A personal walk with God and stuff learned on the way

Posts tagged ‘Moses’

He lives in us

As every Christian knows, when a person makes the decision to become a believer in Jesus Christ, that the Holy Spirit come to live in us.  This is how we are able to live the life that God has given us to live. Consider the following scriptures:

 John 14:16-18

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth …. He lives with you and will be in you.

Romans 8:11

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

As a believer, it can be easy to take this truth for granted.  This may be because we don’t have a background in the old testament Jewish culture.  Before Jesus came and died for us, God was not approachable in the same way as He is since the death and resurrection of Jesus.  He appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai but no-one was allowed to touch the mountain or they would die

(Exodus 19)

God’s presence went with the Ark of the covenant, but it was to be treated with absolute respect. When David put the Ark on a cart rather than carrying it on poles as he was supposed to, God put Uzzah to death for even touching it (2 Samuel 6).

God’s presence dwelt in a fire and a cloud (Ex 13:21) a tent and after the temple was built, in the Holy of Holies.

But for all this time, God remained largely unapproachable and distant.

—–+—–

After Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was torn in two  showing us that God had removed the separation between Him and His people and had opened up the way for us to come to Him through faith in Jesus.

Hebrews 10: 19-22

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Now God does not live in a man-made temple or in the Ark of the Covenant. He lives in our hearts.  This once distant God has made Himself available to us by living in us and it is His presence in our lives that makes us Holy in his sight.

God has not changed. He is no less holy and magnificent and worthy of praise. He is still everything the Old Testament describes, but the difference is
He lives in us.

This means that where we go, whatever we do or say is done in His name as His representative God goes and whatever we do to any believer we do to Him (Matt 25: 40)

It means we get to see ourselves and others differently and act, speak and think differently. We get to treat as a Holy thing His presence in our lives. It gives us life but it also means we are careful how we live and do not treat His Holy Spirit in us lightly.  It is the power to those who believe.

You yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives among you.

(1 Corinthians 3:16)

All things are possible

Christians will often tell you that God speaks to them through the Bible and there are times when a familiar passage has brought new meaning to them at a specific time.  Even though they have read it before, for some reason, one day, it has new meaning and the words leap off the page.

Every believer has had this happen to them at some time or another.

A recent example for me was the following verse from Mark 10.

 “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

I understood this to mean that, while men are limited, God is not. When we are unable, God is able. He holds the world in His hands and He can do anything he wants when he wants. This is similar to another passage in Jeremiah.

“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17

Recently, however, I read this in a different light.  Although we are unable to do many things on our own, when God is with us, we can do anything God requires of us, like in Philippians 4

 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phil 4:13

This means that God’s grace working in us can empower us to do what we would be incapable to do without Him.

2 Cor 4:7 describes us as ordinary jars of clay jars with an extraordinary treasure inside. We can go beyond our natural strengths because God is working in us. Bible history is filled with examples of those who were weak in themselves, but when God got hold of them, they became fearless and capable:  Paul, Moses, Peter, Gideon, Samson, David and Solomon are just a few. I have also found that God won’t move on our behalf until we ask Him in.  He will let us wear ourselves out until we get to the point where we are at the end of ourselves.  In my experience it’s better for me if I admit that early on and ask for God to help me before I become unstuck!  The power available to the greats of the Bible is available for us if we ask Him, but we need to ask Him.

With God, all things are possible.

Moses: from coward to courageous

Everyone knows the story of how Moses was sent by God to set the Israelites free from the Egyptians; How he confronted Pharaoh and was used by God to bring about the ten plagues and how he eventually lead God’s people through the Red Sea and towards freedom from the their captivity.

We also know that Moses didn’t want to go. He had fled from Egypt and settled in Midian, married, had a son and was living the quiet life of a shepherd.

Some time ago I heard a sermon about Moses’ journey from the burning bush to the Exodus. Rather than focussing on the extraordinary miracle of the plagues, it looked instead at how God did a work in Moses to build him up from someone who was scared of his own shadow to a fearless man of God. 

In Exodus, when God called him, he responded with ‘send someone else’, and came up with a list of reasons why it was a bad idea. Not surprisingly God didn’t let him get away with it.

Ex 4: 10-13 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

At the start God allowed Aaron to take the lead in confronting Pharaoh, but over the course of time, this was replaced by Moses being God’s mouth-piece as we can see from these scriptures.

Ex 7:19 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt

Ex 8:5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’”

Ex 8:16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.”

Ex 8:20 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.

Ex 9: 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.”

Ex 9: 8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh.

Ex 9:13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me,

Ex 10:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them

Ex 10:21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.”

Finally – when Moses proclaimed the last plague – the death of the first-born, we can see that his attitude had changed completely.

Exodus 11: 4-8 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die … There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt … But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’… All your officials will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

Was this really the same fearful man who had run and hidden in the land of Midian for forty years and had begged God not to send him? Moses needed to go through God’s training process so that he would be the man who became the great leader of his people that everyone knows.

When God takes us through seemingly impossible things, He is training us. This involves slowly exposing us to more and more difficult things to strengthen us bit by bit. Don’t run from this process, he’s preparing us for something much greater than we can imagine and He knows what He’s doing.

Let God remove your training wheels. 

Dealing with times of frustration

Everyone experiences frustration at some time or another. Something doesn’t work out the way we want or we’re waiting for something and it’s taking a long time to arrive.  This is especially true when there’s nothing we can do about it, or any efforts to change the situation have failed. This leads to more frustration.

I listen to Joyce Meyer all the time and this blog is based on her teaching on the subject.  She came up with a great list which perfectly defines what frustration is:

Trying to do something about something we can’t do anything about
Trying to make something happen that only God can make happen
Trying to get something we don’t have but we have no ability to get it
Trying to get rid of something we DO have but no matter what it doesn’t go away

Sometimes frustrations are short term and quickly resolved or really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things:

  • Waiting for a train that is delayed
  • Queuing at the Supermarket check out when every other queue is going faster than yours and someone at the front of the queue is paying in cash and is trying to get the exact change out of their purse!
  • You’re driving somewhere and you’re in a hurry but you’re stuck behind someone who is going about 15 mph

But sometimes waiting for a situation to change can take a long time to happen and can really take it out of you. When it’s me, I first of all need to ask God whether I am not the cause of the delay.  Is God waiting for me to move? Has he told me to do something and I haven’t acted on it?  If I ask God if it’s me, He WILL answer!

Sometimes, however, we are not the cause and God just isn’t ready to change our situation yet.  Many Bible characters had to endure long times of waiting in unpleasant circumstances before God changed things: Joseph in prison; David running from Saul; Moses living in Midian for forty years.

God was doing a work in them whilst they were waiting. He was preparing them and changing them. The best thing I can do when in these times of trial and waiting is to co-operate with whatever He wants to do in me.

Joyce’s list of things to do at these times gives us some good pointers of how to work with God during the waiting game.

  • Pray and open the door for Him to work
  • Cast your care on Him and He will take care of you (Ps 55:22)
  • Be Patient
  • Keep a good confession
  • Call those things that are not as though they already were (Rom 4:17)
  • Believe what you have asked for in faith. We believe FIRST and then we see it (John 20:29)
  • Look beyond what you can see with your natural eye.

God is never late

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