Let My People Go

Something to think about.

Let My People Go 

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Exodus 9:1

You are Moses you walk into the court of the pharaoh and make this demand. What was going through Moses’s mind?  Did he have any idea what he was getting into? Was it sheer guts, faith or insanity that would bring him back to the scene of the crime and make such an incredible demand.

I don’t know if Moses at this point knew the extent of the mass of humanity he was asking for. He was gone for forty years herding sheep. I don’t know how herding sheep prepared him for something so monumental as moving millions of people from one location to another.  He was asking to do something that had never been done or attempted. Without any help whatsoever. He did not ask Pharoah for provisions to provide for this mass of humanity.


I think the forty years herding sheep taught Moses one thing. The value of isolation with God. I think he spent time learning to communicate and depend on God for all things at all times.  We take it for granted that Moses heard from God. How would Moses have known it was from God if he didn’t know God?  He did not ask Pharaoh to release the nation of Israel because of great leadership skills or intestinal fortitude or spiritual wisdom. He did it because he recognized Him who asked. And He knew that the one who asked Him was sufficient for the task. 


Even though he had spent his childhood and youth in the court of Pharaoh, he spent forty years unlearning everything he had been taught there. He had to learn about dependence on God.  His education was not about leadership logistics, mass migrations. His education was all about learning who God was and how he could be dependant on Him.

 

“Let My people go” God is still asking the same thing, only He is asking us to be Moses. To know Him well enough to be able to lead a mass migration from death to life in Christ. But for us to succeed in the call of God we must take the time to know who God is. To know that He is the provider of His people, not us.


We want to know how it all plays out before we make the first move. Moses stood before Pharaoh with nothing but a staff and the word of God. God did not show Moses the playbook.? He did not give Him turn by turn instructions. Still, Moses stood before Pharaoh and made this outlandish demand. I wonder if Moses actually expected Pharaoh to comply without resistance. Or did he assume it would be his last day on earth?  

For me, I need to know God well enough to recognize His voice when He speaks to me.

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Gray Hair

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Gray Hair

They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Psalms 92:14-15

Have we the older generation abdicated our responsibility to succeeding generations? Have we allowed ourselves to be silenced by the supposed wisdom of youth? I understand technology is far outpacing our desire to learn new mechanics. We have no interest in learning about the latest new craze. We have no interest in the new methods of communication. We would prefer if life were as it was when we where children. We are astonished as is everyone else with the rapid pace of technical achievements. We are amazed at all of the discoveries that are being made in many fields. The world is moving at such a fast pace it is difficult to keep up.

There is an old saying; the more things change, the more they stay the same. For all of the dazzling advance for all of the new modern ways. Humanity still remains the same. We have to eat, sleep, work, live and die. The rest of it, all of the excitement and accomplishments are still subservient to our basic needs. The need for purpose, meaning, and love are at the center of our existence. People are still asking why am I here what is my purpose? Is this all there is? These are not new questions. The answers have not changed throughout the history of man. We are still asking.

The wisdom of our old age points to one thing a God who loves us. Who is just, righteous and everlasting. Any other answer leads to the emptiness of nothingness and the epitome of hopelessness. Without God there is no purpose there is no meaning there is no such thing as love. Without God we are but animals existing meaningless lives with the sole purpose of eating, sleeping, dying. Without God, you will not be even a grain of sand in the eons of time that the universe will exist. The memory of you will not exist. Your existence will never be recorded anywhere. It will be as if you never lived.

Technology will never be able to answer. Where did we come from? It will never provide you with purpose; it will never fulfill your soul, it will never love you. But God of creation will and does love you. He gives meaning to your life and defines a purpose for your immediate and eternal existence.

Our value and purpose as we get older may not be in technology and science it is in teaching and leading the next generation to the everlasting loving just God of Creation.

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How Far Away?

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How Far Away?

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:44-45

 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” Whoa, did you read the verse before this?  “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” These are some very high standards.  Love your enemies. That is a mouthful not in words but in action. Christians are being persecuted killed and hated throughout the world.  Here is Jesus speaking to us today. It is almost as if this scripture was written with this date in mind. And He is telling us that we should love our enemies. Those that wish to cause us physical harm. Those that want to enslave and silence us. Those that want to banish us to a quiet room.  We are to love them.  

How far away are you from this kind of love? Personally, I don’t think I am on the same field. I can barely acknowledge that I have enemies. That someone would actually want to cause me harm because I believe in Jesus. Not only do I have to accept this reality but I have to love them as well. I don’t get to hate them. I don’t have the right to retribution. I can’t have justice? Before I love them. None of the things I thought I had a right to like revenge can I claim. I am told I must love them.  

Jesus is saying things that are counter normalcy. He is saying you must forgive your enemies. You say it does not say that. No, it doesn’t, but you must forgive before you can love.  Is it normal to forgive your enemies those that have caused you harm? Is it normal to love those that hate you? Is it normal to do these things while you are in conflict with your enemies?  We are not given preconditions of when to love. Jesus does not say when they start to love you then love them. He does not say when, if, and after. He says love your enemies.    

I have not gotten past  ” Love your enemies” so the rest of the verse is something to aspire to.  How far are you?

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Pray in The Shower

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Pray in The Shower

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) 

The first time I heard this verse I was confused. How does one “pray without ceasing?” I took it literally since it did not appear to offer any other interpretation.  For a long time, I did not know how to  pray “without ceasing.”  

I’ve come to realize it is an attitude more than an action. It means to celebrate every victory. To rejoice in the goodness of God. It means to be thankful to God for His continual mercies past, present and future. It means to pray in the shower.  

As I was taking a shower this morning, I was thinking of a friend who is going through some marital issues. Instead of lamenting over his problems I decided to pray for Him and then for others. I have developed this habit. When I am doing things that are repetitive that don’t require much brain power I’ve learned to pray. I pray for everyone usually by name I pray for the nation, pray for my family pray for my friends. I pray for my team. I pray for Israel, I pray for my president even if I don’t like him I pray for our leaders. Do I pray for all of them at once? No, I don’t but as the Lord leads I pray.  What I’ve learned is praying without ceasing is not about praying all the time but praying at every opportunity. 

Pray in the shower, pray at the stop light, pray when walking the dog, pray when driving. You may think you can’t do that. But yes you, can you are always thinking about something, think about praying. All it is, is a shift in focus. Instead of thinking about people and situations think about solutions and how to help others.  What you will quickly realize is you don’t have all the answers but you know who does.  And you know how to pray. 

Praying without ceasing brings you to rejoicing to thankfulness. It brings you to higher levels of faith. Higher levels of victory and higher levels of thankfulness.  You cannot pray unceasingly without arriving at the joy and thankfulness. Next time you’re taking a shower instead of letting your mind focus on your problems or wander aimlessly. Start to pray. Whomever you pray for needs it.

 

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Application

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Application
 
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
 
Many of us are aware of this scripture. We have likely heard sermons preach on it. We have believed it and accepted and understood it. Many of us may even have a good grasp of all of the implications of it. But how many of us are applying it?  
 
The ironic thing about this verse is that it is not a teaching verse it is an action verse. If you are not doing what it says you are missing the whole point. It says, “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” These are all personal, doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction, righteousness. Yes they can be taught but the profit to you is when it is personal. When these things have an effect on your life. God did not produce the Scriptures for the other guy He inspired it for you. We need to know the Scripture for reproof, correction, instruction, righteousness in our own lives. So that, I the individual will be complete, prepared for good work. It is intended to be personal. These two verses are meaningless if they are not personal. It is not intended for the other person it is intended for you.  
 
If you do not believe the first part, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” you can forget the rest. If you believe the first part, you must do the rest. To do the rest, you need to know what the Scriptures say. For you to receive profit in all the areas mentioned it is required that you know the word of God. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, ” but if you don’t know the word of God, you can’t profit from it. It is not enough that you know, and like this verse, you must apply it for you to benefit from it. We all want a great life, but how many of us actually do the things that will bring us a great life? This is the primary requirement to a great life, know and apply the inspired word of God to your life.  . 
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A Prophecy

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A Prophecy
 
14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 14:7
 
Christianity recognizes this verse to be the prophetic announcement of the birth of Christ.  I ask this question, Why was it even recorded? Even today if any religious, political, intellectual accomplished person made such a statement. Would anyone listen beyond laughing them into embarrassment? Everyone knows that a virgin cannot give birth to a child. It can’t be done without outside assistance. A virgin cannot become pregnant on her own. Not now or thousands of years ago. 
 
Take it in context he is a leader of Israel making a statement. The statement is beyond anything that anyone has ever seen, heard or conceived, and it is recorded. Why didn’t someone edit this out? It is an outlandish statement. We are aware that not everything Isaiah said was recorded? So why was this? Why did such an outrageous statement survive thousands of years till it came to pass? There are things our living presidents have said in the not too distant past that no one remembers. Things that matter that have affected our lives and we can’t even remember. Still, Isaiah’s prophetic statement about Jesus survived hundreds nay thousands of years.
 
Christians accept this as a one-time occurrence we will not accept or expect this will happen again.  Yet from the benefit of being the receptor of the prophecy, we now accept the occurrence as an actuality. 
 
The fact that the prophecy did not get deleted, lost or embellished is a testimony to the will and power of God. This is one of the most outlandish, improbable statements ever made, and it survived beyond its fulfillment.  Today if anyone made such a claim even after the God caused conception of Jesus we would not accept it.
 
When God intends for something to happen, it will not be forgotten, lost or unknown. 
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Before The Creation of The World

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Before The Creation of The World

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 1:4 

 

He chose you. 

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Evil To Serve

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Evil To Serve

15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

This is another one of those scriptures written long ago but could have been written for today. Joshua makes a bold and definitive proclamation, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

The beginning of this verse seems to mirror the attitude of our society. We are confronted with ideas that are not just opposed to Christianity but portray it as evil. We have people who are championing evil as good and demonizing anyone who points out the folly of their sin. There are people who want to do away with Christianity because they claim our beliefs to be sinful. The forces aligned against Christianity are determined to infiltrate and dilute the gospel of Christ. They want Christianity to become a meaningless symbol.

Some of our elected officials are determined to silence us and force us into obscure isolated closets. Some of our Christian leaders have embraced sin. They have abandoned the truth of the gospel for acceptance and inclusion. Christian Leaders have sold out to society under the veil of forgiveness and empathy. Some of these leaders don’t hold to the doctrine of eternal judgment. Under the guise of love, they have manipulated the gospel to allow for blatant sin to be called just and acceptable before God.

This is where we live this is the reality of our times. The forces aligned against are powerful, relentless and determined. With this current reality in mind, I ask you will you say as Joshua did, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

This verse is no longer an inspiring statement of leadership. It is now a statement of determination, sacrifice, and possibly loss. It will isolate you into a class of people who will be continually persecuted, demonized, humiliated and shunned. To serve the Christian God is no longer a badge of honor it is a battle of life. If you say “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” prepare yourself the battle will come to your door. Being a Christian is not a lifestyle for the weak.

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Permanence

Photo credit: Selden Vestrit / Foter / CC BY-SA

Something to think about.
 
Permanence
 
6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change, Malachi 3:6
 
God said “I do not change.”    There is peace in knowing that the Creator of life does not change. He will always be the same, he will always be dependable, and steadfast. He is honest, without prejudice, lover of man. He will always provide, forgive, sustain, and be holy.  He will always be perfect in justice and righteousness. He will always be the supreme sovereign God and creator. We never have to worry about not knowing where He stands. Because He is perfect He will always be perfect. Because He is the only constant in life we always know where to find Him. In this rock that is our God we find unending security and peace of mind.  Because he is and he will never change we have the knowledge that he will never leave us.
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The War Within

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The War Within
 
 
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
 
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)
 
The way this is written it has an ethereal feeling.  Almost like these forces are just outside our ability to fully comprehend. If we interpreted this scripture in this way, it would not be altogether wrong. Some of the forces aligned against us are indeed forces beyond our comprehension. 
 
We live daily battling forces which are real, pressing and present. When your husband leaves you destitute with a family to care for this is not an ethereal reality. When you are unjustly accused and have to battle the results of the accusation it is not otherworldly. When technology makes your product or service obsolete it is not super spiritual.  When you’re battling cancer or some other life-altering disease or sickness it is not a spiritual construct. When your child is strung out with a drug addiction, it is not an exercise in intellectual analytics. We have to confront life situations that are real and personal. We battle forces aligned against us in everyday life. 
 
The battles we fight daily are a result of the war we are engaged in. “Against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” The battles we fight are the physical reality of our spiritual war. This war involves everyone there are no civilians there are not “non-Combatants.” There are no conscientious objectors. No one who is exempt.  We have been raised to think that the battles of our lives are the result of some undefined cause. As if they happened just by happenstance. The truth is there are forces with the sole intent of causing harm, and they are successful. 
 
If you choose to battle this wars with intellect, will and force you will be in for a long protracted battle which you are going to lose. The struggle of your life and for your life is for one reason. It is for your choice. It is all about who will you choose. Will you choose God or will you choose self? If you choose God your victory is assured. If you choose self, you will lose. The choice of self leaves you with a war you must fight on your own. Against and an enemy far superior to you in every way. You are simply over matched. If you choose God your enemy and the forces with him are completely over matched. 
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