Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We can Handle

“So, if you think your are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. but when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:11-12

I know everyone pick this verse, and says, “God will give you a way out.” Yes that is true, but there is so much more to what Paul is saying here. First he warns us from verse 11; “So if you think you are standing firm... be careful....” What a warning. He outlines here that temptation doesn’t happen in the darkest, dangerous, or the most depressing times in your life. It appears when it looks like you have it all going for you. After the temptation that is when the dogs come out. That is when the hunt begins, the time where you think you have it all together, then boom, your tempted to fall. But that is where the beauty of the verse begins. Now Paul outlines that God will first only give you what you can handle, and he gives you a way out. Isn’t God awesome. He knows our limits and puts a cap on the Devil, and then provides a way for us to escape temptation. We just got to take the road.

So what does this mean for me. This just makes me in awe of how much God loves us. Gives our enemies boarders. He knows that we can handle only so much. He knows. He also knows that temptation is not during the hard times, but during times of peace. Think about it, David and Bathsheba. David had a choice, walk off the roof or stay. But he chose to stay. Wow. God gives us ample chance to walk away. He protects us from the full brunt of a demonic attack. He places people in the right area. So for me, walk through the door and take the way out. Now I got to see it, take it and use it to get out of a dead bind. But also I must know that this type of temptation is not when I am at the bottom of my luck, it will be at the very top when I think I am doing well.

Lord thank you for the lesson. Help me to be on guard when things are going well. And to recognize your provisions as temptation comes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just Take It Already... but do it right

So Joshua said to the Israelites,“How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” Joshua 18:3

By now Joshua is old. He must have been leading the Israelites for like almost 40 years. And now after all of that the Israelites still haven’t distributed the land among them. But here, they finally do it. The finally decide to break it up and distribute it. They finally participate in the spoils. But it’s how they divided up the land. First they made it a point to distribute (Josh 18:3), then they appointed leaders to survey the land and describe it (18:4). They brought everything back to Joshua and he then went to the Lord and let God distribute (18:6). Good process to follow. If you examine it, you can take the situation and apply it to any problem. First you must address it, then you get an account of what was exactly the situation, and when it is all sorted, you go and pray over it and allow God to speak through to give action points. This seems to be a repetitive process that happens again and again in the Bible. Not only do you see it here, but also when the apostles needed to replace Judas. They used the same process.

Now, how can I apply this to my life. Well, the easy answer is Just do it. The hard answer is when I get my brain in the way and I begin to over analyze things and I don’t do it. So today’s application. Learn how to make a decision and just do it.

Lord help me to now take what I learned and apply it to my life today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Consecration yourself!

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5

What a talk. What a charge. Consecrate yourself! Man, if a leader told me that before I was about to enter a promise land. I would be psyched! That means you know God is going to do some something awesome. When I saw this I immediately was drawn to this verse. God was about to bust out the hammer, and bring out the bacon. He was stepping to the plate and getting ready to hit a home run. He ask His people to consecrate themselves and get ready for something great.

So after I read this I got to thinking, how come God don’t do anything like this now? I mean how come no one says to me, “consecrate yourself!”? Yes, I know that this is a special time for the Israelites and they were going over to conquer in the promise land. But I know that this just sparked expectancy in their hearts. They must have become more aware that the next day was going to be awesome. So what does this all mean for me. Why shouldn’t I expect this in my life everyday. God is a God who does things that are awesome daily. Maybe not thing that directly affect me, but I know that He works in might ways around the world. So why not expect something awesome from my God. Why no consecrate my heart for what is coming. Why not consecrate my heart so that the Lord can do amazing things among my life. Why not?!

Lord I often so forget that there are many things that happen in life. I know that you are performing miracles everyday. So Lord today and everyday help me to consecrate my heart.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Closely Connected

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.” 2 Corinthians 2:12

This is what I like about Paul. His utter reliance upon the Spirit of God. Here he states and makes and makes a case on how closely he relies upon the Spirit of God. He knows that with absolute certainty that there isn’t anything worthy of doing unless you rely upon the Spirit of God. He then goes on to make the case that he does this because of the intricate wisdom and insight you can get when you are tapped into such a power. Paul states in some of his observations: “the spirit not content to flirt around on the surface, dives into the depths of God and brings out what God planned along.” “Spiritually alive we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing...” and finally, Paul answers a question from Isaiah “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit. anyone knows what he is doing? it has been answered: Christ Knows, and we have Christ Spirit.”

Now, this is what I know, I know that there is power when you connect with God. So what does this mean. Maybe I should be connected more to the power of God rather then just try to rely upon myself. Yes I know, basic easy Christian stuff. But sometimes you forget, and you need the reminder that you need to plug in to the power of God.

Lord help me plug into you more and more deeply.

But if your heart turns...

“But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and fi you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.” Deuteronomy 30:3

God is straight forward. You really don’t need a Master’s degree to know what to do for God. He gives the commands and we have a choice, follow, or not to follow. It’s not that hard. But here we see that it is important to follow and to make sure that your heart is in it all the way. God knew that one day the descendants of the Israelites would turn away from Him. He knew that one day the kids would hear the stories and it would just be regulated to mythical belief. He knew that it would one day be that the God who did all the miracles during this time would be forgotten in the history books of their culture. Shouldn’t surprise anyone, it happens. History has proven it, that as cultures develop, somethings get left behind. Here in this chapter, there is a warning, do not get left behind.

Reading this it makes me kind of frustrated to see that I do this all the time. My heart for God turns and then I don’t obey. However, I know that this isn’t right. I know that I do not want to live a mediocre life. I want my life to be filled with purpose and with meaning. But the key is to get my heart set on God an not to let it stray from the left or the right. Following a heart that does not turn, it needs to be reinforced by obedience. That is the key, dedication of the heart and the action of obedience. One and two. I need both.

Lord often I am good with one and not the other. Sometimes I am on fire for you, but my actions do not show that. Sometimes my actions are good, but my heart behind it is sour. Lord here I see that I need both to survive, and I need both to grow daily with you.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Being Serious..

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Galatians 5:16

Living in the Spirit that is what Paul has asked the believers here go do. He outlines that by living in the Spirit you will not gratify your sinful nature. You will not focus in upon the things that are not good for you. By living in the Spirit you will do things that will gratify God. So the question is, why do we not live this type of life. Obviously this will always be a problem, the Galatians had this problem, and it does not look like we are any different. But to live in the Spirit, to really be focused in upon the Lord you can live free and your actions will be glorified to God. How do you get to this point? Love God, draw to Him, and grow closer to Him.

So now poses the question. How much do I live by the Spirit. Really if I am truly honest with myself. Not much. I can only pray that God will guide me and direct me more. This is what I truly desire to live in closeness with God that I am living in the Spirit. I know there are peaks and valleys but truly my desire is to grow close with Him.

Lord thank you for a week that is full of surprises, but most of all it was blessed because I got to seek You more and see the true understanding of growing close to You.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cleaning Time

“Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death, you must purge the evil from among you...” Deut 21:21

“You must not desecrate the land that Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.” Deut 21:22b

Kind of an interesting study in Deuteronomy, God lays down the law that reveals what to do in war and also what to do if you accidently killed someone. What is interesting to see is the theme that God is going after here. He is striving to keep the land Holy. That there is no unrighteousness or wrongdoing in the land. He stresses swift justice in order to maintain the integrity of the place they are in. What is interesting is God is showing the importance and the seriousness of righteousness.

I think the one theme here is to purge, purge the evil in my life. Purge even the accidental evil that was committed. Be swift and be quick to eradicate the bad. Kind of like a colon cleanse. It’s tough but it does take out all the stuff. I did it one time. I went through the whole house and examied all my possessions and asked, “Does this honor the Lord?” And it’s not like I had all kinds of bad stuff, but there were some things that maybe could have been sold, or given away, there were some things that had to be thrown out. Whether it was moral or not, the question was that does this honor the Lord. And after the items were gone, it was much better.

Lord maybe you are calling for a cleans.

Friday, March 6, 2009

When you go all in...

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put everything- all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44

Jesus here takes his time to point out to his disciples that on what the sacrifice this widow was making. Normally, tithing was the norm and others gave, while others gave a lot more. Everyone saw rich people and normal people putting money into the pot, but here Jesus takes his time to point out that this woman here gave it all. She went all in. Much like how Caleb and Joshua came back to report to the Israelites about the promise land that, it was conquerable, and with they had no fear of what was to come. They had total trust in the Lord that He would fulfill his promise. Here is are two examples of what it means to go all in.

Often times in my life I get caught up in my emotions. I think of times where I said things like, “YES Lord!” or “I will do anything for You.” or “God I live for You and You alone.” But really, when you look at my actions, it is poor example of what my words say. What is required of me to have be all in? It takes total trust, total obedience, and total surrender. Really in my life and maybe others, we have this commitment to God, and He does take where we are at, but how often do we have total trust, total obedience, total surrender. As I examine every aspect of my life, there are areas where I am “all in”. But really if you are not all in in some areas, you are really not all in are you. Being in Christ is a growing process, but I would think at this stage of my Christian walk I would have this down. But I don’t. Its so simple but really it is so hard.

Lord total obedience, total trust, and total surrender is what you ask, forgive me for not being that, and guide me to becoming a Christian who is all in.