Consider what God may have been feeling just prior to the flood. How crushing man’s sinful ways would have been to Him.
In the first few chapters of Genesis, God goes from creating the world and saying it was good, very good, to regretting and changing His actions from creation to destruction. OUCH.
I wonder if Noah ever questioned God’s decision, perhaps thinking, “Is it really necessary to start over?”
Noah knew God was going to spare his family but even so, it must have been pretty scary for him as the waters burst forth from the deep and rain fell from the heavens causing the ark to tilt and groan until it was lifted from the ground.
The sound alone would have been terrifying, yet they made it safely through the storm to dry ground where the ark passengers began the task of repopulating the earth.
It is hard for me to comprehend how a creator would choose to destroy his own creation. Why would God destroy what He had previously blessed?
We don’t have the capacity to understand the mind of God, and friend, it is important not to get stuck here insisting on answers, lest we become guilty of pride, demanding God be accountable to our desires and solutions.
God is all-knowing. He is all-powerful. And, what makes this beautiful is our loving Father always has been and always will be a promise keeper.
He promised, in the form of warning, that eating fruit from the tree of Knowledge would bring death. He promised Noah He would spare His family and the animals on the ark while destroying everything else that drew breath; He promised that He would never again flood the entire earth. And, He has held true to His word.
God’s ways of accomplishing His purpose are out of our comprehension. But, we can trust that when we obey and are surrendered to Him, there is always something new, something next, something good.
For God is our loving creator and, just as my daughter cared for her drawings, He put detailed thought into every stroke of His creation, including you.
After she saw I threw out her pictures, my daughter got more paper, a marker and went to work. Having learned from her previous hours spent at the drawing board, her new round of drawings were even better than the last.
The new beginnings God has for us are not always smooth and often come in the wake of loss. Still, we can have faith that God always makes a way forward. Through death, depression, joblessness, anxiety, and fear while lost in the wilderness of life, God is with you, directing your steps.
Is there an area in your life where you don’t understand how God is at work? Ask Him to show you your next step forward as you continue to trust in His promises.
Memory Verse: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
He was desperate. The disciples had tried but could not free his boy of the spirit. Upon Jesus’s rebuke, the father cried, “I believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out screeching and throwing a fit.
The disciples had authority yet they failed to free the boy. They had authority, but their belief in that authority was now challenged. Had they grasped the attitude authority affords?
Have I adopted that attitude? Have you?
I exercise authority in my role as a parent, but do I have an attitude of authority over my emotions or moods? Or over my words, both spoken and thought? Over my perception of circumstance?
Am I walking in authority knowing I am the thinker of my thoughts, or am I letting those pesky worries steal my focus?
I have authority to proclaim the kingdom of God in all areas of my life. Do I proclaim it? Or do I make excuses? Excuses come between us and receiving what God has for us.
Prayer and fasting keep me in tune with who God is and who I am in Him so I can receive God’s love and power from a posture of complete surrender to His authority. (Maybe that is why Jesus answered the disciples’ confusion by sharing the need to pray and fast.)
When I am surrendered, I can operate with an attitude of authority--
I can claim kingdom authority in all areas of life. So can you.
So my question is: which father are you? Do you recognize Jesus’s authority and walk in it yourself? Or, like the other father, do you struggle?
So often, in my life, I struggle. To me, it can feel scary, bold, and completely out of my comfort zone to walk in the authority of Christ, but it is part of our call as believers to do it.
Can we, sisters, commit to try? Will you join me? We can be comforted in knowing that when we fail, just like the desperate father, we can cry “Jesus, help my unbelief!”...and He will.
As moms, we all feel a burden of love for our children, a love capable of strengthening us for great sacrifice. When it comes to our families, we act out of this love, doing the next right thing to the best of our ability.
Whether you’re changing diapers or doing the uncomfortable work of disciplining, I believe God has placed us all, intentionally, where we are for “such a time as this.” But because we are not only mothers, but daughters of the King, there will be different seasons.
I don’t know about you, but lately I feel my season changing. My heart is being stirred in new directions. Some of you may feel a calling to lead, some to build, some to write, serve, speak...the list is as broad as our giftings.
If you find yourself uncertain of your purpose for the season you’re in, consider Esther and Nehemiah—neither of them were given imperative commands into their calling. The expectation was that, no matter the season, they—and we—would act in love.
Sometimes God gives us solid words, other times He stirs our hearts in the direction of what is breaking His.
Where is my heart stirring out of love for others?
What can I do about it?
What does love require of me?
These questions weighed on me as I completed this past week’s reading. I am not currently being called to anything that would risk my life. But what about my comfort? Security? Status? Schedule? Pride?
Love required my daughter to sacrifice for her friend. My sister in Christ, what does love require from you?
Prayerfully consider over the next few days if you will allow God to stir your heart for what is breaking His. Ask Him to give you strength, fueled by love for all those made in His image, so you will be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to be able to do the next right thing.
When I examine this season of David’s life, there are many valuable insights: How he stood up to the taunts of Goliath when no one else was willing, or how he didn’t receive the doubt others tried to put on him. There was also the way he faced Goliath— not hiding behind Saul’s armor, but in his own identity. There’s also a lot to learn from his humility, and fierce love for his friend.
However, what calls to my heart most from our reading is the many times scripture tells us that David ran.
He ran to the front lines when Goliath disrespected the God of Israel.
He ran towardthe giant to slay him.
Time and again, David ran towardhis problems, throwing off all that entangled him...except for when he didn’t.
David ran from Saul, twice. His lies for the sake of self preservation carried severe consequences.
David was a runner. He either ran towards or away from the challenges God called for him to face.
The writer of Hebrews likens our Christian lives to a race where the runner is to focus on one goal: the finish line. If he is distracted, or carrying anything he is not meant to carry, it will hinder his freedom.
Like David, we also are runners. The question is, which way are we running?
When my faith is challenged, do I charge the giant? When others discourage me, do I continue to press on?
Do I run away when I’m tired or afraid? Do I make excuses, instead of running the race I know God has set for me?
Too often I get bogged down by the things of this life that I should be throwing off:
My own expectations
Fear for the future
The list is long.
In those moments, it is worth defining what the goal really is. Looking at David’s life, it’s tempting to think that his goal was the throne of Israel. While that was his anointing, it was not the prize to which he ran.
Scripture calls David a man after God’s own heart. He ran towards the love of God. He may have taken a few detours along the way, but always found himself running back to God’s arms with the faith of full surrender. It is that love that gave him the strength and character necessary for his calling.
Friend, like David, each of us has a calling. Are you running to it or from it today? Is anything slowing your race?
The Father is calling from the stands “RUNNNN!” He is cheering your every move. Run into His arms and receive His love, then run with perseverance the race before you.
Why? Because I had promised my kids I would, and it was on me to deliver.
It doesn’t matter if my children remembered I made them pancakes that morning (they don’t); it doesmatter that they know me as a promise keeper.
In this week's reading, Moses wants the Israelites to know the same thing— He reminds the Israelites of God’s faithfulness by taking them back in history. Their physical journey was something God had put into motion a long time prior. Joseph was sold into slavery and, because of famine, moved his family to Egypt where the descendents of Israel grew to be so numerous Pharaoh was threatened and, well, you know the rest of the story.
Here, the nation of Israel is on the cusp of change, again. They are getting ready to enter into their Promised Land. Moses uses the opportunity to address their heart condition. He encourages them to be humble and keep God’s ways. Then, my favorite part, reminds them that they did not earn access into this promised land— it is a gift from God. And if God started it, and God promised it, God would finish it.
Have you, like me, ever felt like you are, a bit impatiently, waiting in the wilderness? Knowing that God made you a promise, but not seeing any progress?
God freed the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt forty years before they actually succeeded in entering the land flowing with milk and honey. Interestingly, they had reached the doorstep of the Promised Land less than two years after leaving Egypt, but didn’t trust God to give them the victory. God never intended for Israel to wander forty years. It was their own choices that had prolonged the journey. But, through it all, God cared for them and walked each step with them, bringing their descendants back again.
You see, friend, God never wastes our time. He is walking each step of this journey with us and, just like with the Israelites, continually teaching so we can be ready to step into what He has promised.
Are you in a season of waiting and repetition? Consider what God is teaching you. Is there a faith step forward that you can take?
As moms, we’re not always perfect promise keepers, but God is. What God puts into motion, He will bring to completion. Like Israel, our journey is less about what is happening around us and more about what is happening within us. In the dust of the desert God is preparing our hearts to trust Him. He is patiently waiting for us to trust and obey. As with the Israelites, obedience doesn’t earn us the Promised Land, but it is necessary to claim it.
Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past helps us remember that He is present both now and in the future. He is a Promise Keeper.
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