Old Testament. While they wandered that desert for forty years, God provided for them. They were hungry and thirsty, and there was no doubt of it with all their complaining–God saw to it they were fed daily and given a gushing stream of water to quench their thirst. And with (Moses’s) hands held high, in faith, they won victory.
- Some gathered a lot, some only a little. 18 But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Exodus 16:17b-18a, NLT.
- Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on. Exodus 17:6b, NLT.
- 11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Exodus 17:11, NLT.
My conviction: I don’t know why this winter has felt colder than the others. It must be my age. But God has provided–a functioning wood stove insert that blows out delightful heat, enough wood to get us through the season, even lap blankets unexpectedly gifted to me by a dear friend and my dad. I think I’ve spent too much time complaining.
Old Testament. Stepping out into freedom from slavery must not have been such an easy task–a pursuing army ready to recapture or kill, obstacles ahead that seemed unnavigable, even the lean days–the hard days–where daydreams of captivity and slavery seemed easier.
New Testament. Paul’s letter to Ephesians. He’s begging and imploring–don’t go back to slavery.
17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:17-24, NLT.
My conviction: The passages in Old Testament and New Testament speak to me on every issue I face today. While Exodus reminded me of God’s provision and my complaining, Ephesians is the shoulder-grab and about-face direction to remember who I am. Not a slave to who I was. Don’t look back. Throw it off.
Put on (your) new nature.
Lord, I need that thirst quenching gush of water pouring over me: your Spirit to renew my thoughts and attitudes. My victory and salvation are through you alone. You provide for my needs in so many ways. Thank you! Your word today, a gift and gentle, honest reminder to watch where my thoughts lead me. Help me to throw the negative thoughts far, far away.
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30, NLT.