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Archive for the tag “Israel”

They will be safe

they will be safe

The imagery of safety is a strong one for me – one of the characteristics of God is that He is omnipotent.  I think that there is a wall of fire protecting me and my family when I allow Him to be my glory.

What I still can’t quite grasp is that this is not as important to most Christians as one might think.  In fact, I know that if we were living in an opulent lifestyle and God called us out to go to a place a little bit more rustic and a little bit more in the open plain, we would reject the call.  Maybe I should go one step further.  I am willing to suggest that even if God warned us that the opulent lifestyle was going to end and that destruction was coming to the region or our immediate world, we would still not want to go.

How do I know this.  Just take a look at Lot’s family – I mean the angel pretty much had to drag that family out of Sodom.  Look at the children of Israel after 70 years in Babylon.  They did not want to go back to Israel even when God warned them the Persians were coming to destroy Babylon.  Would you believe that 90% of the people of Israel decided to stay and perished in captivity.

Just the fact that I would know that I am no longer under the protection of the Almighty would make me want to go wherever He is calling me.  He will always be my safe haven, my shelter, and my refuge.  From that perspective I can lead with confidence.

Everyone is accountable to someone

I have been in so many different situations where I have seen those placed in position of authority immediately determine that they are the authority and need not be accountable to anyone else.

Regretfully, power changes people’s lives and yet here I am advocating that we become the leaders in our lives.

The difference is quite elementary – one is we go looking for the leadership and the anointing of honour and the other, God calls us into the position of leadership and seeks to anoint us with the ability

If we take the approach I am advocating – accepting the call of God on our lives to lead, then we acknowledge that favour and honour with the desire to obey the Lord, by that, I mean we should take care to observe and do, particularly and punctually, what should be glory to Him.

In the end, rests on me to receive my commission as coming from God, and to proceed at once to fulfill it.  God be merciful and give me grace if I think I can change this agreement to meet my own terms or determine my own direction and fulfill my own desires – which I will surely be tempted to do.

Funny thing is that most of the time God will leave me to act in most of the time at my own discretion as an independent leader. That is why we need to be careful with establishing a character of a follower of Jesus, for when the call comes for us to do something maybe unusual or unorthodox, we have to take that foundation of yielding to God each and every day into this new task too.

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The Lord gives us rest

I think that sometimes life seems so stressed out, so fatiguing, so much like traveling in the wilderness.

But one thing I know is that we will enter into a place of peace, rest and safety and have to trust God to bring us to that place in due time.

And in between these two times, I also know that God can take of anything else that can come up against us. He can be the cut off, He can take our place and the war is not we have to fight – He will fight it.

In due season all His promises will be accomplished; then will his people acknowledge that the Lord has exceeded their largest expectations, and made them more than conquerors, and brought them to their desired rest.

 

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Othniel

Sometimes I run across rather obscure individuals in the Bible that are recorded there because I think they are examples for what a leader looks like.

Othniel is one of those individuals that you see capturing an entire town for the love of a woman.  That makes him extra special – and that woman is a rather astute leader herself and she knows what they need as a family to survive and goes after it.

For some time we never hear about him again – it was a pure and simple love story.

Over time, the people fall away from God – there is a downward spiral of sin and fall into enemy hands.  The pattern of sin, sorrow, repentance and restoration – the cycle of sin – begins with the very first leader to restore the people back into a relationship with God.  That leader, who became a judge over Israel, was Othniel.

All this time he kept faithful to his relationship with God.  When everyone else was doing their thing, worshiping whatever idol seemed to be the flavour of the month, Othniel kept his relationship with God intact and followed only Him.

What an incredible encouragement to me!  When everyone was going one way – away from God – Othniel kept going towards God, even though that was not so popular a thing to do.  That is what made him who he was – a decision every morning that he would follow God – no matter what came against him.

At the end of the day, when people start waking up and realizing that they have strayed so far that they are totally outside of God’s grace, they look for someone to lead them back.  It is a hard road, requiring someone who knows the voice of the shepherd.

It helps when God empowers us for the job with His Holy Spirit, something we should be asking for each day too for we do not know the day that we will be called upon to lead.  The sure sign of God’s leading is that with Him comes peace.  In Othniel’s case – peace for 40 years.

That surely is a great story of someone who said they would commit to following God, no matter, and place their lives under the stewardship of God and lead others from that relationship.

 

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Rebellion

It happens to leaders, it happens to followers – when things look bad, like there is no other way out, the desire to go against the way we are being called to go happens.

This is not just about doing your own thing, or being the leader who is following a different drummer – this is a change in position and a change in direction that you have implemented to go against the authority that was in place for the first time.

I think rebellion is one of those things that happens when fear enters the room.  It’s like there is no logic left in the room.  What we do not know is the element that we are fearing is most likely nothing more than a shadow – albeit there is probably a scorching sun that comes with that shadow.

Have you ever noticed that things are going well, you are moving ahead and then full stop – have to deal with a rebellious person or groups of persons who have decided that they are doing something more important – the frustration of wasted time…so when we think of rebelling, we have to remember that rebelling is a stoppage in time – it is a no win situation – nothing moves ahead, most like two steps back, one step forward.

Then there is the loss of favour.  Whatever favour you did have, you have the potential of losing it – favour that could have helped you down the road when it was our time to lead or our time to follow.

Sometimes the strength of other people is what causes us to fear and that is many times where the seed of rebellion comes from.  But if God be with us, who can come against us?  However, if the Lord is not with you – the natural outcome of sin is rebellion and that rebellion if left unchecked will pass from our relationships and will ultimately be a rebellion against God.

I have seen this happen in my fund-raising world so much.  People who say that they trust God to bring in the money for the cause that God has called them too, but when the rubber meets the road, they rebel against God because they do not see the funds coming in and they practice bribery, coercion, and manipulation to make things happen.

As Wesley use to say – “nothing can ruin sinners but their own rebellion. If God leaves them, ’tis because they drive him from them, and they die, because they will die.”

So I say no to throwing away the mercies of God.  I am assured that the land that God is bringing me too is good land.   The difficulties I face on the way there or once I arrive are nothing but shadows and make me into a better follower of Jesus Christ.   If it looks like I am coming up against a walled city while I am living in a tent, no worries – God will intervene.  In a sudden turn of His hand, my tent will be fortified and the walled city will come tumbling down.   While I have the presence of God with me, I do not need to fear the most powerful force against me. I will expose myself to God because there I am sure to be taken under His special protection.

 

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Triumph

We can be what God has called us to be because of a holy song that we sing inside our hearts and deep within our souls when we mention the name of Jesus, sense His presence, honour God, exalt His name and celebrate His praise, and His only.

That sense of triumph, and triumphing itself comes when we acknowledge that holiness is ascribed to the Lord in every part of it.

How happy we are, the people whose God is the Lord.

We have work to do, temptations to grapple with and afflictions to bear.  We are weak in ourselves; but His grace is our strength.

We found ourselves often in sorrow, but in Him we have comfort; He is our song.  Sin and death and hell threaten us – but He is and will be our salvation.

The Lord is a God of almighty power, and a warning to those that strive with their Maker! He is a God of matchless perfection; He is glorious in holiness; His holiness is His glory. His holiness appears in the hatred of sin, and His wrath against obstinate sinners. It appears in His faithfulness to His own promise.  What is a matter of praise to those that follow Christ is of dread to those that reject Him.

He is doing wonders, things out of the common course of nature; wondrous to those in whose favour they are worked through, who are so unworthy, that they had no reason to expect them. There were wonders of power and wonders of grace; in both, God is to be humbly adored. Matthew Henry

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purposefully

Life is not done accidentally.

God has designed us for a purpose and everything within us rejects the idea that life is meaningless.

Our hands are made to understand what needs to be done.

We can follow the flow, do the normal, be the average individual, decide not to rock the boat, be plain – or – be conscious of our calling, be who we should be or would be and know the obvious before you, but under divine impulse and a spirit of prophecy within us, discern what needs to be done.

What we find is that the Holy Spirit becomes the director of our actions.

Therefore there is power in our prayers and in our blessings and God hears them both.  They are both actions of faith placed in God to do what we are asking.

For those of us who walk in the purpose of God, we enjoy the favour of God, it is enough.

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