Thursday, June 23, 2016

Training Day

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine
country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.  By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. (Exodus 13:17-22)

Stuck is what we call it. The everyday humdrum or lack of excitement. I get up, perhaps try to find purpose in my work, return home, sleep and it seems to begin again. At times it feels like I'm in a rerun of GroundHog Day.

Now add conflict, disillusion and we invoke stress to join us in our journey. Why Lord?

What if in what seems a long and windy road the Lord is actually preparing us for the conquest?

I always question why the Lord took Israel all around the desert when it was easier to go North. Geographically.  It jars my thinking. I have a compass in my mind and North was definitely better.

Or was it?

A laborious journey, but the fruit is coming.

Why stay at this job? Why keep this raggedy car? Why keep silent when I should retaliate?

Why give?

Why stay?

Why go?

Why, why, why? 

It seems to me my way is better, Lord. Or is it?

The Word of God is incredible! It actually tells us why the people of God had to travel so long and take a road that seemed to lengthen their journey.

"If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt". (Verse 16) 

IF? This world is at war! Perhaps our hearts are like the psalmist?

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me? (Psalm 13:1-2)

Prepare me Lord. I want to obey and be ready to see the promise unfold.

Years before Moses would exit out of Egypt, Joseph told his children, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” The promise echoing through dead bones.

What is your promise? STOP and think about it now. 

As this journey unfolds, focus on the promise from God. Meditate.

"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7 

I want to remember the promises of God.

I can't allow them to be pushed so back in the recesses of my mind that I forget who and whose I am!

Born and rescued. Redeemed with a purpose. Born again to live out and walk the road less traveled.

A road compressed and narrow. Not everyone walks there. It almost seems like a single file line. Jesus is leading.

Yesterday I sat outside under a perfectly blue sky with pretty scorching temperatures. My eyes were fixed on the bright cotton-like cumulus clouds that seemed to be on a journey of their own; slightly moving in circles above my head.

I have a garden on my deck and the need for water was evident. The vegetation under the extreme sun yesterday cried out to be refreshed. Actually they needed to survive! I quickly brought out the garden hose and began to bring a heart beat back to the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, basil, snap peas and of course the lettuce. After all, I want to be satisfied with the fruit of my labor.

It got me thinking. Those same clouds later will produce rain that supply the very water they need to survive. It's a cover for shade and a hovering blessing of rain over me! 

"By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light." (Verse 21) Was this not a reminder of God's blessing? People of God, I am with you!

This is not just some ordinary day. This is the day that the Lord has made. REJOICE!

Putting our goals in front of us actually motivates us to do them. It reminds us of the promises God has made. If we are living with an eternal perspective then our goals will line up with what God has for us.

I'm moving toward the promise land! I have a promise, God's blessing and direction. It seems like it is taking long but actually I'm in training.

My God does not want me to be defeated, discouraged or default back to Egypt. This laborious journey will bring fruit!

I'm moving forward! It may seem slow, or a round-about way but victory and conquest are coming. I'm just in training right now.

This is not an ordinary day. Today is part of my training.

Small passage of Scripture with compressed packed promises in it. Read it again. 

Exodus from bondage, training for war, provision & the leading by his very Spirit. Bones of a dead man speaking of the promise.

A promise that is coming!

And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’” (Ezekiel 37:3-6)

God bless you!~Liz


 Acts 9:32-34 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas,...