Let’s Try Something Different

11 10 2013

Is your faith waning? What will it take to strengthen it again? Left alone, it will become negativity…and lead to complaining. That never goes well.

The Israelites were delivered from a lifetime of bondage. Every one of them was born into slavery.

What began as a refuge from the famine in Joseph’s time had become a nightmare. The current Pharaoh, afraid the Israelites would overrun his country, forced them into slavery. With friends and family members being beaten, abused, and killed on a daily basis, no doubt they asked, “Where is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?”

I have an inkling of how they perceived Him: unloving and powerless – or worse – uncaring.

Without a memory bank filled with examples of the time God …(provided, healed, etc.), they were without hope of His intervention.

Did you ever wonder why God went “over the top” to remove the Israelites from Egypt? He could have, just as easily, merely had Moses waltz in and tell Pharaoh to let them go or all the government officials would drop dead. In the confusion that followed, the Israelites could have left.

Instead, there were the ten plagues…a learning opportunity for the Egyptians, the Israelites, and for us as well.

Here is one example:

When people have a very perverted view of God, He will do what is necessary to break through the lies and reveal Who He is. This is especially true when, as Jeremiah 29:13 says, they seek Him with all their heart.

Do you remember how God kept telling the people to “remember”? He wanted them to rehearse the things they’d seen Him do because in so doing, their faith in Him would remain strong.

For the Israelites – and for us as well – the battlefield is the mind. The minute we forget what we’ve learned about God, doubt begins to creep in.

If those doubts aren’t taken captive – caught and examined in light of what we know about God – they give way to negativity.

Because we doubt God’s ability to act, we begin to think things like, “This is hopeless,” or “This circumstance will never change.”

When we find ourselves doing in doubt, we must  stop and ask, “Is this true? What have I seen God do in the past?”

It’s at this point that we need to make a conscious decision to trust God despite what we see.

Psalm 13 is a great chapter to meditate on at such a time:

“How long O Lord will You forget me? How long will You look the other way? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts, and every day have such sorrow in my heart?

“Look on me and answer, O God my Father, bring light to my darkness before they see me fall.

(Here’s the important part)

“But I trust in Your unfailing love…You have been good, You will be good to me.”

This is a great song to learn and sing when things get shaky:

 

***

With our eyes redirected back to God and what we know to be true about Him, we will not fall into the trap of murmuring and complaining to others. Bit by bit, you’ll find your ability to trust God strengthened once again.

When we get to where we can say, “God, I don’t get this…but I trust that You have a plan and a purpose for what’s going on. Please don’t let me miss the lesson you have for me in this test,” we are in a very good place, and we begin to experience the “peace that passes all understanding.”

The funny thing is that nothing

– apart from out thoughts –

has changed. 

Yet!

And we won’t become complainers who take out others in the process!

***

As Stephen kindly pointed out in yesterday’s comments, “we need to look beyond His miracles, and look at His character instead. WHY He did something, instead of WHAT He did. Then our faith will be based on something far deeper and substantial.” We must not live from experience to experience, demanding a sign or miracle from God. We will become disillusioned if we expect Him to behave like a Genie in a lamp.

Praise God who will do the necessary “What” in order to lead us to ask “Why” – why did God do what He did? He longs for us to know Him and trust Him.

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

2 Chronicles 16:9

Read the beginning of this series: Here We Go Again

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8 responses

11 10 2013
thisgirlcandy

this was such a timely reminder for me today–especially the bit about thinking in terms of God’s character (the why) versus the specifics of the what. I get impatient when it doesn’t appear that He’s doing anything (or more accurately, that He isn’t doing what I want Him to do) and that’s when all the doubts rush in. Looks like I’ll be really meditating on Psalm 13.

12 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

That’s a great Psalm. I sing it all day long when in a tough spot. So glad it ministered to you today. 🙂

\o/

11 10 2013
vonhonnauldt

When I read this portion of Exodus, I’m always impressed by it. At first, the Israelites, on hearing of their impending freedom, they “believed…, then they bowed their heads and worshiped,” 4:31. However, when reality set in that Pharaoh wasn’t on the same page with God, “they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage,” 6:9. So like us. So like me….

11 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

…so like me, as well.

\o/

11 10 2013
Heidi Viars

thanks for the continued reminder, dear one

11 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

I need this every day, nearly!

\o/

11 10 2013
Kari Anne Dorstad

Thanks for more encouragement. I’m just going to joyfully trust him with my hopes my dreams and desires and know from experience his unique way of providing above and beyond my own expectations. He is good all the time!.

11 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yes, He is good! I’ve found God to be completely trustworthy…even when I don’t understand what He is doing.

\o/

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