Monday, August 27, 2012

Trusting God before, in and after the storm..

It seems to me that in the last few weeks I have been discovering lil gems tucked away in very familiar passages of scripture.  My reading this morning led me to Genesis 8-9 (I had read chapter 7 last week-this is the story of Noah and the Ark).  I always remember that God called Noah to build an ark and that the animals came in by twosies twosies... and that it was made out of gopher barkie barkie, and that it rained for 40 daysies daysies... (well thats how the song goes at least). But a major part that I had failed to see was the trust Noah had for God throughout the whole process of before, during and after the storm.  First of all Noah built a huge boat on dry ground... that is trusting God that He prepares us for things that are we do not see coming.  He brings all sorts of animals (actually more than just two of every animal, he brought just two male and female of the unclean animals and then 7 pairs of clean animals and birds)  God tells them that in 7 days He will bring a flood, so He then instructs them to enter the boat.  The flood waters come and for 40 days the earth is flooded.  (40 days is a long time for it to rain.. especially if you live in the desert like I do!).  So Noah trusted that God had prepared him for these 40 days and trusted God through the 40 days.  And then the flood waters ceased and they unloaded the ark.....wait.... thats not how it happened at all!!  After the 40 days of flood waters then it was another 150 days before the ark ever came to rest on dry ground, it was then another 2 and half months before they were able to see peaks of other mountains, then another 40 days passed and Noah opened a window (it was probably getting stinky) and sent out a raven (yep it was a raven first then the dove), next the dove was sent out and found no place to rest.  He waited a week and sent the dove again this time it returned with an olive branch, waited one more week sent the dove again and it never returned.  All added up it was about 10 and a half months (that's what the NLT says) from when the flood began to when they were able to exit the boat.  The whole 10 and a half months part never really occurred to me. Many of us encounter storms in our lives of all sizes and lengths.  What we must remember is that God works in us to best prepare us before the storm hits.  This takes trust for us to listen to God's guidance because many times we never see the storms coming.  Next in the midst of the storm we are called to trust in God and the provisions He has blessed us with and the leadership He provides us during the storm.  Now the final part is the hardest.  Many time once the storm has passed we want there to be no after effects of the storm.  The reality is that there will be effects of the storms long after the storm has gone. It is in this time it is most crucial for us to remember God's promises to us as well as look back on what God has delivered us from.  So wherever you find yourself this week whether it be in a season of no storms, in the midst of one or dealing with the after effects I pray that we will cling to God and trust in His provision and guidance in our lives!!  

trusting Him,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Daily Bread..

This morning a devotion I read was on Exodus 16 where God begins the daily provision of quail and mana for the Israelites as they began their journey into the wilderness.  A few things really stuck out to me in it so I figured I would break my year or so of silence in the blogging world and share what God pressed on my heart this morning.  I hope to be able to write weekly blogs on what God is teaching me so check back in again soon and maybe I will have more thoughts up.. anyhow now to what I learned this morning.

So God tells Moses that he will provide meat in the evenings and bread in the mornings. God also commanded the people to only gather enough mana for that very day, except for on the 6th day when they were allowed to gather enough for that day and the Sabbath as well.  They were told not to keep any over for the next day but some of the people kept some for the next day and it grew worms in it and stank.  (thats how the ESV puts it!)  It hit me this morning how much this applies to me and how much I need to live according to the commands God gave the Israelites.  There are about three different things that I see that we can take from this story.  (I know I surprised many of you by having three points, haha!!)

First, the people of Israel cried out to God because they needed provision that they couldn't get on their own.  Their need was mostly a physical need and God provided for that, but at the same time their physical need coincided with their spiritual need of learning to trust God for their provision.  In the same way each of us are in need on a daily basis for the bread of life given to us by God for the health of our spiritual lives.  God does provide that sustenance through His Word (the Bible) and through godly men and women who speak into our lives.  Now if you remember when Jesus taught His disciples to pray there was a key statement about daily bread.  Luke 11:3 says "Give us each day our daily bread.".  The profoundness of this verse really hit me this morning.  It could easily be traced back to the Israelites daily bread or mana that God provided for them daily.  God desires for us daily to seek out and gather the daily bread He has provided for us.  This is something that I haven't always done great at.. many mornings I am so rushed to get out the door (because I choose to sleep too long) that I don't take the time to start my day off right and take in what God has provided for me!  Which brings me to the second point!

Second, the Israelites had to gather the mana before the sun melted it away.  I am not sure if this is the correct take away but I assume this would mean that God's provision was there for the taking but the people had to take initiative to gather it before it went away.  This is much different than our very entitled world we live in where we think we should not only be provided for but also have what is provided for us served to us on a silver platter.  Going back to me choosing some more sleep instead of a time of devotion in the morning.  I have learned that if I don't take the time each morning when I wake up that even if I do read take some time later in the day I have missed what God desires for me in the morning and that my soul begins on a path to starvation.  It is vitally important to begin each morning by gathering the provision that God has for me that day.  God also provided quail to the Israelites at night so there was also provision there as well but once again they had to take initiative to gather what the Lord had provided.

Which takes us to the last and final point.  They were commanded to only gather enough for that day and to not keep any of it for the next day (except for on the 6th day where they were commanded to gather enough for two days).  As I mentioned earlier some went ahead and kept food for the next day and guess what!  It spoiled and grew worms and stunk!  So what do we take away from this?  I think its a simple but profound truth.  We can't live today off of yesterday's provision.  Another assumption that might not be right but I will go with it anyhow.. yesterday's provision were good for yesterday but there is a good chance that its gonna stink today and might possibly have worms in it.  This is a reminder to me that God is my daily provision!  Not my once week on Sunday or once a month or once a year provision.  I must seek out His provision for my life on a daily basis clinging and relying on Him.

So the take away, seek God daily for the bread of life that He desires to give you;  take initiative and time to take in that daily bread; and finally don't try and live your life on yesterday's provision because as good as it might have been yesterday it doesn't provide the sustenance that you need for today!

hungering for His daily bread,