“The Lord had said to Abram, leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.” Genesis 12:1-4 NLT
Abram didn’t hesitate to obey the Lord. He left what was familiar to step into a new land that God hadn’t revealed to him yet. He had to go in faith and trust.
Unlike Abram, I can come up with a lot of excuses to stay where I am comfortable. I’m too young, I’m too old (Abram was 75!). I’m not qualified enough…the list could go on. I ask myself, ”Did I hear God right?” This is why I need to write it down in my journal and stay in His word. So when the doubt comes, I can recall His promises.
“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants. “And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev. At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canine, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner.” Genesis 12:7-10 NLT
What altars do I have built so that when I am in a season of waiting, I can look back and remember God’s faithfulness?
Dear Father, Forgive me for my forgetfulness. Thank you for your patience and grace. Help me to step into the new, even if I can’t see it all yet. I reflect on Your goodness. You go before me. I want to trust you more. And live the abundant life that you have for me. Amen.
“You must distinguigh between what is sacred and what it common, between what is ceremonially unclean and what is clean. And you must teach the Israelites all the decrees that the Lord has given them through Moses.” Leviticus 10:10&11 NLT
The Israelites were set apart to do God’s work. I think on Courtney’s post from March 26. She described Bezalel’s job as Holy Work. This has stayed with me. It has helped me to remember that there is purpose in the seemingly meaningless tasks. The laundry, the dinner, the cleaning…the things that no one sees. Than there are the hidden ugly places of my heart. I don’t always want to do the hard and holy work of letting the Holy Spirit work on these areas. When I do I am more freed up to love and serve.
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1&2, 11&12 NLT
The Lord has chosen me. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing myself to others. But, this just derails me from my purpose. Sometimes I wish I had a different story, especialy when I’m in the middle of it. And I can’t always see how God is going to use it. But, I know that he will use it for good, if I let him. If I surrender it to him.
“I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?” But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth.” Psalms 11:1-4 NLT
Dear Father, Help me to learn to trust you more. Forgive me for when my heart is far away from you. Give me fresh eyes to see your goodness. Amen.
“The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over. Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed, preserving them forever from this lying generation, even though the wicked strut about, and evil is praised throughout the land.” Psalms 12:6-8 NLT
Filed under 1 Thessalonians, Leviticus, Proverbs, Psalms, Uncategorized
Tagged as Faith, fear, God's presence, holy, hope, obedience, trust
“Then Moses told people of Israel, “The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsmen, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft. The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiders in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.” Exodus 35:30-35 NLT
There are times I doubt my calling as an artist. It is encouraging to know that the Lord chose Bezalel and others for these specific purposes. I think of when I was asked to paint during a worship service at church and I said no for years. I kept thinking, “Why would an artist, who creates while they are alone, want to stand up in front of people and paint?” I let fear stop me. But, when I finally stepped out in faith even when I was afraid, God used it to shift my perspective. To show me that it wasn’t about me. That it was about worshipping him. One Sunday I had two members of my church tell me that my painting meant something different to each of them. I was amazed to see how the Spirit was moving in their hearts and mine. I always want to remember how he took that step of obedience and mustard seed faith and multiplied it for his kingdom. So, that he gets the glory and I don’t think it’s all about me.
“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:2&25 NLT
How am I using my gifts to unify the body of Christ?
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is a one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.” Ephesians 4:1-4 NLT
Dear Father, thank you for always being with me. Help me to live a life worthy of your calling. I praise you for who you are. I pray that I would look for opportunities to serve others. Amen.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1 NLT
“Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell the disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there. Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him-but some of them doubted! Matthew 28 1-10, 16 NLT
My word for the year is Presence…intentionally seeking God’s presence, so that it overflows into the rest of my life. The presence of the Angel at the tomb was enough for the women to believe. But, some of the disciples doubted, even after seeing Jesus. I’m reading a book with my bible study called Twelve Ordinary Men, by John McArthur. He writes about how human the disciples were. He says, “That’s because they were perfectly ordinary men in every way. Not one of them was renowned for scholarship or great erudtion. They had no track record of as orators or theologians. In fact, they were outsiders as far as the religious establishment of Jesus’ day was concerned. They were not outstanding because of any natural talents or intellectual abilities. On the contrary, they were all prone to mistakes, misstatements, wrong attitudes, lapses of faith, and bitter failure.” They were just like me. How often have I worshipped and had God reveal something to me and than doubt enters my mind?
“They left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaish the prophet, ‘Go and say to this people: When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannoth hear, and their hearts cannoth understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.” Acts 28:25-27 NLT
Am I listening to the Holy Spirit? Or is my heart hardened?
Dear Father, I want to be like both Marys and run to you, lay at your feet, and worship you. Forgive me when I run to lesser things. I want to be filled with renewed joy of your resurrection power. Thank you that you are always with me. Amen.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NLT
“So Aaron and his sons did everything the Lord had commanded through Moses.” Leviticus 8:36 NLT
Moses and Aaron were obedient to God’s call on their life. They might not have always understood it, but they kept showing up.
“After that, Aaron raised his hands to the people and blessed them. Then, after presenting the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offering, he stepped down from the altar. Then Moses and Aaron went into the Tabernacle, and when they came back out, they blessed the people again, and the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole community. Fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground.” Leviticus 9:22-24 NLT
They saw the fruits of their labor. Glory was revealed to them.
Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord meant when he said, ‘I will display my holiness through those who come near me. I will display my glory before all the people.” Leviticus 10:3 NLT
How many times have I been tempted to give up before God’s plan is revealed? Or I spend too much time questioning his calling on my life, instead of walking faithfully where I am?
God found Moses where he was. He sent him back to people who once rejected him. His willingness to walk into hurt and pain, lead him and others to victory that they wouldn’t have otherwise known.
“Forty years later, in the desert near Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. As he went to take a closer look, the voice of the Lord called out to him, ‘I am God of your ancestors- the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses shook with terror and did not dare to look. Now go, for I am sending you back to Egypt.’ So God sent back the same man his people had previously rejected when they demanded, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ Through the angel who appeared to him in the burning bush, God sent Moses to be their ruler and savior. And by means of many wonders and miraculous signs, he led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and through the wilderness for forty years.” Acts 7:30-36 NLT
Dear Father, I pray that I would take time to listen to your voice and guidance. Give me faith to move forward when I don’t understand your plan. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen.