Tag Archives: God is working

A Diary

Numbers 33

Matthew Henry suggests Moses may have kept a diary of his forty years as Israel’s leader. In chapter 33 of Numbers, we may be seeing an expert from that diary or a summary of one. We see the route the Jews took from Egypt to the Promised Land, and it’s more like a maze than a straight line. The names of the places where they stayed reminds us of some their experiences along the way – experiences meant to teach us today.

So, would keeping a diary be important for a Christian?

I had never watched “The Amazing Race” on TV until this past season. A married couple whose You Tube channel I enjoy were contestants, so I thought I’d watch to see how far they got in the competition – and they won! I actually enjoyed watching what amounts to a race around the world, with some “roadblocks” along the way. (the maggot infested cheese was a roadblock that would have sent me home!)

Here is what this winning couple attributed to their success: Kim’s diary. Every night she would get out her notebook and write what they had done. She would draw pictures of what they had seen. Then she and her husband would study the diary in case there was a memory test at the end of the race. There was. And they won pretty easily.

So what does that have to do with anything? I don’t know about your memory, but mine isn’t what it used to be. I kind of regret not having a diary, from let’s say 2002 or 1992, so I could look back and see how God was working in my life. I’m sure the things I thought were challenging – or impossible- at the time were worked out by God, and I’d like to see how. I think that would be encouraging in my walk today.

If you are one who has been keeping a diary, let me encourage you to go back and read it. Let God show you how He’s brought you to today.

If you aren’t in the habit of keeping a diary, you might want to begin. I’m one that isn’t comfortable writing down my “feelings,” but a diary can be just the facts. You might say, well nothing happened today that would be important to journal. Maybe not at the moment. But God IS working in your life one day at a time. Maybe this “unimportant” day will play an important roll down the road.

I know keeping a diary isn’t for everyone. I guess you won’t know until you try. But there is something valuable about remembering, about looking back and appreciating the road God has walked with you. And trust me, you young folk, remembering gets harder the older you get!

Luke 8-10; A Subtle, Yet Significant Difference

Jesus sent out seventy-two missionaries into “every town and place where he was about to go.” (10:1) He gave them this message: “The Kingdom of God is near you.”

Plus, Jesus gave these missionaries power to heal the sick and cast out demons. These seventy-two came back on a mountain-top, filled with joy and excitement as they shared how God had blessed their ministries.

“Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” How awesome to have been a part of God’s work in those cities.

But Jesus said something to them that struck me this morning. “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven… do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

What caused Satan to fall from heaven? Pride.

And Jesus said, in essence, to the seventy-two, “Wait a minute. Those demons didn’t submit to you. They submitted to me. Don’t allow what I do through you cause you to be prideful. Pride is what sent Satan to hell. If you rejoice in anything, rejoice in the fact your sins – which are many – are forgiven.”

There is a subtle difference between saying, “God used ME,” and “GOD used me.” You may say, “but I am humbled God used ME.” But that sounds like what you are really saying is that you are proud of your humility.

Through this Scripture today, God has prompted me to look at my own attitude toward service. As I write this I started to list the ministries I am involved in to make a point. But all of a sudden it turned into a subtle “Look at me.” “Look how God is using ME.” When in fact, God is reminding me He is the one at work. I am only a tool.

I feel like I need to encourage us to take ourselves out of the mix all together. Look at what God did. Forget the “through me” part of the sentence. We tend to put so much emphasis on the servant when, in fact, God could use a monkey to accomplish the same thing if He wanted to. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s never was.

Let’s not miss recognizing what God is doing, when we subtly turn the emphasis on ourselves. Pride is pride. And it’s a sin even if it’s cloaked in humility, or excitement, or praise. Can we just say “Praise God for working, for doing, for revealing Himself in this situation,” without adding anything about us who were His instrument?

What a shame if we allow our “selves” to prevent us from giving credit where credit is due. What a shame if we would sin while serving. How tragic if we would allow pride to creep in. Yes, it’s a subtle difference. But it’s a difference Jesus felt was important enough to address.

That makes it significant.