Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Faithful....No Matter What

I was reading Deuteronomy this morning, where Moses was near the end of his life and was telling this new generation of Israelites all that had transpired over the last 40 years. He told them of God's faithfulness in delivering the Israeli nation from the grip of Pharaoh and the Egyptians; he reminded them of God leading them by a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. He spoke of the manna provided each day and the water that came from a rock.

He also reminded them of the disobedience and faithlessness of that first generation of Israelites. God had promised to give them the land...all they had to do was take it. But they allowed fear and uncertainty to cloud their vision; they didn't have faith in their God to do what He said He would do. He told them of his own disobedience that would prevent him from entering the Promised Land.

As I read, I realized that Moses led these disobedient wanderers for thirty-eight years after God told him he would not allowed to enter the Promised Land. He led them after God told them they would die in the desert and not be allowed to enter the land He had promised to give them...only their descendants would enter.

And I thought..."Why would Moses continue to lead a group of people that he knew were going to die in the desert? Why would he continue to lead them when he knew he himself would not be able to see the finish line?"

"Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter His rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief."
Hebrews 3:16-19

I called a friend to verbalize my thoughts and told her, "To me, this is the ultimate example of faithfulness!" Perhaps even the definition of faithfulness.... to complete the task to which you were called, knowing that you will not be able to see the fulfillment of the promise. Moses knew he was going to lead this generation of Israelites into a pointless journey as they wandered in the desert for thirty-eight years. Why didn't he just throw up his hands and say, "Fine then, I'm done!"

My friend reminded me that he also was thinking of the next generation. Yes, this generation was faithless and sinful, but there was hope for the next. Joshua was being raised up to lead this next generation and Moses had thirty eight years to disciple him, train him, and teach him to listen and obey the Word of the Lord. It also showed the integrity of Moses that he would complete the task set before him.

Moses is included in the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11. He lived each day by faith, even when he knew the final outcome would not be accomplished by him. God did allow him to see the Promised Land.

Do I have that kind of faith? Do I care enough about the next generation to live each day walking and doing what God has called me to do, even if I may not see the finished product?

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, 
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."
Hebrews 12:1 (NKJ)

Faithfulness and Integrity...until we finish the race.

©Be Still and Know...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Go to the Rock!

"The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer;
my God, my keen and firm Strength
in Whom I will trust and take refuge,
my Shield and the Horn of my salvation,
my High Tower."
Psalm 18:2 (AMP)

Where do you run? When the mountains tremble and waves come crashing over your head, where do you run? Where can you find safety and rest? When you feel as though you can't carry one more brick, one more stick, more more little piece of straw....where do you go to find comfort and rest? 

When all you really want to do is eat an entire bag of Chocolate Riesens!!!

I have found myself in that place this week. I have had situations arise that I have had no control over and yet they weigh heavily on me. And if I had a bag of Chocolate Riesens they would be gone and I would not share!

But my mind goes back to Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He had made Jezebel very angry and she wanted him dead! That's pretty stressful. He's running for his life when he stops under a bush, sits down under it and asks God to take his life. In his weariness, he falls asleep. God sends an angel who wakes him and provides him with food and water. After eating, Elijah sleeps again. A second time, the angel of the Lord returns and wakens him and feeds him yet again. 1 Kings 19:8 says, "Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God."

I want that kind of refreshing and renewal. I need that kind of strength. And I'm pretty certain I would not get it from a bag of Riesens. So where do I run?

I go to the Rock! Dottie Rambo wrote this song years ago and I found myself singing it this morning. 

"I go to the rock of my salvation, 
I go to the stone that the builders rejected. 
I run to the mountain and the mountain stands by me. 
When the earth all around me is sinking sand, 
on Christ the Solid Rock I stand. 
When I need a shelter, 
when I need a friend, 
I go to the Rock."

The earth is shaking, the ocean waves are high, the dirt beneath your feet is shifting...where do you run? Run into the shelter of His arms, the stability of the His firm foundation; rest in Him and allow Him to feed you the Bread of Life and His living water. 

Go to the Rock!

©Be Still and Know