Tag Archives: reassurance

Numbers 5, 6; Mark 13:1-20

God spoke this to Moses. God spoke that to Moses. God spoke to Moses.

It struck me that in much of the early Old Testament and especially in my reading today that God only spoke to Moses. Thinking back on previous readings, I realize that God did try to speak to the people of Israel after He brought them out of Egypt. They were afraid for their lives and hardened their hearts against hearing the voice of God. The Israelites begged Moses to be the one that listened. At this point, even the priests were not hearing the voice of God as He had to tell Moses, to tell Aaron and his sons how to bless the people.

That is not how God wants it. He wants us to be able to hear His voice. He wants to walk with us and talk with us in the cool of the day, the way He was able to with Adam before the fall. That is why He sent His Son to earth to restore our relationship to Him through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Even before He died and rose from the dead. Jesus was comforting His disciples and sharing with them that Holy Spirit would be here, speaking to us, giving us the words we need to say under any circumstance, especially when we are put on trial on account of our relationship with Christ.

…don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart—the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you. Mark 13:11 (MSG)

I have experienced this help from Holy Spirit countless times as a missionary in India. I feel blessed that to date I have not been in a position where my freedom or my life has been threatened as a result of being a Christian. For the most part, I live in an area that is relatively receptive of Jesus and His sacrifice for us. But I still must rely on hearing God’s voice to be able to share, witness, and minister to the people in the area where I live.

When I first came to India, the pastor I worked with, the man who eventually became my husband, would frequently surprise me and have me preach ‘off cuff’ in the villages. It was the hardest thing for me as I didn’t really feel studied enough to do it, I didn’t feel prepared. I was fearful that I would make a mistake or not remember to tell a significant part of a Bible story or, worse yet, not be relevant to the people.

I was put in a position where I had to trust that Holy Spirit would help me and tell me what I need to say, what the people needed to hear. Over and over, as I trusted more and more, I heard God’s voice, His prompts: say this, say that, tell them this, tell them that. And repeatedly, everything that I felt I was hearing from God would be confirmed when villager after villager would come to us and share through my husband that they had received the answer to what they had been struggling with that day. The people were encouraged because they felt God’s love for them; they felt like Jesus really cared about what they were going through.

It is a reassurance to me that God has always been there for me, is there for me now, and will always be there for me. He will never leave me or forsake me, in good times or in bad. He won’t leave me alone with nothing to say when I am being put on trial, literally or figuratively, for my belief in Him. If my heart stays soft before Him and my ears are always open to hear His voice, He will always speak with me and give me the words I need in every situation.

Thank you, Yesappa, for speaking with me, for blessing me and keeping me. Thank you for shining your face on me and being gracious, even when I don’t deserve it. Thank you for lifting your countenance upon me and thank you for giving me peace. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament

Jeremiah 1-3

Scripture

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)

“Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:6-8 (NIV)

The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1:12 (NIV)

Observation

Jeremiah captured my attention before I even read a word he penned. Reading about him in the background information, I found I liked him for his self-analysis and self-criticism. I liked how he’d lay bare the deep struggles of his inmost being. I even liked that he was considered the “weeping prophet.” And that his name toggled between definitions like “The Lord exalts” and “The Lord throws.” This was a man God would use in a powerful way–and Jeremiah was aware of the big job ahead of him.

Application

So many verses jumped out at me, I grabbed one after another, totally unable to settle on just one. And I could have kept going until my hands were full. I fluctuated between awe, reassurance and fear of the Lord, line by line.

Awe: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you …”

Reassurance: “I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”

Fear of the Lord, the powerful language of a father rebuking.

How do I apply these words to a prophet of nearly 3,000 years ago? I am not faced with the task Jeremiah had. But still, these words are applicable to all: God knows us–even before we were born. He will equip us for whatever job he has–he’s done it all throughout history. And he is in control: watching to see that his word is fulfilled.

A soothing salve to my sometimes anxious heart.

Prayer

Father, your word is living. These words written so long ago, during a time so very vastly different from today, still stir hearts. You convict us, encourage us, admonish us, guide us, comfort us and warn us page after page. This is amazing to me. Thank you for these words so I can know better who you are and what you can do. Amen.

Courtney

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Filed under Jeremiah, Old Testament