Tag Archives: God’s calling

Exodus 2-4; Luke 17; Psalm 88

Exodus 2-4. Pharaoh’s daughter knew that Moses was a Hebrew child. She allowed her maidens to seek out the Hebrew mother to nurse the child. Pharaoh’s daughter even paid the mother of Moses to care for him. Moses was then educated to be an Egyptian prince and lived a life of luxury among royalty before the moment when his eyes were open to the shameful treatment of his Hebrew brethren. Moses fled Egypt, not because God sent him away, but because he murdered an Egyptian and Pharaoh sought to kill him. Moses seemed content afterward, relieved to live among the Midianites, herding sheep and raising a family. But then the burning bush appeared.

Just when you think your life is moving along smoothly, God may call you to experience the unimaginable. Maybe even call you back to your Egypt. When you are called, do you answer, “Here am I, Lord?” Or after learning what may be required, do you plead as Moses did, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send”? (My emphasis in italics.) I, too, am faced with ‘going around the mountain’ again, re-experiencing challenges that I thought were past. I am not sure that I want to go there again.

That thought causes me to ask myself, how well am I listening to God? Will I argue as Moses did and merit God’s anger? For like a parent instructing an unruly child or like a boss chastising an uninspired employee, God had to command Moses – “Now you shall speak; I will teach you what you shall do; And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.” (My emphasis in italics.) Whew! God could not be clearer than that. And like Moses, I would have shut my mouth at that point and did what I was told. But do I believe that God is with me now, and am I ready to do His bidding?

Luke 17. Jesus loves me. Many Scriptures describe that unfathomable love. However, Jesus also instructed His disciples through parables and analysis of events in their journeys, often employing negatives or consequences of wrong thinking. For example, Jesus warned that judgment awaited false teachers and those who harbor unforgiveness. He debunked discrimination by healing other people hated by the Jews. He tied faith and duty to humility, refuting any expectation for reward and honor. Jesus also warned that the coming of the Son of Man will be a stark reality of judgment.

If I take on these tasks that God has called me to complete, am I ready to have my biases and opinions challenged? Christ will have no other way than to follow Him precisely as He commands. Can I do so wholeheartedly? Thankfully, I am assured that I am not alone in this. I have the words of Christ, His compassion and understanding, and His Holy Spirit guiding me into all truth. He will keep me focused and clear out the old man thoughts and behaviors. Christ will create a clean heart in me.

Psalm 88. If the Old and New Testament Scriptures in today’s reading end with Heman’s song in Psalm 88, I might faulter in my hope that all will be well with my soul. Let’s say that I genuinely want to follow God’s plan even if the plan takes me back to my Egypt. I am not so foolish to think that the road will be smooth or that I will not be brought through challenging experiences. ‘This isn’t my first rodeo,’ as my Texas buddies would say. Yet, Heman’s laments point out that the darkness can grow so deep as to nearly snuff out the light. He even asks God, “Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?”

What I know about this depth of despair is the same as Heman proclaims. But my hope is not shattered by the circumstances of past, present, or future tragedy. Rather, I confess my faith in God’s saving goodness. I cry out with Heman, “O Lord, God of my salvation…”

I recently watched a movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ. Most of the movie was dark and disparaging. The Christians were being fed to the lions in Nero’s “circus.” Paul was in prison, often beaten or whipped. Some Christians were led into taking revenge, killing Roamn soldiers. Even the muted lighting during most of the movie indicated despair, hiding, and fearfulness. Yet, the Apostle Paul interjects truths into that darkness, such as, “If Christ had not risen from the dead, then our preaching is useless, and so is our faith.” My favorite line from the movie spoken by Paul is this: “It is Christ himself that looks upon you and shatters your defenses and, in that moment, you will understand that you are completely known by God…and you are completely loved. I will pray that moment comes to you.”

Prayer. Whatever works created beforehand that I shall walk through, I pray to be completely known by You, my God. Your love, Your presence, and Your promises are all that matters. That is my declaration of trust and faith in knowing Your goodness. Calm my soul, give me the courage to continue this journey with You here on earth. I wait for You, my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.

jansuwilkinson

Advertisement

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

1 Chron.9,10; Heb.12; Amos 6; Luke 1:39-80

“A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting , Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:39-45 NLT

I think on Mary and Elizabeth’s friendship. Mary couldn’t wait to tell Elizabeth her news. Mary knew she was a friend who would encourage her and spur her on in her faith. There was no sign of jealously. I can see a deep trust between them. Is this why she hurried to see her? Who are the friends that I can’t wait to tell what God is doing in my life? Or ask to walk with me during hard times?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT

Who am I running my race with? It’s so easy to isolate myself. To forget that God has called me to be in community with others. Who am I encouraging and building up?

“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 NLT

Dear Father, help me to be like Mary and not hesitate when you call me. Give me strength and courage. Thank you for the friends that you have given me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Chronicles, Amos, Hebrews, Luke

Numbers 11, Psalm 48, Isaiah 1, & Hebrews 9

At least twice this week I have turned my frustrations upward and cried out to God, perhaps like Moses, when he said, “Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me?” (Numbers 11:11).   I feel responsible for others, and they become dependent on me either to solve their problems or to be a shoulder to cry on.  Love songs espouse this sentiment, “Lean on me when you’re not strong,” and “I’ll be there, just call on me.”  Well, I can say that after years of living out this calling, I’ve come close to burnout more than once. What happens seems like a mystery to me until I consider how my heart can turn away from being called to serve. Distraction pulls me in so many directions that serving God becomes just one more thing that isn’t working.  My life begins to look like the child’s toy, paddle ball – the red, rubber ball attached by an elastic band. I’m bopping in one direction and then another, trying to stay attached to the paddle, but swinging wildly away until finally I fling right off the end of the stretched band.

How do I get so far out before I know what is happening?  Do I crave chaos, or what?! I have a friend who is well on her way to becoming a minimalist, and the virtues of living simply cause my soul to salivate.  Just like how she cleans out those closets, donates bags of old clothes, books, and furnishings, and thoughtfully considers what is truly a need versus a want or nostalgic nuisance, I long to rid myself of the unnecessary baggage of pleasing people.  Running with empty buckets toward others to put out their false alarm fires, or sinking into the sucking mud of my distorted memories – those good, old days.  All this clutter of irrational thoughts and behaviors distract me from serving God.

How interesting that God calls to me today in Hebrews 9:14, “…how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”  And again, in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

I know my calling is to help others carry the burdens they have fallen victim to.  God ‘s calling is not a mystery.  He clearly says in Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” 

To do this, there can be no more bouncing around and flying into who knows where.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized