Rock Into Water 

Psalms 114:8
“Who turned the rock into a pool of water, The flint into a fountain of waters.”

Israel was in a bad place. Conservative estimates calculate the camp of Israel to be nearly 2 million souls. They had left the comfort of the Nile river and began the arduous journey through the desert en route to the land of Promise. It did not take long before the difficulty of their journey began to take its toll physically and emotionally. The hardship of their experience coupled with the lack of basic provisions caused them to doubt the power of God to carry them safely to their destination. When their water supply ran out it is understandable that their faith was challenged and their weaknesses revealed. Their hardship would provide another opportunity for God to reveal His loving kindness. The characters in the scene include the congregation of Israel, an arid desert, a solid rock and a stick in the hand of Moses. What looked to be an impossible situation turned out to be a means for God to reveal Himself to the nation.

All of us find ourselves face to face with difficulty that is beyond our ability. We might not be in a physical desert or be in want of water but we are certainly in the midst of circumstances that are beyond our ability to handle. What a joy to know that God can use whatever means are at our disposal to provide whatever is lacking in our lives. The one who turned the rock into a pool of water is the same one who will provide for you in whatever struggle you are currently facing.

Jim

 

Miracles

Numbers 17:8
“Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.”

A miracle is defined as an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God. In other words, it is something that could not happen if God did not infuse His power into the situation. That is exactly what transpired here. To determine the validity of Aaron’s calling and ministry, God infused His power and made something that was incapable of bearing fruit, become fruitful. Aaron’s rod, which was nothing more than an old tree branch, suddenly came to life and produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.

This is not an isolated event. Throughout history God has been infusing His divine power into individuals, making them, and their ministry fruitful. He has, and continues to choose the foolish, weak, and lowly, for His divine service. He then fills them with His Spirit and uses them to accomplish what they could never have done apart from Him. Pulpits, children’s classroom, and mission fields, all around the world, are filled with tree branches that have been miraculously empowered by God, to become fruit bearing ministries. We should never think that our weakness limits God. Instead, we should trust in the fact that He is in the business of doing the impossible in and through the lives of those who are surrendered to Him.

Pastor Jim

 

Cleft Of The Rock

Exodus 34:5
“Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.”

Something happened in Moses that made him desire to know God better. Faced with the opportunity to ask anything from the Lord his sole desire was to see the glory of God. In response to this, God had a plan. Moses would get away from the people, hide in the cleft of a rock, and listen as God passed by declaring His true character. This event serves as a pattern for how every believer can discover the glory of a God.

Moses rose early and found a secluded place where he could hear the word of God. If we will follow that pattern, we too, will have glorious encounters with the Lord. It is in the secret place where we learn to abide in Christ and discover the hidden truths of His Word.

It is true that God can speak to us anywhere. Many of us have testimonies of times when our world was interrupted by the unexpected voice of God. We may have heard His voice in the middle of a crowded room, hiking a hill or even when we were stuck in traffic. While it is true that we may unexpectedly hear from God anywhere, it is also true that we can expect to hear from Him if we will rise early, get in a secluded place and open the pages of His Word.

Every morning there is a cleft of a rock waiting for the child of God to hide away in and hear the voice of God. Take the time to discover it for yourself.

Pastor Jim

 

What’s In Your Hand? 

Exodus 4:2
“So the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’  He said, ‘A rod.’”

This passage has always encouraged me. We find Moses wanting some evidence that God had truly called him, and God chooses to take what was in Moses’ hand and use it in a miraculous way. He did the same thing with the twelve when all they had was five loaves and two fish. He did it with David, when he entered the valley with a sling and a rock. He will do it with us, when we will offer who we are and what we have, for His service.

There are some stories in Scripture that I relate to more than others. However, when Joshua runs toward the Angel of the Lord, or when Abraham rises early to offer his son, I am not sure I picture myself responding in quite the same way. I think I would fit right in with Moses in this account,though. Even after God promises to use what is in his hand, and goes so far as to demonstrate how He would use him, Moses still doubts. I think it is a matter of perspective. Moses looked at how weak he was, while God looked at how strong He is.

If we want God to take what is in our hands and use it for His glory, we must be willing to trust that His strength is always revealed in our weakness. Instead of focussing upon what we cannot do, it is time to focus on what He can do.

Take some time to pray about how God may want to use you, especially in your local church.

Pastor Jim

 

I Have Seen 

Exodus 3:7
“And the Lord said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.'”

Since the incarnation, this is all the more true. With the eyes of man, God has seen oppression. He watched the brutal way in which men oppressed men. He saw tax collectors steal from men to support their sinful lifestyles, soldiers abuse authority and instill fear in the people, and religious leaders manipulate the people to gain power over their lives and attain a position of prominence.

With His ears, He heard the cries of men. He heard the cry of the widow whose son had died, the leper who pleaded for a healing touch, and the publican who cried out for mercy. He also heard the cries as the mob who exalted Him as Lord one day, only to demand His death a few days later.

He also knows our sorrows. He sat with friends who had lost their brother and wept alongside them. But more than knowing our sorrows as a comforter, He knows them as a victim. He learned first hand the pain of betrayal, rejection and hatred. His back felt the searing pain of the Roman whip, His brow, the thorns, His hands and feet, the nails. He knew the disgust of being spit upon, ridiculed, and falsely accused, yet, remained silent before His accusers, as He endured the cross and despised its shame.

As we face the pain, sorrow and difficulty of life and are tempted to raise accusations against God, thinking He does not care or understand, remember, He not only sees with the watchful eye of heaven, but He Himself bore our sorrows and is acquainted with our grief.

Pastor Jim

Big Shoes

Deuteronomy 34:9
“Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.”

I can remember times when my children would slip on a pair of my shoes and attempt to walk around the house. Their little feet were so small, and the shoes so large, that not only did they look ridiculous, but it made the simple task of walking from one side of the room to the next, almost impossible. Suffice it to say, attempting to fill someone else’s shoes is often a very difficult task. That concept would be greatly compounded as it relates to Joshua and Moses, of whom we are told, 

 

Deuteronomy 34:10-12

“But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. “

 

I think it is important to keep in mind, God never intended for Joshua to fill the shoes of Moses. Instead, He wanted to do a new work and raise up a new leader. Moses had been uniquely trained and gifted for the ministry he was called to perform. His education in Egypt, coupled with his time in the wilderness, gave him a skill set that helped him effectively lead the people out of Egypt, and through the wilderness. While at the same time, he established the foundation for a new nation. Joshua, on the other hand, would be called to an entirely different area of ministry, and would need a whole new array of giftings. Joshua was called to lead the people into the land, drive out the enemy, and establish Israel in their new homeland. More than anything else, Joshua would need to be able to discern the voice of God, for a game plan for victory. The training for this took place years before when he chose to make the tent of meeting his home. Early on in the wilderness journey, we read that Joshua was the assistant of Moses, and he never left the tent of meeting. His training for leadership was found in meeting with the Lord,  learning to discern His voice, and follow His leading.  

 

As time moves forward, men and women of God will pass on. In their place, we will find vast ministry opportunities. Instead of lamenting the loss of a leader, we should be seeking, in every way possible, to become a person whom God can use to carry on the work of the Lord. Perhaps it is time to follow the example of Joshua and begin to set up a meeting place where you daily spend time God, and learn His Word, His ways, and his voice. 

 

Pastor Jim 

 

 

 

A Great Nation

Deuteronomy 26:5
“And you shall answer and say before the Lord your God: “My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.’

The story of Abraham is the story of God, that has been rewritten in the lives of countless thousands over the years. Abraham was an unknown shepherd living in ancient Babylon when he heard the call of God. He was to separate from the world he lived in, and commit himself to following the Lord. As he, daily, walked by faith, and took simple steps of obedience to God, his life, and our world, were forever changed. Fast forward to the time of Moses, and this simple shepherd has become the Father of many nations. Fast forward to the time of Joshua, and his people have been given a land flowing with milk and honey. Fast forward, once again, to the time of Christ, and he has become a blessing to the entire world, because the promised  Messiah has come. 

As you live in the obscurity of what your life might be, wondering how God could ever use you to accomplish anything for the Kingdom of Heaven, keep in mind, that the pattern of God is always the same. Whether it is Gideon, threshing wheat, David tending sheep, Peter, James and John, mending nets or you, going about the activities of your daily life, God will always use the simple obedience of men and women of obscurity to transform the world. No one would have ever heard of any of the heroes of Scripture had they not responded in faith and obedience, and done the tasks that were set before them.

Whatever God is calling you to do, no matter how insignificant it may seem, do it! Time alone will tell how greatly the world will be impacted.

Pastor Jim