Tag Archives: walking with God

January 30; Walk Away

Genesis 45:1-46:12; I Chronicles 5:1-6, 2:18-55

Pharaoh is inviting Jacob to come to Egypt so he and his family could be saved from the effects of the famine. That invitation spoke to me today.

Pharaoh said that Jacob should pack up his whole family, and come. “Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.” (Genesis 45:20)

It reminds me that some people hesitate to repent of sin, and accept God’s grace because of what they will have to give up. Friends, lifestyle, that sin they enjoy, maybe family or a job. They see what they have, and hold tight.

But hear God say, “Never mind about any of that. Because what you’ll receive as My child is so much better than you can even imagine. The best of My kingdom will be yours.”

Walk away, dear one. And walk toward your best life as a man or woman forgiven, clean, and in a relationship with God Himself.

It really doesn’t get any better than that.

Psalms 84-89; Today

Priorities. Pain. Praise. A personal relationship with God. All are familiar themes in the book of Psalms. Some psalms express a longing for the past while lamenting over the present. Some psalms question God, plead with Him for deliverance, or nearly burst at the seams with praise.

As I talked to God about these psalms today, He reminded me I can’t change the past. And worrying about tomorrow is a fruitless exercise Jesus told us to stop.

But I have today.

I ran across something Oswald Chambers said in regard to Psalm 85:

“It is no use to pray for the old days; stand square where you are and make the present better than any past has been. Base all on your relationship to God and go forward, and presently you will find that what is emerging is infinitely better than the past ever was.”

Do you trust God enough to stand square where you are today? Is your relationship with God that solid ground on which you face very challenge, ever opportunity? Or are you content to sit back and wish things were like they used to be (when if you’re honest those times had troubles of their own).

Let’s let God have today. Let’s look for ways to serve Him, to draw closer to Him, to further His will.

THIS is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in…

TODAY!

 

Genesis 24-25 Living Life

Isaac, the son through whom God chose to reveal Himself to the nations and ultimately to be born into his family, loved Rebekah. Their meeting is a sweet story and filled with lessons about faith and obedience.

They had twin sons, who were as opposite as night and day. Esau, the rough and tumbled hunter. Jacob, the deceiving home-body. Esau, who lived for the moment. Jacob, who began to fashion a future to his liking.

I would suggest that neither extreme is pleasing to God. I think the young Rebekah’s story is a better example of how we should live. She, while still living with her father, had been given expensive jewelry and honor by Abraham’s servant. She enjoyed her new-found riches, but she didn’t just stay there. She got on her camel and moved ahead toward  a life she couldn’t have been real sure about.

Sometimes, I admit, I don’t live in the moment enough. I don’t allow myself to smell roses or enjoy a sunrise on the beach. I don’t talk to a friend about God every time I feel Him nudging me toward that. Sometimes I miss recognizing a blessing because I’m not paying attention.

And sometimes I find myself making decision, or living as though there is no tomorrow, so caught up in the “now” I don’t pay attention to God’s promptings about what He has in store for me up ahead.

I think the Bible teaches us to keep our eye on the sky, watching for Christ’s return, preparing to meet Him, while making every day count. A little Esau, a little Jacob, and a bit of Rebekah.

Dear God, I want to soak in everything You have given me and are doing in me today. I want to live my life with eternity my focus. I don’t want to miss a blessing or a challenge that comes from You. Thank you for walking with me today. May I be intentional about walking with You. 

Genesis 12&13 – Possess It

If God gave Abram the land, why haven’t they always lived there? Does this prove Scripture can’t be trusted? God even said He was giving Abram the land forever. Is God unable to keep His promises?

Did God fail? The failure lies right smack dab in the lap of His people. God may have given them the land, but they failed to possess it. They got side tracked. They deserted God and worshiped idols. The land was their’s forever, if they’d possess it. But they didn’t possess it.

I see a New Testament parallel here. It’s salvation, bought by Jesus’ blood, a gift we all have at our fingertips. But we need to possess it. God didn’t hold His people captive in Canaan. And He doesn’t force us to accept His grace. Just like the Jews, we have to defeat the enemy, clear the land, till the soil, repent, flee the devil, grow in grace, put on that armor of God.

Then we can live forever in the land.

Exodus 5 – Never Too Late

Enoch was 65 when he began his walk with the Lord. The Bible seems to link the birth of his son Methuselah with this change. Enoch, you’ll remember, had a walk so real with God that he didn’t die. God took him away.

I’d like to picture God and Enoch were walking together in a meadow where Enoch took one step on the ground, and the next on streets of gold, without missing a beat. I’d like to believe the transition from flesh and blood to his eternal body was seamless and natural.

I know that 65 seems old to many people. But when you lived to be 782, maybe 65 didn’t seem all that ancient back then. I don’t know. But I think there is a lesson for all of us here.

I don’t know how old you are. I do know that if you are reading this, your heart is still beating, and it’s not too late to begin your walk with the Lord, or to pay more attention to your walk with Him. It’s not too late to enjoy that sweet fellowship with your Savior.

Enoch seems to have been challenged to change when he became a father. What challenges you to walk with God? My sisters’ children makes me want to be a godly example to them. My unsaved friends make we want to represent Jesus well. The reality of what Jesus did for me on the cross makes me want to love Him like He deserves.

So I spend time in His Word every day. I pray. I listen, and pay attention to His nudges. I count everything a loss, except for the privilege of knowing Him. Like  Paul, I die daily. Then my prayer is, “Not my will but Thine be done.”

My walk with my Savior is not where it could be. Some days I neglect Him, then wonder why I can’t feel His Presence. But one thing I know, it’s never God’s fault if I feel that way. He wants to walk with me more than I want it for myself.

Whether you are 16 or 66 or 96, it’s not too late for you to take that walk with God. Get to know Him by reading what He wrote to you in Scripture. Spend time with Him.

I was raised in the C&MA church and sang a lot of A.B. Simpson hymns. I want to leave you with the words of one of my favorite hymns of his that speaks to our walk with God:

'Tis so sweet to walk with Jesus, 
Step by step and day by day;
Stepping in His very footprints, 
Walking with Him all the way.

'Tis so safe to walk with Jesus, 
Leaning hard upon His arm,
Following closely where He leads us, 
None can hurt and naught can harm.

Step by step I'll walk with Jesus, 
Just a moment at a time;
Heights I have not wings to soar to, 
Step by step my feet can climb.

Jesus, keep me closer, closer, 
Step by step and day by day;
Stepping in Thy very footprints, 
Walking with Thee all the way.

(Chorus)
Step by step, step by step, 
I would walk with Jesus,
All the day, all the way, 
Keeping step with Jesus.

March 10 – Protecting What Is Mine

Numbers 35&36

I find it interesting that the last two chapters of Numbers deal with cities of refuge, and what to do with the five daughters of Zelophehad concerning their inheritance. Both subjects have to do with protection. One, the protection of a person who accidentally kills another, from the dead man’s avenger. The other, the protection of the land.

In the first instance, a person was protected from the avenger as long as he stayed inside the city of refuge. One step outside those gates, and the avenger was free to kill the manslayer.

Satan is like that avenger, eager to destroy me if I step away from my Savior’s protection. And every time I neglect time in God’s Word and prayer, when I sin and refuse to repent, when I don’t obey Him by worshiping and serving with a fellowship of believers, when I try to live with one foot in the world, I expose myself to Satan’s arrows.

The second is about protecting the land, the inheritance given by God. I can see that as my own, personal Promised Land of fellowship with God. It seems that relatives of the daughters of Zelophehad were a bit jealous of the possibility that, should the girls marry men from outside  of Joseph’s family, another tribe of Israel would get the rights to the land God had given them. They wanted to make sure what was their’s stayed with them.

Makes me wonder how jealous I am that something or someone could take what God has given me: love, peace, joy, fellowship with Him, holiness. The same things that make me vulnerable to my manslayer, Satan, can steal the blessings that are mine as God’s child.

So God is asking me today to protect what is mine through the blood of His precious Son. I need to control my thoughts, I need to resist temptation, I need to read and meditate on His Word, to pray, to worship Him and praise Him and love Him like He deserves. I need to walk with Him in an intentional way, and to cling to Him as my Protector, my City of Refuge.

 

 

July 26

Jeremiah 5, 6, 13

When I worked with middle school kids it was a challenge to keep belts on the boys. Do you know the song, “Pants on the Ground”? I can’t think that wearing your jeans so low you have to hold on to them with one hand is comfortable. Kids!

After reading Jeremiah 13 today I got to thinking about belts. There is security in that strip of leather as it’s wrapped around a person. But a belt in belt loops, tightly fastened can’t hold up a pair of pants unless it is resting against the body of a person.

God compared his people to a belt. There is nothing special about that belt in and of itself but God wrapped it around himself to bring himself “renown and praise and honor”. And if his people – if that belt- can’t do that it is ruined, completely useless.

What do you do with a useless belt? Most of us probably throw it out. Some might repurpose or recycle it. But if it’s not doing what it was intended to do you find another that will.

I want to be God’s belt. I want to be wrapped tightly around him. I want to fulfill the purpose I was created to do… to bring him renown and praise and honor. I want to hold up that which he’s entrusted to me, the salvation bought by his dear Son.

Lord, I want to be as close to you today as a belt. I want to rest on you, be fastened to you so that I can do what you have for me to do. Let me bring you renown, praise, and honor as others observe my life. I want to be used by you today.