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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Do not sit on stolen idols

teraphim“When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods.” – Genesis.31:19

Genesis 31 tells the story of how Jacob fled Laban’s house (the place where he served for decades). During this flight, Rachel decides to steal her father’s household idols without telling anyone. Later in the chapter when Laban finds out they had fled and that his idols were stolen, he follows them. Although he didn’t harm them as he was warned by God, he searched everywhere for his precious idols. “Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them. ” (verse 34) Scripture does not explain why Rachel stole those idols, but we can see she was not willing to give them up.

As children of God we are called to leave all our idols and trust wholly in our heavenly Father. Yet, how many times do we peak into those stolen idols when we think God is not looking. We know that anything we put trust above God has become our idol (how many idols have we collected like this), ones that give false sense of security. How long until we get up from our seat, take those idols and throw them off our tents and lives? God is all we need, He is our sufficiency and who makes us complete. Those stolen idols were never ours, we are children of the light, so lets not covet the things and ways of the world.

God’s promise or my imagination?

I am currently on a busy placement, but thankfully I get an hour break for lunch, during which I reflect on a lot of things. Well last time God reminded me of the story of Joseph.

When God promised Joseph in a dream that he will be a king, he must have felt very sure it was God speaking. This lead him to sharing this good news with his family, who ended up ridiculing him for even thinking such a thought. I wonder if at that point he started wondering, “Is this from God, or just my imagination?”

Despite of what God showed him, everything that followed after seemed to go in the opposite direction to his dream.  He was sold a slave to Egypt, far away from the land he thought he’d be ruling soon. There God blessed his work and honoured him in his master’s house. At this point Joseph must have felt that he may earn enough favour to gain his freedom to return to his homeland. But it wasn’t going to happen, for soon he was sent to jail for a crime he didn’t commit! At this point Joseph was at his lowest, a slave prisoner, what hope does he have of even being free man, let alone to be king?? He must have felt stupid for even thinking and believing such thing, yet he knew God’s voice clearly and despite the odds he chose to believe the impossible.

God did promise, and even in the place where his dreams were as dim as a flickering candle light and so far away from happening, He  had greater plan. Joseph wasn’t just to rule over his father’s house but over the greatest kingdom at the time and thus to save nations from a famine that struck after a few years of his reign.

God’s plans and thoughts are higher than ours, and in the days when all hope is gone, we can hold on to the truth that God never lies.