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Monday, December 28, 2009

For 2010 (Exodus 33)
In Exodus 33, there is an exchange between God and Moses.  There were several things that captured my attention and prompt this post.

1.  In vs. 1, God tells Moses to set out.  He gives this instruction to Moses by saying "You and the people you have brought out".  God is THE Encourager.  Over and over He encouraged Moses to take this people as his own.  Even though Moses didn't grow up with the Hebrews, God gave him an indentify among them.  Moses was born on the "wrong side of tracks", raised on the "right side of the tracks", and discarded by both only to be adopted by yet a third people.  God gives us the identity we need.

2.  Moses knew these people and knew he wasn't up to the task of leading without God.  In vs.12-13, Moses says "Hold on... this is Your people, God."  A good leader accepts an identity without becoming blind to his inadequacy and dependency upon God.  God conitnues to reveal His character by saying to Moses..."I will go myself and set your mind at rest".  God wants to put our minds at rest because He is there to do and see us through the hard stuff.

3. God told Moses He would send an Angel to lead them into the Promised Land (vs. 2).  He (God) did this because He didn't want to destroy the Hebrew people (vs. 3).  God calls them a "stubborn people" and tells Moses to tell them they are a "stubborn people".  God loves us too much to destroy us even if it means seperating Himself from us for a season.

4.  Moses would rather risk being destroyed by God than to be without God (vs. 16).  If God isn't leading, if God doesn't show us the way, we are better off to stay put than to try to figure it out on our own or to try to follow anyone or anything else.

5.  I want the frankness, openness, and flowing exchange with God that I see between He and Moses.  I want and seek to choose moment by moment a life that pleases or finds favor with God (vs. 13).  I want God to teach me about Himself, about His ways so that I can please Him more and so that I can do what He has called me to do in serving His people.

May 2010 be the year you seek, commit, and strive to be pleasing to God.  May you have a frank, open, flowing conversation with Him all year long.  I pray His call to you becomes clear and you find not only the people He wants you to serve but that you find God and His mercy and compassion.
7:25 am est 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Who Am I?
My devitional reading this week has me in the book of Matthew.  I recently read Matthew 11:25 and found myself challenged by one of those conondrums that Proverbs talks about.

"At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike."  The New Living Translation

Who am I?  Am I wise?  Am I clever?  Am I childlike? 

I have worked hard in my professional career and in most areas of my life to prove myself intelligent and possessing wisdom.  It has been important to me that those around me think of me as intelligent.  I think I may have missed something important, something that was hidden from me precisely because of who I wanted to be.

"These things..." in the passage above were the miracles, the very presence of God among the people He created.  Have I missed the presence of God because I want to understand, because I want to perceive myself to know.  What would I see if I chose to approach life in a more "child like" manner?  What does it mean to be "child like"?  Does it mean to be immature?

As I reflect back on my children, they seemed to take each event as it came and for what it was.  They didn't seem to value the same things I did.  At Christmas, when they were very young, they were more interested in playing with the wrapping than with the contents concealed by the wrapping.  They weren't impressed with my thoughtfulness.  They weren't pleased that they got the latest, most sought after toy.  They liked the feel, the sound of paper and cardboard.

From the very beginning our kids wanted to with us more than anything else.  They didn't want to be put down.  They didn't want someone else to "watch" them.  They wanted to be in our presence. 

They depended upon us.  When they needed something, they came to us.  If they wanted more, they asked for more.  They needed us to set boundaries, to love them unconditionally, to make sure they were provided for and guided.

Do I enjoy the simple things?  Is the "wrapping" as or more interesting to me than what is in side? (I take this to mean... can I enjoy a tree without needing to understand botany?).  Do I take the moments as they come and enjoy each for its value?  Do I depend upon God?  When I need or want, do I go to God or do I try to figure it out on my own?  Do I expect God and depend upon God to set boundaries for me?  Do I respect them when they are?  Do I allow God to love me unconditionally?  Do I just want to be with Him, in His presence?  Do I look to Him for guidance?

God's wisdom isn't man's wisdom.  What looks like immaturity and foolishness to man (depending upon God and valuing what God values) is maturity to God.  I've been playing to the wrong audience.  Rather than currying the favor of those around me, I should be seeking God's approval.

I pray that as I am disciplined by God's grace (Titus 2:11-12), I choose Him over everything else.
8:38 am est 

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