Friday, September 5, 2008

Time in the Word

I have been thoroughly enjoying my new Bible Reading Plan, but I've failed to jot down some of the wonderful things God has been teaching me. So, since is my journal and I plan on printing it out for myself, I knew I needed to post. . you don't even have to read this one. . I just need to write for my own benefit. I love looking back and reading how God speaks through His Word!

The Israelites~ how we love to trash them. What a complaining, short-sighted group of people! Yeah, hindsight is 20/20. . that I know. I wonder how often I act like an Israelite? If you read through Exodus, it is appalling how whiney these people are! They complain after the Lord has freed them from horrible oppression in a miraculous way. This seems ridiculous until I realize how much this is a part of the human condition. We see it in the disciples throughout the gospels and we see it in our own lives as well. So often, the Lord moves in mighty ways nad we praise Him from the mountaintops. . .then a week later we are on our face before God complaining how this or that situation isn't "fair". Lord, change our hearts!

The other huge thing I noticed along with that is how tender the Lord is. I went through 7 chapters that went like this, "The Israelites turned away from the LORD to serve other gods. The Lord allowed them to be taken captive. The Israelites turned their hearts toward the LORD. He gave them their freedom". . then, the next chapter begins the exact same way! I bet you anything that when they were being taken captive, they were crying out to the Lord, "WHY" and yet, He knew that it was the only way to reach their hearts. It reminds me of my discipline of my own children but in an even bigger way. It reminded me of the CS Lewis quote: God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." I don't know why, but this realization has made such a difference in my life. To realize how PRECIOUS the Lord was in allowing their captivity and how He knew their hearts. . it just touches me.

Joshua~ my FAVORITE book of the Bible. It opens with the Lord calling forth Joshua. I love this chapter. He says 4 times, "Be Strong and Courageous". Agh. That would have freaked me out a bit. What kind of times are we about to enter if God has to just keep telling me to be strong and courageous! But, the Lord doesn't leave it there. He continues with assurances that HE will remain with Him. Doesn't this sound like a good old Daddy talk? "Be Strong, little man. I'll be with you the WHOLE time!". I love when He reveals Himself as our Papa God (yeah, I'm reading the Shack =) He also gives advice on how to remain strong and courageous by continuing with instruction that Joshua should listen to everything God says, should pay attention to His word and to spend time with it. Can you hear it again? "Sweetie, the times may be scary, but you need to listen to Daddy very carefully. Pay attention to me at all times. Make sure to obey me the first time, every time. Then everything will go ok" Ok, right now you just want to run and open up Joshua, don't you?! Because of all of this, Joshua led the people with an expectancy of the Lord's movement. Heck, they walked around a city to capture it! He followed God into the crazy and honored Him. I love this guy!

Saul~ I think I've mostly thought of Saul as this nasty mean king who tried to kill David 100 times. However, going through the scripture and seeing how God annointed Saul, made it so much sadder. He was chosen by God to lead His people. He led under the direction of the Lord and was a godly man. Somewhere along the way, the power got to his head. . or he just began to believe that his ideas should have equal standing as the Lords. . I'm sure that the turning point didn't happen over night but through a ruining of his mind (is that the opposite of a renewing of your mind?). Eventually, his heart was evil and he chose the ways of Saul as opposed to the commands of the Lord and decided to obey just some of the Lord's commands and the Lord withdrew his annointing. . .

Enter David. God s really doing a work in me through David. How the Lord prepared him for service. .even before Goliath! How he followed God humbly. . but then again made HUGE mistakes. He did things that I think would have caused me to want to impeach him as king! and yet. . .God called Him a man after God's own heart. This all rolls into a lesson the Lord is teaching me about humility and grace and brokeness. . .but, I think this is all a blog for another time. I could do one whole blog just on David and how God is using him to turn me upside down a bit!

Father, you are so good. I am sorry the times when I neglect your word. Your word is so good. So living and active. Thank you for speaking to me through YOUR actions and interactions with people all throughout history. Thank you for your intimacy in your dealings and discipline. Thanks for being our Daddy. Thanks for speaking to our hearts and emotions, for preparing us for what you know is coming and for using it all for Your Glory and Our Good. Lord, make me like Joshua. . to walk bodly with you into whatever lays ahead, just to be holding your hand.

1 comment:

Jaime said...

Good stuff Brandi! What a great reminder to get in the Word and see the amazing life stories of those God used to teach us today! It is ALIVE and ACTIVE!