It happens all the time. We pray for something, God says what He will do but because it doesn’t happen right away or things get worse we begin to complain and think that God has forgotten about us.
It happened to the Israelites in the book of Exodus. God told them He would bring them to a better land however they began to complain because Pharaoh’s seemed to have them cornered. Their main complaint – why did God brings out to the wilderness just to have us die? In their minds they could have stayed in Egypt. Never mind that in Egypt they were enslaved and worked half to death.
It also happened to the disciples. Jesus told them to get in the boat so they could go to the other side. When they got to the middle of the ocean they ran right into the storm while Jesus slept on the boat. The disciples wholeheartedly believed they were going to die.
In both instances the destination was always known. God knew where He was taking both the Israelites and the disciples & even told them but because they didn’t know the details of the journey they doubted.
Sound familiar? I’ve often said that end of our journey is already known we just have to keep walking and be patient until it’s revealed to us.
In the end the Israelites walked through dry land in the middle of the sea and did not face death at the point of Pharaoh’s sward. The disciples made it to the other side where they were able to witness Jesus perform more miracles.
God never said that we would have a road map that showed where every decision would take us but He did say that no matter what He would be there.
Lord bring us back to our first love. Bring us back to walking in connection with you. Help us to lean not on our own understanding but to trust in You with all our heart.
One day we will leave this world and all You’ve ever asked of us is to draw nearer to You and tell the world of who You are. I don’t always succeed in that endeavor but I am so grateful to You that every day our eyes open and our hearts beat we have another chance to get things right.
Lord I pray that You become our compass as we have gone astray. We are sitting in the middle of the world the culture has shaped no view of how to change it but Lord I know that if Your people who are called by Your name will humble themselves, turn from our wicked ways, pray and continue to seek Your face you have promised to hear our cries from heaven and You will heal our land.
So Lord today I pray that Your people are raised up throughout the land. Help us to stand when everyone else is falling. Help us to lean on You when every one else is leaning on the world. Help us, help me to become a peculiar person so that people will have no choice but to ask me why I don’t follow the crowd.
I know that will require sacrifice and letting go of things and to be honest just the thought of that scares me but Lord I know that you will be there every step of the way. So Lord as we get up tomorrow, let us not forget that by putting You first the road will be easier to navigate.
These two songs have been in my head a lot lately. One reminds me that no matter what Jesus will be there in time of trouble. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV) The other helps me remember that my eyes should always be more on the Lord than on the world. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 ESV).
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (Romans 8:1-6 NLT)
Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. (James 1: 2-4 AMP)
Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction,who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. (Psalms 103:1-6 NKJV)
Restoration has been on my mind a lot lately so I thought I’d share some scriptures that focus on restoration. They’ve helped me and I hope that they help you as well.
Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:12 CSB)
But I will bring you health and will heal you of your wounds – this is the Lord’s declaration for they call you outcast – Zion whom no one cares about. (Jeremiah 30:17 CSB)
I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust ate, the young locusts, the destroying locust, and the devouring locust – my great army that I sent against you. You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied. You will praise the name of the Lord your God who as dealt wondrously with you. My people will never be again be put to shame. (Joel 2:25-26 CSB)
Yet I will certainly bring health and healing to it and will indeed heal them. I will let them experience the abundance of true peace. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and of Israel and will rebuild them as in former times. (Jeremiah 33:6-7 CSB)
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and doubled his previous possessions. (Job 42:10 CSB)
“Where are we going?” It’s a question that has been asked over and over again usually by children of their parents because they want to have some control over their destination. Sometimes the parents tell them and other times they keep the kids in the dark asking for trust simply because they are the parent. That’s how God wants us to live…in complete and utter trust in Him but that’s not always what we do.
Speaking for myself I know it’s difficult to let go of the control over my life. I would love to have a book that will point out every option and the consequences before making a move. I say that it would be nice but I know myself…the more choices I have the less likely I am to make a decision. I mean it took me two years to purchase a laptop. Not because I was looking for something spectacular but because there were too many choices and I didn’t want to make the wrong choice. I honestly thank God that while He doesn’t give us a blueprint of our lives He does give us a manual as a guide to help us as we walk through life.
The bible has been given to us to teach, correct, edify, and encourage but those things can only happen if we are open and receptive to the urging of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings God’s word to life. He provides peace. He provides comfort. He provides understanding but most of all He provides direction by leading us back to God’s word.
So when you find yourself wondering where you are going and you are feeling directionless allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate your one true compass – The Bible.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the pease co God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthly-mediate on these things. The things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driving and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-8)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3)
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying; “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace”‘ So they shall put my name on the children of Israel and I will bless them. (Numbers 6:22-27)