Leb Blog

Monday, July 31, 2017

Do as I say, not as I do

Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. (Deuteronomy 1:39)

Do as I say, not as I do. Familiar?

Wow, I hope I never used that on my son.

A familiar saying that denotes the speaker as already guilty, wouldn’t you say?

If I am doing things well than, by all means follow me as I follow Christ. But, if I am in error, Lord have mercy – DON’T FOLLOW ME!

In the Book of Numbers the Bible unfolds this dance of disobedient children; children delivered by the very hand of God out of slavery.

It’s a dance that exhibits the mercy of God to a generation whose parents grumbled over and over again, to the God who spoke with Moses face to face.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness.  For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.” (Numbers 14:26-38)

Okay.

Here we see that after much complaining the Lord did exactly what the children testified.

In the desert, we will die.

My intrigue has been in the complaining. Not only are they grumbling, they just saw miracles that no one had ever seen before. They are the ones God delivered with a mighty hand and outstretched arm.

What fascinates me is the cry of the children, the younger generation.

If indeed they were young when they traveled into the desert, a generation that would ultimately grow up and see the promise land, where did their complaining come from?

"Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” (Numbers 20:4-5)

This is the younger generation speaking!

Could it be they learned this behavior and language from their grumbling parents? Could this generation really remember the figs, grapevines and pomegranates? Maybe some did or maybe they just remembered their parents language.

What kind of conversation do we have around our children? How do we speak around co-workers and family members who specifically don’t know the redeeming life that Jesus offers?

Do as I say, not as I do?

The Lord indeed exhibited his mercy with these second generation grumblers.

“Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin." (Deuteronomy 24:16 )

Complaining is a form of disobedient. I's a place of dissatisfaction!  

What we are say is, God is not enough.

It is by the mercy and grace of God that these people even entered the Promise Land!

What kind of complaining, dissatisfied language are we passing down to others? 

Are we missing the promise land?

Should others not hear the testimony of God’s blessing upon our lives instead?

God has been very good to us!

Unfortunately, if we are not careful our speech is more like, “the grass is greener on the other side.” We justify our grumpy attitudes and can very well misdirect the “hearer” as our hands are stamped "guilty"!

Behaviors are learned.

We are silent teachers to those around us.

We are instruments that lead people either to obedience or disobedience.
We introduce them to the Lord or cheer them into their path of destruction.

What’s on our tongue?

"So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.” (Numbers 14:38)

Let our countenance project joy, mercy and the grace of God.
May our tongues testify of God’s goodness as we see it and as we wait for visions and promises to unfold.

No weapon formed against us will prosper except our own destructive heart and tongue.

Ouch.

Maybe reason the grass is greener is because  the property owner blessed the Lord!

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What's in a Name?

"But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name
from 
being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites." 
(Ezekiel 20:9)

Who cares what other people think?

We’ve all heard this expression, specifically from our parents. Growing up we are sent to school and we can all recall the voice, “who cares what others think, be yourself.”

Our parents were trying to cultivate a sense of well being. They wanted us to flourish and thrive in this new environment. The gifts planted deep inside, well they wanted them to grow. 
We were discovering who and whose's we were.

Some of us even heard, “don’t forget, you are a Rodrigues” or add your family’ name. 
It defines you; it is your inheritance.

There were certain qualities that our parents spent years trying to impress on us. How to love ourselves, respect others and if you grew up in a Christian home, how to honor the Lord.

Your name is often the first thing people know about you.

Shakespeare’s Montague and Capulet. Need I say more?

Most importantly, we were not to come home laced with the influence of the world or “the bad crowd”. “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15;33)

If I left home with courteous language, I best not come home with a filthy tongue!

We must stay alert when entering new places lest we confirm to their ways.

Here we are on the Babylonian front where a priest in exile (Ezekiel)  is given prophetic visions for Israel.

The Lord warns his people against idolatry. 

Don't look like the world.

God’s people are starting to look like and imitate cultures around them. 

Don’t look like your captive, don’t indulge in their behaviors and remember who you are!

“You are mine, and “I am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5)

“He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood.” (Ezekiel 8:3)

He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’” (Ezekiel 8:12)

“He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here?” (Ezekiel 8:17a)

The Lord’s Name is Vital!

Don’t forget you are Mine!

I guide you in paths of righteousness for my Name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)

We cry out for God’s mercy when we have sinned; “for your Name’s sake.” (Jeremiah 14:7)

In the Lord’s righteous anger he could have destroyed all his people. 

But for his Name's sake.....
God is always trying to express his Love and his desire for fellowship with us. He has guidelines to keep our relationship pure and safe. He is aware of the lurking dangers and his warning is for our safety.

“But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites.” (Ezekiel 20:9)

You’ve engaged in areas that I warned you about. You have turned your back on Me.

You have bowed to sinful idols and claimed they are your helper. You look just like the world that hates Me.

But for his Name's sake.......

You are Mine!

Writing written long ago still speak to us today if we let them.  The Written World of God!

We still leave home and return looking, smelling and even acting like the world.

Don’t forget your name.
Remember you are mine. I have purchased and ransomed you.

Even until now, you have forsaken my ways. 
Return to me

“ I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7)

“But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out” (Ezekiel 20:14)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ( 1 Peter 5:8)

Those who hear we belong to Him, will persecute us. “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

“ Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.” (Ezekiel 20:12)

“Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” (Exodus 31:13)

Jehovah Mekoddishkem “the Lord who sanctifies you.”

I want you to flourish and thrive.

“There were certain qualities that our parents spent years trying to impress on us. How to love ourselves, respect others and if you grew up in a Christian home, how to honor the Lord.” ~Liz

Honor Him.  He has given us his Name.  On the Cross he purchased us with his blood.  

"My beloved is mine, and I am his."  (Song of Solomon 2:16)

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, July 14, 2017

What's on you?

Exodus 14:22

Have you ever been standing next to someone and you can tell they have been by a fire?

Roasting marshmallows is fun but if you just got your hair done, brace yourself, you will have to do it again.  The smell of the burning wood lingers close and ultimately those around you can identity that you were by the pit.

You clothes smell, and even the ashes that have landed now reside in your hair.

You were close to the fire but it did not consume you.  Actually you enjoyed the soft, warm chocolate covered graham treat.

Life leaves residue that others can see.

What’s on you?

Life is a road of ups and downs.  
Often the very place that was a blessing can become hardship.

We can learn from the Israelites as the story of deliverance unfolds.

The LORD is making a way for them from bondage and oppression.

Troubles cause us to either retreat and sulk or to persevere and move ahead.

The truth is that in this world we will have trouble! (John 16:33)

I recently got a visual of God’s people crossing the Red sea. 

Remember they had been suffering for a long time in a place that once was a blessing.

It’s time to move!

As Moses steps into the topography of Egypt, there is only one message, “let my people go”. 
(Exodus 5:1)

The Lord does hear us! It may seem like he is taking long like fireworks on the 4th of July. 
But, El Shaddai, God Almighty who supplies and satisfies is my Deliverer!  He is the All-Sufficient One.  

He makes a way when my way of escape has been exhausted.

So, the fascinating picture for me is imagining the multitudes crossing over as the waters part.  
The Lord leads them through a route less common because his ways are higher than ours. 
(Isaiah 55:9) 

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. (Genesis 13:17-18)

So here we go!  

The Lord looks down and inflicts confusion on the enemy. (Genesis 14:24) He causes there transportation to fail; he jammed the wheels on their chariots! (v25)

The enemy finally acknowledges that the Lord is fighting for his people!  
He is a Jealous God; a consuming fire!

The depiction that fascinates me is this. 
A body of water splinting in two.  Scared people walking on dry land.
Walls of water erected on both sides.

Was there any mist? Aha!  

When I’m in trouble in need of the Lord’s rescue, he comes with Might, Strength and very clever ways of getting me out.

What I’m imagining is mist on God’s people as they walked to the other side. 

They can see it on each other.  This moisture clinging to their clothing.  A reminder of what is happening; danger inflicted on their enemy as they cross over to the other side.

Mist, tiny droplets of water suspended in the atmosphere, possibly visible but not quite heavy enough to moisten land.  After all they “walked on dry ground”. (Exodus 14:22)

Danger so close, but it did not impact them. 

Arriving on the other side was evidence that they were surrounded by water, 
his judgment made clear.  Let my people go! Those in bondage set free; they did not drown!

Their enemies would feel the wrath of God but God’s people would walk right through it. 

See, it's like the campfire.  Everyone knows we were by the pit. We may smell like fire but we were not consumed.

I see them walking through the impossible with 
dewdrops as evidence that God was there Deliverer.

They escaped by his Mighty Hand and Outstreched arm.

So why fear trouble! Our God is our Deliverer; our way out and place of escape.

Step out of a camp fire and we smell life fire.

Cross the Red Sea and the nations tremble as you arrive covered in mist droplets all over you.

Bow before the Lord and receive new life and his fragrance becomes your scent; 
people will see the transformation! 

We are the fragrance of Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:15)

Is there evidence that God has taken you via a road less traveled?  Take a good look.

Is there proof that he is making a way out for you? You might be traveling through it right now.

Be still and know that he is God!

Acknowledge Him and testify!  He is taking you to the other side!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

BOW!

Mark 5:1-20

We were evicted after many years living comfortably. We had matured and were sure that we would
remain.

We saw him from a distance and had to rise and meet him. There was no hiding from his Presence. As he left the boat and his feet touch the ground, we traveled quickly, submission is all we had.

All the authority, power and strength we had exhibited was now challenged. Actually we had no strength at all and our road of ruin was halted.

He looked straight through me. He called to us. The ground that was firm began to shake.

Who could do this? 
 Our grip was diminishing. 
This is all we knew! 
Where else can we turn to?

We addressed him by Name, for this King required it even though he did not speak at first. His authority was evident to all. We left our hiding place exposed and left bare before Him.

Bowing down before the King, we begged him not to torture us. He seemed to be interested in our “home”, this flesh that we had commanded for some time.

He was not going to let this man that was “made in his image” depart unless he was free.

Dirty, wicked, fallen, ugly, ruthless, call us many things but don’t leave us without a place to dwell.

We offered to go into the herd of pigs as he asked for our identity. 
We answered him, “My name is Legion, for we are many”.

We trembled and knew that our time was done. 

The King’s eyes were fixed on his possession!

This man whose name we did not even know was now about to be liberated, set free.

He looked at him with such mercy as if he knew him and loved him. 

What this “flesh” was unable to do for years as we subdued him, this King Jesus did with just a few words. “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” (Mark 5:8)

We were overthrown! Displaced! Now residing in the unclean; pigs that soon would fly off a cliff.

It is finished!

It's the Liberator, the King of kings and the one who sets men free.

There is no authority that can usurp the King’s power. There is no greater love that can consume us.

He challenges and confronts entities that have brought destruction and division between himself and those he made for his good pleasure; those stamped with his likeness!

The King is here! The Defender has come! Every authority must bow.

Run and fall prostrate on your face for you are exposed you lying devil!

The chains have fallen, the controlled are loosed!

My Maker has come to claim his own, “To proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners”.

I’ve heard it said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

I say, it’s over!

Jesus’ feet have touched the ground! He has visited his own and darkness trembles!

The Light it is shining and darkness exposed, revealed for what it really is! 

BOW!!

Death has threatened us. Sickness and disease has tried to weaken us. The spirit of confusion reigns with lies, speaking that we don’t possess God’s wisdom.

Death has been defeated! 
Confusion replaced with the mind of Christ. 
His beating on the cross brought us liberty from sin and healing from afflictions. 
He is familiar with our weakness and intercedes to the Father for us! 
The Holy Spirit lives in us and he is Mighty and Powerful! 
Mighty to bring down strongholds and address all wickedness!

BOW!!

The reality is that He is Here!

We walk in the Authority of our Father!

We are the children that he died for!

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

God bless you!~Liz