. Sometimes He may not give us clarity right away and waiting is very difficult for us, as we all know. However, I will worship while I am waiting.
As I have been reading through Numbers, it is revealed that the anxiety and impatience of the Israelites caused dire consequences. I am reminded that trusting God is so important. He will give us what we need because He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider. And, while waiting can be so uncomfortable, it is comforting to know that no matter the circumstances, God has my back.
Numbers 21 through Numbers 24 tells the story of Balaam and King Balak. Balak called for Balaam to curse the people of Israel. He was afraid of them because of their numbers and wanted to curse them so that he could conquer them. Balaam sought God on the matter and God told him to only say what He told him to say. The children of Israel were blessed and there was nothing King Balak could do about. There were a number of attempts by Balak to get Balaam, the man of God, to curse the Israelites. What I love about this story is the fact that God does not lie nor does He change His mind. He blessed the Israelites and Balak, try as he would, couldn’t change that. In his attempts to do so, he tried bribing Balaam with his riches. How many of us are asked to turn our backs on God for fame and fortune?
Devotion today from Numbers 20. Chapter 20 begins with the cause of Moses missing out on entering the Promised Land because of His response to the Israelites in yet another session of complaining. These challenges caused Moses to go against God and react in the flesh. The Israelites had moved forward to the wilderness of Zin and they had no water. God said He would draw water from a rock for them to drink and all Moses had to do was speak to the rock. Now, in support of Moses, it can be very difficult to continue dealing with people who, no matter what you give them, are never satisfied. It is a reminder that we are all human and because of Jesus, we are considered righteous before God in spite of our human nature.
- Moses and Aaron turned away from the people and went to the entrance of the Tabernacle, where they fell face down on the ground. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to them,
- and the Lord said to Moses,
- ”You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.
- So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the Lord.
- Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?”
- Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill.
- But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”
- This place was known as the waters of Meribah (which means “arguing”) because there the people of Israel argued with the Lord, and there He demonstrated His holiness among them.
Moses was told to speak to the rock and yet, he struck the rock twice in his anger against the Israelites. He did not do as God commanded but Moses was a great servant for God. He trusted God even when his flesh got in the way. He was committed to God and God trusted Moses. God said this Himself.
Because God knows man [He created him] it was still necessary for the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ, to come, die on the Cross and resurrect in order for Holy Spirit to be in us and help us in this nature thing. God is so in the very intricate details of our lives. This is a great reminder that He sees all. How great it is that in His omnipotence, He knew we would need the ever-present intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ when we miss the mark. We cannot remain holy even a little bit without Christ. Jesus’ resurrection is such an integral part of our lives and this story proves how much we so need it. When we consider the significance of the Resurrection in respect to the Old Testament, it should certainly motivate us to fall to our knees in praise and worship for what He has done for us and how much God truly does love us.
Today’s post is a revealing story of the heart. With the upcoming Sunday being Easter and all about the resurrection of Christ, it is perfect timing to check our hearts. Numbers 16 is about Korah and his 250 followers who rebelled against God. There was jealousy and conspiracy from Korah and his 250 followers (incense burners) against Moses and Aaron because they were discontent with what God had given them. They had a special ministry to minster to the people of Israel given by God as their service to Him. Yet, they were jealous of Aaron and the priesthood. Moses had to remind them that they were rebelling against God, not him and Aaron.
Numbers 16:8-11 – “8Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! 9Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near Him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them?10Korah, He has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? 11The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against. For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?”
We do have to choose carefully who and what we follow. We will be held accountable for our choices. When Moses asked Dothan and Abiram to come to him during the confrontation, they refused. They were still stuck on being removed from Egypt, the land flowing with milk and honey. They were not content with God’s timing for entering the Promised Land and as seen, their hearts were revealed in the rebellion of Korah. They looked back and desired what they used to have (check Lot’s wife, the pillar of salt). They showed contempt for what God had for them and their future.
Numbers 16:12-14 – “12Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied. “We refuse to come before you! 13Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? 14What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men? We will not come.”
Take note, we may be willing to follow something or someone but your heart will be revealed in the matter. Check your motivation for the things you do. Are you following truth? Or, are you following someone or something to justify your own ulterior motives. Remember, God knows the heart and He has not stopped revealing the truth so we can truly know ourselves.
In that, Moses was a human being, though called and anointed by God for his service to Him. Moses was angry with the Kohathites but unlike times before, he did not intercede for them before God this time. Korah and his followers were then told to present themselves before God the following morning with the appropriate preparation. In coming before the Lord, God’s anger toward the people was major and He was prepared to kill them all. This time, Moses and Aaron interceded again for the people. This confrontation was the Lord confirming Korah’s (and his followers) contempt for Him by doing something new; the ground opening up and swallowing the entire clans of Korah, Dothan and Abiram because He had mercy on the other Israelites who were not a part of this rebellion. The initial 250 followers, the incense burners, were burned up in the fire that followed the ground opening up because they had sinned with Korah in rebellion against the Lord. Because they were holy to the Lord as incense burners, their remains were used as a reminder to the other Israelites.
Check this. Can you believe after such a day, the Israelites were still complaining the following morning? Yet again, Moses and Aaron interceded before God’s anger was released in full force but not before another 14,700 Israelites were killed by a plague. Listen, this was the Old Testament and since then, God has shown His love for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, reconciling us to Himself. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t still want your love and devotion to Him. We are still accountable to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will reveal your hearts to you. What does your heart to say to God? Do you make Him jealous?
As I tossed and turned a little while attempting to sleep, one word seemed to resonate in my inner being. It was “resilient.” I have been thinking about this journey and the new aspects of moving forward as well as the best way to incorporate what the Lord is giving me to do now. Remember, my theme for this year is living in the “now.” First is the practical application of taking stock of my thoughts and dismissing the ones that are no good.
Of course, I checked the dictionary to understand the fullness of what this means. The definition of resilient is “the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like.” At this point in time, I know that this is me. I found some pins to express myself like the “resilient” one following.
Continue reading about being resilient…!
My comfort today in the Lord is so much stronger. It has been an interesting January. The commitment to writing has been mentioned. A narrower focus, concentrating on my gift and being consistent or faithful has kept me appreciating all that He does for me. Faithfulness is an interesting word because it automatically lends itself to the subject of faith. However, it is not just about faith in God but also about faith in the things you do.
Faithfulness is defined by such terms as
- strict or thorough in the performance of duty; true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc; steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant
- reliable, trusted, or believed
- adhering or true to fact, a standard
- full of faith; believing (By the way this is listed as an obsolete definition. I tend to believe there is nothing obsolete about faithfulness.)
In looking at the above definition, it is definitely necessary to build this character trait. In noticing the difference and changes in myself after committing to a particular thing, I can look back and see that when I was all over the place, I was in a chaotic place. There is definitely something to be said for faithfulness. Keep reading on God’s faithfulness…!
In my devotional today, I read a post on spiritual discipline entitled “Spiritual Discipline: Do You Have a Chair?” by Michael Kendrick. What a joy to read! One thing that sticks out for me is the statement that what you value, you will make time for. The truth of this may touch a tender spot but truth does not change. Facts do. There’s more, keep reading!
The poet in me rises this morning in quiet time, devotion and prayer. So, this morning I want to share that God is true love. There’s more, keep reading!
Writing has always been a part of my life. I love words and wanted to do something with them. I have found myself in several fields that did not give me the reward I receive when I write. The older I get, the more I find that being true to oneself is key. What does that mean for many of us? Some people might not understand who they truly are.
As a Christian, I do believe that God gives each individual a purpose and gifts each person with a way to fulfill that purpose. Many of us spend years chasing circles because we either don’t understand or are not willing to listen to advice being given. Generally, young people tend to want to experience everything believing that things change with every generation. I think age has more to do with this perspective – idealistic, enthusiastic, and invincible. Some things change, everything doesn’t.
Well into mid-life, I find that I have come full circle. Even though I need work to pay the bills, I am content with writing. My heartfelt wish in writing is to share understanding about life and traveling life’s journey. Maybe someone reading what I write will be inspired and have that moment of clarity to fulfill what God has in store for them.
When I consider what type of writer I am, I believe my words cause readers to feel. The emotion a reader feels can be used to propel them further into realizing their dreams. While feelings are certainly fleeting, it is important to take what that feeling offers and move forward. For instance, anger has propelled into motion some of the greatest causes for freedom and liberty.
Anger is only one emotion, but used correctly can change a course of events to impact lives for the better. My point is this. As we move forward in our journeys, look to make an impact. Quit circling. I have never believed that I have to experience everything in my life to receive understanding. (I do not have to get burned just to believe the fire is hot.) Understand where you are headed and where you want to go. God is not slack concerning His purpose for your life and when you need additional clarity, He’ll give it to you. It may be in an actual experience, in reading, in listening, in seeing or just plain silence.
NKJV – Proverbs 2:2 – “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding.”