Not who you are, but Who you have!

11297Dear readers, I know I’m writing my new year’s post a little late. Nevertheless, this thought has been marinating on my mind, since before the new year…

First of all, I pray this year will bring you many blessings and much joy, as you get to know and experience the Lord even deeper! 

Below I have pasted a small paragraph from Exodus 33 where God was having a conversation with Moses, as He often did – ever since the burning bush. Please read it prayerfully…

“12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” – Exodus.33:12-18  

I wonder how often Moses must have felt helpless to lead such a nation for the God of the universe. It’s quite a mission for an 80 odd years old man! Yet one of the beautiful characters of Moses is that he was always honest with God. Moses knew that neither his age nor strength will take this people any further and admitted his need for help. He asked, “whom will You send with me?” The answer was awesome! “My Presence will go with you…” What can be better than God Himself leading you!

Moses then reaffirms his faith by declaring that unless God’s presence go with them, there was no point in where they were going. Moses understood that God is the source of all good and purpose in life, and if He was absent from that story, the people were sure to perish in the desert.

“For who is God besides the Lord?
 And who is the Rock except our God?
 It is God who arms me with strength
 and keeps my way secure.”  – Psalm.18:31-32

It’s because God was with this nation that they crossed the red sea, escaped Egypt and survived the hot desert as though they were walking through a cool forest. And as a result, all nations trembled, they wouldn’t dare play with fire, upsetting the God of Israel. He, Himself was their Chief Commander. 

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. – Exodus.13:21

Then God agrees with Moses, saying “I will go with you” and He adds a reason, “because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”  Here, Immanuel knew His people, not as some distant commander who just knows their names, but as a close friend and as one who really knows them from the heart. (John.10:14)

So dear readers, this new year we can make lots of resolutions and plans, but if God is not there, ask yourself ‘what is the point? and how far can I go, before I collapse in the desert’. We need His presence of cloud to shield us from the scorching sun of the enemy’s terror, His flame of fire to warm and comfort us from the chills of swayed politics and dislocated ethics of these days. Above all, we need His presence to guide us, navigating through the desert of a broken and difficult world to reach safely on Canaan’s land. 

May God’s presence never depart from you this year! 

http://worshiptogether.com/songs/we-will-not-go/

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The inadequacy

As I continue reading the exodus story in the book – Sons of encouragement by Francine Rivers (Yes, I am going very slow), I never really understood what it meant for Moses and Aaron to lead a nation through the desert. There was a lot of complaining, a lot of grumbling and a lot of questions. I got to see the feeling of these elderly men (in their 80s)- inadequacy, misunderstood, weak, insignificant and yet chosen to do a massive task. It’s overwhelming! 

One of the lessons I have learnt from this story so far is that, it’s not who you are or what you can do, but what HE can do through you. God enjoys putting to shame all that this world holds dear and it’s standards. He chooses the weak, the young, the old and the despised, the shy, the timid, the insecure, the illiterate so that His name may be glorified through it and honour those whom the world had ignored and despised. 

Thus, our weakness as Paul would put it, is a reason for boasting, our inadequacies are the grounds upon which we allow God’s power to shine and His glory to be manifested in our earthen vessels. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians. 12:9

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” – 2 Corinthians.4:7

 

 

Spiritual dementia

Currently I am reading a book called ‘Sons of Encouragement’ by Francine Rivers. The first character in the book is Aaron and the story describes the events that lead to the redemption of Israelites, from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. 

Now I am on the section where Moses (or I should correctly say God) has lead them out of Egypt and they are approaching the Red Sea, so they start complaining to Moses as to why he took the long way and leading them to a dead end (the sea!). They start to complain that they were better off in Egypt where they can at least be buried and not abandoned in the middle of a desert. 

If not familiar with the story, you may think that they have some right to complain. However, these are people who saw the mighty hand of God striking the entire Egypt from the king’s house down to their herds, in order to save them from the hands of their oppressors. 

Just a few hours ago they heard the cry of every Egyptian family, wailing for the death of their first born, while the Angel of God spared the Israelites. Now that they have seen one scary beast – the sea, it seemed as though all that had happened was of no use. 

Again, despite their unbelief, God does something incredible! He splits the entire red-sea in two, and they passed “passed the sea as by dry land.” 

Looking in my own life, I haven’t learnt anything from the past, one scary moment God sees me through it, I praise Him and I am back to my worries and fears.

Dementia is a horrible thing, though the person may look completely fine, inside they are in a mess. How much worse is a spiritual dementia? When our souls forget all the great things that God has done for us, what hope are we to offer to a hurting world? 

We all have testimonies, we all have miracles, whether we acknowledge them, recognise them or not. Let us use those as a propellant to drive us forward, let us bring that hope to a dying broken world through those stories of God’s faithfulness. 

27 By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the first-born should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.” – Hebrew.11:27-29

11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” – 1 Corinthians.10:11