A Bigger Picture in Christ

In every job that I have ever  had I have always tried to learn as much about not only my job, but about the jobs around me as well.  I was never satisfied with just being able to do my job; I have always desired to know more and to understand how my job fit into the bigger picture.  I guess I have always understood that even if what I was doing was important that I was a part of a bigger plan, a bigger purpose.  The same applies to our walk with Jesus. 

As Christians we must seek to do our part well, but we must also see the bigger picture and realize that it is not all about us, we must realize that there are other things happening around us that we contribute to and just as a boss will assign different tasks to different people as he sees fit and will praise and reprimand when needed God does the same.  Let’s face it, not one of us is perfect, not even close.  If you think that you are and you call yourself a Christian then you probably need to do some deep soul searching because God is not looking for people who think they have it all together or who think that they are perfect, though He does desire for us to become Holy, God is looking for someone with a humble heart and one way or another He will get it.

Hannah was a woman in the Old Testament who had her womb closed by God and it grieved her immensely.  Every year when her husband, Elkanah, would take his family to worship and make sacrifices to the Lord he would give Hannah a double portion because of his love for her and because the Lord had closed her womb (1 Sam. 1:1-8).  Hannah prayed to the Lord that He would open her womb and bless her with a son and that if he did that she would give him to the Lord for all the days of his life (v. 11). 

Wouldn’t you know that Hannah became pregnant and bore a son, Samuel, and gave him to the Lord just as she had promised?  Upon doing so she prayed the following prayer, she prayed…

1 Samuel 2:1-10

My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.  My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.  There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.  Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. 

The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.  Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more.  She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away.  The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.  The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. 

For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; upon them he has set the world.  He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.  It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the Lord will be shattered.  He will thunder against them from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.  He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.

Hannah’s prayer revealed something that we often times forget and that is often times neglected to be taught.  God is not just good, He is also just, He is Lord, He is love, He is Judge.  He is many things, not just good.  He sees things that we do not see, even within ourselves and our lives.  Hannah warns not to speak in arrogance because God knows and our deeds are weighed by Him.  God sees the heart of what we do, not just what we do.  When we do things to be seen, rather than with a humble heart God knows and we are weighed for our actions. 

He breaks the strong and exalts the weak.  God gives poverty and wealth, humbles and exalts.  He raises up the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.  We tend to think of God as good and good He is.  We pray for good things to happen to us, we pray for comfort and health, riches, a good life, but our actions and our hearts do not deceive God.  He knows and gives accordingly.  The only prosperity that we can count on is in heaven and only if we believe and confess that Jesus is Lord and do our best to follow Him all of our days.  There is no promise that we will have a rich and plentiful life by worldly standards, instead we are promised the opposite.  We are told that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12).”

In the movie “Do you Believe” the following question was presented.  It was asked, If you were taken to court today would there be enough evidence to prove that you are a Christian?  James asked, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such a faith save him (James 2:14)?”  He went on to say,

James 2:18-26

Someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

So if you were taken to court today could someone prove that you are a Christian?  Is your faith reflected by what you do?   Can God use you right where you are?  Can He use you to bless others?  How can your faith be seen in your actions?   It should be noted that deeds alone bring death just as faith without works does.  Paul said it like this, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10).”

We have been saved by grace, through faith, not by works.  So wherever you find yourself today realize that God loves you and wants to save you.  As we enter into a relationship with Him we are given the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us and as we follow Him we are slowly made more like God, we slowly become more holy.  Through Hannah’s prayer we can see that she understood that she was a part of a bigger plan.  She first prayed desperately for a son, but then she promised that her son would be God’s.  She prayed by faith and God responded, but then she responded through giving her son to the service of God.  She was not just a woman of faith, she was a woman of action who understood that God was more than just good, that He was capable of so much more and that He places each of us in our situations to help mold us into what He wants us to be.  When we are made weak, He is made strong.  When we become less, He becomes more.

I have a long ways to go before I understand all that is going on around me, but I am becoming more aware of the things that God has people doing around me and how He is using all things and is working all things together for good.  I have only a small part to play in His bigger plan, but I have an important part and so do you.  We each have an important role to play and as we do our part He will guide us along the way and give us different tasks to help things run more smoothly and efficiently, we just have to be faithful and follow through with what He has given us to do and when we do people will be able to prove that we are Christians.  Will people be able to prove that you are a Christian?    If not then something needs to change in your life right now and it starts with your heart.

All about perspective

NoNo is a simple word. It is only two letters, but to those on the receiving end it appears to be so much more. It is the thing that stands in between them and what they desire. When a child hears the word no they have a choice to make. They have a choice to head the advice or not. If they do not head the advice then they must be willing to suffer the consequences. The word no really has no power, the power lies within the consequences. The word no is a warning, a warning that sets a boundary. No is a word that is often times followed up by some sort of a qualifiers. No, you cannot do that right now, maybe later. No, that will hurt you. No, I don’t think it is appropriate right now. These types of no’s are typically easier to accept because they have at least an explanation and at times an understanding that a yes may follow at a later time.

Children when growing up have many things to learn and do not know what is good for them or what will cause them harm. They may see something they want and go after it with no regard to their safety or well-being. If they desire to have something they are not supposed to have, they will likely at some point in time or another go and get what they wanted. Children do not see the bigger picture, all they know is that they want something and do not understand why they cannot have it. Unfortunately adults are the exact same way. We have been conditioned to think that we need what we want rather than to think that what we want is not always what we need. It’s a matter of perspective. When we want something we begin to think that we need it and that we need it now, but just like our parents knew better when they told us no, God also knows better when He tells us no.

FaithPerspective can get us into trouble because it does not allow us to see the bigger picture and sometimes we do not know just how close we are. It keeps us focused on what is right in front of us rather than all of the factors that may come into play. The first picture was taken from a very close perspective, but when the big picture is revealed we see so much more. What started out as “no” was really a much bigger statement, “Faith, without faith nothing is possible; with it, nothing is impossible”– Mary McLeod. Perspective revealed!

When God tells us “no” it is because there is a reason, there is a bigger picture to consider. McLeod’s quote is very similar to Hebrews 11:6 which states, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Likewise Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is a perspective changer because when we have faith in God and know that we have earnestly sought Him we can stand on the promise that He will reward us for it, however, sometimes no still means no and we must learn to accept that. Just like parents try to protect their children by saying no, God does the same thing. And just as children have a choice to make when they are told no, we do as well.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

God, our Father knows what we need and when we need it. When He says “no”, or “no, not yet”, there is a reason. He sees the big picture and knows exactly what is best for us. He is not focused on the immediate like we are because He knows our future. When He says “no”, or even “I need you to wait for a little bit” He is doing what is best for us and giving us a warning. When we don’t listen to Him we pay the consequences, because we did not head His advice. When we don’t listen we get hurt. Sometimes we may not realize that we have caused harm to ourselves, but eventually we will understand why God said no. BUT! When we do listen we can rest assured that He has plans to reward us because we sought Him and put our trust in Him. We can know that He has plans to prosper us because we are His children and He loves us deeply, all we have to do is to seek Him with all of our heart.

Learning to be content right where we are and to be thankful to God for the life that we have takes practice and practice we must. We must seek Him with all of our heart and trust that He will provide and will prosper us when we follow Him. Our perspective must turn away from the immediate desires of self and instead turn toward God who knows all. This is not an easy process. This takes time, practice, and a lot of failure. But when we fail we can know that God is right there to help us back up if we turn toward Him and entrust our lives to Him.

May God bless you today as you seek Him with all of your heart.

If this was helpful or encouraging to you please feel free to share it with others. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to make a comment. We all have a purpose and can be used to help others draw closer to God. God bless you in your journey to knowing Him deeper than before and accepting yourself with all of the qualities that God desires for you to have.

Are the Ten Commandments Still Pertinent? (Part 1)

Photo by George Bannister
Photo by George Bannister
Is God’s Word alive and well today? Is it a driving factor in society? In church? Or has it become a thing of the past only to be used to manipulate or to support a position when it is beneficial? Does our government recognize the one true God? Does the church recognize the one true God? Do we as individual Christians recognize God? John 10:27-30 says this, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

This passage starts out with Jesus saying “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” This sounds simple enough right? All we need to do is hear His voice and to follow Him, but is this what we are doing? Below is the passage from Exodus 20 when Moses descended from the mountain after God gave him the Ten Commandments. I have labeled each commandment to make them easier to pick out.

Exodus 20:1-21, (NIV)
And God spoke all these words:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
1.) “You shall have no other gods before me.
2.) “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
3.) “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
4.) “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
5.) “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
6.) “You shall not murder.
7.) “You shall not commit adultery.
8.) “You shall not steal.
9.) “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10.) “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

The_Ten_Commandments_(Bible_Card)God started out by reminding the Israelite’s all that he had already done for them and how he had provided for them. Then came the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me” (v.3). Basically speaking there is to be nothing in our life to receive the worship that is due to God alone. You might be thinking that God is in the right place in your life and that this first commandment is easy, but let’s look at it a little deeper. Some of the greatest gods of this day are technology and stuff such as phones, tablets, computers, music, cars, houses, jobs, friends, social media, etc… You see these things alone are not bad, in fact they can all be good, but what happens when you know you should or you want to read the word, but instead you check your Facebook status, hop on the computer to do a little shopping or maybe just to browse around? What happens when your desire for stuff outweighs your desire for God to have his rightful place in your life? Maybe you spend a little extra time at work so that you can get that promotion or that overtime so that you can buy something else. Maybe you simply work hard so that you can receive praise from others and lift yourself up. Or maybe you are just saying that I love God while there are more important things in your life, things that you want. Can you ask God to bless that?

God is the creator of the universe and the maker of man. He breathed life into us and He is worthy of all our praise and adoration. There is nothing that is more important than God. If you desire something, with the right attitude and heart, then ask God and it will be given. But, without the right heart it shall not. God just finished reminding the Israelite’s that he brought them out of the oppression of the rule of Pharaoh, made passage for them to escape his massive army, led them through the dessert all the while giving them the food and water that they needed to survive, and still God tells them that they should have no other god. How much has God done for you today, this month, this year? How have you honored him?

God is active and alive in our lives whether we recognize it or not. When I look back on my life I know that I have not given God the praise and honor that he deserves and looking forward I can only pray that I will become more aware of His power and glory so that I will turn to Him first and to him alone in all circumstances. “You shall have no other gods before me” (v. 3) is as easy of a commandment to follow as I initially thought. It takes great reflection upon motivations and upon the heart. What is God revealing to you when you seek Him in the quiet places?

The second commandment is this, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them” (v. 4-5). At first glance this may seem the same as the first, but really it is more about only worshiping the one true God, that even to worship an image of him is unacceptable as God is not found in any object on this earth, perhaps the closest thing would be man but we are definitely not God. God can be found everywhere if we simply look for him. We do not need to create idols to worship because He has made himself known to us through the embodiment of Jesus Christ and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When I look back on my life to a time when I walked away from church I can tangibly recognize God leading me through situations. He didn’t leave me, I left Him, but He also brought me back to him. He was always there, even if my perspective at the time could not recognize Him. The only thing I needed to do was to look and see how he had been protecting me; how he had been guiding me out of certain situations and in others.

Do I have regrets for the time that I turned my back on God…YES and no. I pray that it never happens again, but through walking in the darkness God showed me just how much light is in Him. He showed me what love really looks like. It was God who gave my life purpose and meaning. It was God who gave me life and a hope for the future. God gave me it all because He knows what I need and He made himself known through multiple different facets in my life. He was not any of these things but he used them to reveal himself. God showed me his power and his love for me when he sold both of my houses within 24 hours when I had nothing left. Do I worship the house or the people who bought my house? No, God is not those things, but He worked the situation to reveal more of himself to me. We can find God in many things, but he is not those things, he is only using them to reveal himself to us. All of our worship and praise must go to him, not some image of him. God is not an image. He has made himself available to all who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and is all around us when we seek Him. So praise God in all that you do and wherever you are because He sees you and hears you in all that you say and do.

The third commandment is, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” I don’t misuse the Lord’s name you say, but is this really true? When is the last time that you said OMG, or oh my God or goodness or gosh? When is the last time that you said gosh dang it or golly or any other statement of the likes? Certainly some of these phrases don’t even say God, but what is your intention in saying them? My intention is not to limit your vocabulary by any manipulation, but we all need to think long and hard about what we really mean when we are saying these things. I think it is clear in some instances that God’s name is being misused; well actually I think it is clear in all situations, but I will leave that up to you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt. 5:27-28). If God looks at sin this severely then how far away from sinning do you need to stay in order to not be in sin in God’s eyes? We have a way of justifying ourselves and convincing ourselves that our actions are appropriate, but God does not falter. His Word is fully true and is unchanging and our truth must be looked at next to His truth because Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [Him]” (Jn. 14:6). Scripture says that God will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name (Ex. 20:7). How much of a chance are you willing to take?

The fourth commandment is this, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:8). This commandment is quite possibly one of the most broken commandments that we have been given. When is the last time that you observed the Sabbath day? Even God rested on the seventh day and reflected on all that was good. Most of us live in a society where we are always on the go. We are always busy doing something. We are told that we have to work hard to achieve great things, to be a success. We are told that we will be happy if we do certain things or if we have enough wealth, but these are all lies. True happiness cannot be found outside of God; “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 Jn. 4:8). Knowing God is the key to love and to fully know God we must follow His guidance because He knows what we need.

God doesn’t tell us to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it Holy to hold us back or to keep us from happiness. He tells us this because He is a good father and he knows exactly what we need. When we were children we longed for the attention of our parents. We would go to great lengths to get their attention and keep it. When they would pay attention to us it would let us know how much we were loved and cared for. It let us know that they were there for us. I submit to you that it also blessed them and that God deserves and expects the same thing. Our Father is working hard for us and deserves our devotion to Him. He knows that we need a time to rest, a time to not worry about what must be done; a time to focus on Him and all that is His. It is also a time where we are blessed by reflecting on His great love for us.

The Sabbath day is to be kept holy and pure. As we lean in further to understand what this means I believe that our observance of the Sabbath will be made increasingly beneficial. I know that I do not take enough time to focus on God and all that He has done and is. I know that I often take for granted my need for him and think that I can do things on my own, but I also know that I cannot. Keeping the Sabbath gives us time to reflect and to give God all the honor and praise that is due to him. It is a time of rejuvenation for us. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt. 11:28). God does not give us a yoke that is hard to bear, instead He gives us rest when we follow Him and learn from Him. Starting to observe the Sabbath can be difficult so simply start by setting aside some time and I know that you will be encouraged to observe the Sabbath fully.

Jesus when asked what the greatest commandment is said this quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” The first four of the Ten Commandments is summed up in this statement. The first four commandments are all about giving the proper honor and glory to God. They are packed full of substance and require much of us, but remember that “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Lk. 12:48). How much have you been given? How much have you been entrusted with? Let us give God all of the glory that He deserves in word and in deed. Let us follow His commandments with a willing and joyful heart. Let us show God how much we love Him and how thankful we are to be loved by Him.

Stay tuned for part two of “Are the Ten Commandments Still Pertinent” where the last six commandments will be discussed and explained. Thank you for taking the time to read and reflect upon this writing. Let’s pray and ask God to bless this message and to put it in the proper place in our hearts and minds.

Father, we thank you for all that you have done for us. We have been so blessed and we know that even when things are difficult that you are always near. Increase our faith and our devotion to you God as we step out and trust you more. Let your Word dwell in our hearts and stir us. Guide us with your Holy Spirit into every place and situation that you want us in. Lord we do seek your protection from Satan and the lies that he places in our lives. Help us to recognize the attacks of the enemy as they arise against us. Help us to trust you in these moments and to lean upon you for understanding in what to do and how to respond. Bless us Lord as we learn more about you and give you more of the honor that you deserve. Use us Lord however you see fit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Where’s your Faith?

mustard seed

There are things in this world that I just do not understand. Sometimes things happen that I do not know if I will ever understand. Things happen to all of us that shake us, sometimes in a good way, and other times in a bad way. They shake us and if we are honest they can even shake our faith, make us doubt, make us wonder if what we believe in is even true. I know that I have certainly felt this way before, but thankfully we have a God who can use our little faith to do great things. We are told in Matthew 17:20 that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed that we can say to a mountain ‘move from here to there’ and it would move. Let me tell you that this is reassuring to me because there are times that I feel as though I have very little faith, but when I reflect back on all the times that God has come through and taken care of me my faith is quickly restored. You see God has never failed me. Even when I thought I was buried so deep that I could never get out He had already pulled me out, I just hadn’t realized it yet.

God is good and He knows what we need, but He is also wise and He knows when we need it. Have you ever tried to tell God what you needed and when you needed it? I know I sure have…funny thing is though that I am not usually right. There have even been some rare occasions where God has allowed me to have what I wanted at the time I wanted it in my greed, and in those times I quickly found out that I was wrong. God is a good Father and He knows what is best for us, but like a good Father does He allows us to fail once in a while so that we will grow. Grow stronger and wiser, but most of all He allows us to fail so that we learn to trust in Him even more.

Where is your faith today? Do you have enough faith to say to the mountain move and have it move? Do you have enough faith to let go of control and give your life fully to God or are you going to follow the path of destruction because you are too proud to rely on someone else? Jesus said,”I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:14-15). When we accept Jesus and trust Him as the Good Shepherd we do not have to worry. He has already proven that He will lay down his life for us. Death has no power over Jesus and it has no power over those under His care, for when we were baptized into Jesus we died to sin. We must learn to trust in Him and follow wherever He leads us. And as sheep do we will wander off from time to time, but Jesus will come after us and He will lead us back to safety (Mt. 18:10-14).

Father we thank you for caring for us and watching over us. We thank you that we know the Good Shepherd and He knows us and watches over us. We get distracted so easily and wander off, but He always come after us so that nothing will bring us harm. Help us to be more aware of our surroundings and our situations so that we realize when we begin to wander away. Show us the path to righteousness, set a lamp unto our feet so that we can see each step that we are about to take. Lord teach us to have enough faith to trust you in the small things so that when the big things come we have a long history to look back on and know that you are always faithful. We love you God, we praise you, we want to live our lives full of faith. Teach us Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Trusting God isn’t Always Easy

There are times in our lives when we are scared and confused; times when we just don’t know what the outcome will be to our situation.  It is in those times that the choice to be obedient becomes extremely difficult and even scary.  It is said that faith is spelled R.I.S.K. and anyone who has been walking with God for any amount of time can attest to this.  It can be extremely scary to say yes and to follow God, but what is our alternative?

When we take a look at the Israelites and their pursuit of the Promised Land we notice a pattern in their thinking and their actions, God would provide and then something would happen and they would become scared.  God released them from the grips of Pharaoh (Ex. 12:31-36) after sending warning upon warning followed by action when Pharaoh pursued them God guided them out of harm’s way.  God guided them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night until they were safe (13:21-22).  Repeatedly God answered their prayers by taking them through the Red Sea (14:26-31), supplying them with water (17:5-7), and even supplying them with their daily bread (16:13-16).  Yet even with all that God had done for the Israelites they still became scared and turned to worrying and grumbling.  Eventually God would lead their ancestor’s into the Promised Land where they would receive all that God had promised to them.

It isn’t always easy to follow God, but God is calling us to trust in Him and to follow Him.  A few years ago my wife and I were pursuing a change in our lives.  I was getting out of the military and we were ready to pursue a job running a startup gym in New Jersey which was supposed to be one of the top stores in the company.  My wife quit her job, I was separating from the military, and our belongings were all packed up and ready to be moved.  During my final out processing from the military I really began to feel as though we weren’t supposed to go to New Jersey.  After prayer and consideration we decided that we trust in God and not go to New Jersey even though we had no idea what we were going to do to sustain ourselves financially.

Fortunately for us God knew what we needed and provided for us, but it wasn’t without hardship and trials.  We went a whole year without either of us having a permanent job, but God was faithful and we were ok.  He provided for us over and over again, you could say He gave us our daily bread, and we have never been without.  There have been times when things were tough, but nonetheless we were always provided for.  Following God is risky, but it is also worth it even when things get scary and difficult, which they will.  Remember that faith = R.I.S.K. and if you have faith and follow the prompting that you receive from the Holy Spirit you will be ok.  It may not always look the way you thought that it would, but God will take care of you.

Father, bless us as we step out in faith and follow you today.  We know that it can be scary and even difficult to say yes, but we also know that you are faithful.  You are the provider and in you all things are possible so we submit ourselves to you today as we say yes Lord, not my will but yours be done.  Protect us from the schemes of the enemy and use us as we venture out into the world.  We thank you Father that you care for us, even when we fail you.  Help us in our unbelief and guide us as we follow your steps.  Amen.