Rough Road Ahead

Exodus 6_6Moses does exactly what God directs him to do. Yet no one supports his actions. Nothing confirms he did the right thing.

Instead of setting Israel free, Pharaoh increases his demands and brutal treatment of God’s people. Instead of receiving the support and encouragement of a grateful people, the Israelites refuse to listen to Moses. 

If Moses measured his worth or was motivated by the “likes” on his facebook page, he was finished.

Instead, God emphasizes who He is to Moses.

This is who I am, this is what I will do.

When things don’t go the way you think they should, go back to God, go back to what He says He will do.

When God calls, and you follow, don’t let the rough road discourage you.

 

The Bigger Picture

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We sometimes get so caught up in the tiniest details we miss what’s important.

We focus on the little things because they are easy to deal with and because they distract us from the difficult choices we must make and actions we must take.

And so, we miss seeing who God is and how He is working.

Take some time today to step back and see the bigger picture.

Blessing Out Of Hardships

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In spite of adverse, even hostile circumstances, Joseph never gave in to despair or gave up.

He didn’t reject God through the hardships and unfairness, but rather, leaned into God, trusting him more.

May we learn from Joseph’s life. May we experience Joseph’s blessing.

“May the God of your father help you;
    may the Almighty bless you…
May my fatherly blessings on you
    surpass the blessings of my ancestors…
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
    who is a prince among his brothers.”

(Genesis 49:25-26, NLT)

The Comparison Trap

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I wonder what it was like for Ithamar. Did he have creative skills? Or was his talent primarily in keeping track of stuff?

Ithamar could have gotten upset he didn’t have the creative (and celebrated) artisan skills Bezalel had, and/or, he couldn’t use them (since he was “stuck” recording inventory).

We each have talents given for the work of God. Some adored. Others, much less so. God is honored in either case.

Use yours for His glory today.

End Game

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That God would use something worse to solve a bad situation. That God would allow those who are evil and worship false gods to prevail.

God’s response? Don’t look at the present only. God is working the end game. See it, write it down, share it to encourage others, and wait for it.

Those who are evil will continue pursuing and advancing their plans, but in the end, the tide will be turned. In the end, those who oppose God will work in vain to accomplish their agenda.

Keep focused on who God is. He has a good and righteous end He is working to.

Until then, let us live faithfully to God in the present, no matter how bad it looks.

Who’s Listening?

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Destruction, violence, injustice, and unrighteousness abounds in the land and God seems to do nothing, does not answer prayer.

God’s response? He is doing something, just not what Habakkuk expects.

God is working, even when it seems like He is not.

In our personal lives and in our wider community, God doesn’t always work in the way we expect. In fact, He may very well offend us in the way He works, how He works, and who He works through.

We may not always understand. And it’s okay to let God know that. But what might we discover if we take time to listen?

“I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says  and how he will answer my complaint.” (Habakkuk 2:1, NLT)

Take time to listen today.

 

Thriving In Adversity

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In this world and in this life we will not be treated fairly. The Israelites did nothing wrong and for reasons of their own, the Egyptians made it a point to try and make life difficult, to wear them down, to break them.

Yet in spite of being actively oppressed, the Israelites multiplied and spread.

Adversity doesn’t need to end in defeat. It can, in fact, be the starting point of increase and strength.  

Father, thank you that I can overcome and even thrive in the midst of adversity because of you. Help me today, to rest and rely on you.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NLT).

 

Taking Account

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Do we recognize the amazing things God does in our lives? Or does the busyness of life and the endless details and “to-do’s” obscure them?

In the midst of accounting for the spoils and those who went into battle, the military leaders discovered not one person died in battle.

Don’t get lost in the details. Take time daily to step back and appreciate how God has worked in the bigger picture and give Him thanks.

When God Is Silent

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Jesus gave no reply to the woman’s request. Yet silence didn’t stop her. It didn’t offend her. It didn’t make her mad.

 

She recognized Jesus. He is so much greater. He owes her nothing, not even a reply. So she worships.

 

Because Jesus IS greater. And because He is great she prays, she asks, she makes her request.

 

Jesus I know you are great. You don’t owe me anything, even an answer, but because you are so great and so good, I’m coming to you, even in the silence, even when it seems I’m being ignored. Because the truth is, You ARE great.