Careful To Whom You Listen

“The crowd is most often wrong.”
Pictured is the Desert of Paran. This is where Moses sent out the 12 tour guides. Yes, you read that correctly. The Hebrew word is not a spy, but a tour guide. They were to take a tour of the land; and then, come back and tell the people what they saw.
I recently did this after coming back from Israel. I told some people about the great time I had while in the Land. And guess what? Some of them are planning to come to Israel next year, despite what they heard in the US media.
This did not happen with the 12. Ten came back and told stories that discouraged the people from going into the Land. They left a sour taste in the people’s mouth about who their God was and what He could do.
Yet, two came back and told stories of how the land was already theirs’ because of their God’s promises and power.
You know who the people listened too.
Be careful where you get your information. The majority is not always right! Those who don’t push you towards trusting Jesus, rather than your eyes, are not from the Spirit.
Loving Jesus will never be easy this side of home. What we see and feel will be greatly discouraging at times.
Learn to listen to those who will encourage you to love Jesus even more through trusting Him, especially when life’s hard. This is the Spirit talking. He will always tell you the truth that keeps you free.

Nothing Allows Something to Happen

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day” – Winnie-the-Pooh.
Ever wonder why God calls us children of God rather than adults when we come to faith in Jesus? I recently watched a movie that drove this point home. When we become adults, we take on adult responsibilities. This is the natural order of things.
Yet, in the midst of taking care of these responsibilities, we often are robbed of our joy and peace. Why? We fail to do what Jesus did – communicate with our Father to see how and when He wants those responsibilities done.
No. We’re adults. We can handle this. We don’t need help. However, isn’t this relying on our own strength and ability? And doesn’t our joy and peace drain away the longer we do?
Chambers once said, “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and trusts the One Who is leading. It is a life of faith, not intellect and strength, but a life of knowing Who makes us ‘go.’”
God is the only one who can make something out nothing (Gen. 1:1). If you ever doubt this truth, simply look up at the sky on a starry night some time.
Doing nothing but what, when and how He wants those adult responsibilities done allows us to keep our childlike joy and peace while growing in our love for and faith in our Father.
So stay a child. Talk with your Dad!

Be Honest with Yourself

God is infinitely bigger than you.
These are the canyon walls of Ein Avdat, a nature reserve in southern Israel. At the end of this meandering canyon is a pool of water where a majestic waterfall plunges into it.
It was when I stopped for a minute to look up at these massive walls, however, that an overwhelming sense of God’s awesomeness overcame me.
I really am unable to put into words about how small I felt. I guess it would be like a fly on the nose of a rhinosarous. You’re there, but no one can see you because you’re just too small.
The Bible tell us in Philippians 2:3-8, and I’m paraphrasing, to do a gut check. You’re standing like a fly in front of this massive canyon called God. You’re just not as big as you think you are.
And Jesus as a man, though He was God, lived every minute in complete connection with and surrender to a tremendously huge God, even at the cost of His own life.
Stop and take a minute to look outside your tiny frame of reference and look up at the infinite vastness of God. Then ask yourself, “Who do I talk to more throughout my day – myself or God?”
There is time to be in connection with God, who is infinitely bigger than you, and that time is now

Time to Listen

You have two ears and one mouth.
This picture is of the desert that the children of Israel came through on their first attempt at entering the Promised Land.
The Book of Numbers in the Hebrew Bible is called “in the wilderness,” taken from the first word of the book itself. Yet the word for wilderness comes from the Hebrew word to speak.
This is quite insightful. God was taking the Israelites into the desert, where the distractions would be few and the situations would abound for them to trust Him.
Would the Israelites get the hang of listening to and following Him, despite what their eyes saw? We see from their words and actions that they didn’t. This had dire consequences for them and their children.
Are you learning to listen to Jesus in the midst of your desert experience(s)? Jesus said His sheep would do just that despite what they saw and felt.
Your God is breaking into your everyday world to get you to trust Him. And it all starts with closing your mouth and listening.
Make this prayer of mine, yours as well, “Give me more love for You, more faith in You, and more strength from You to make more choices to follow You despite what I see and feel.

Too Many to Count

Walking across the beach on one of the many motus of French Polynesia was a kick. Grains of fine white sand would stick to our feet, eventually washing off in the aqua colored water. I never once thought to count those tiny individual grains. Quite frankly, I wanted to keep snorkeling!
Yet, David said that if he were to count those grains and all those on the beach, God’s thoughts toward him would vastly outnumber them.
He went on to say, “When I awake, I am still with You.” God was thinking about David while he was sawing logs and couldn’t possibly be thinking about God.
Think about this for a moment. What hurts and even destroys relationships? Neglect. Our Father doesn’t neglect His relationships. He thinks about each and every one of His children constantly, even when they can’t or won’t think about Him.
We spend more time thinking about ourselves than we should. Yet, even with all the time we do spend on ourselves – our needs, our wants, our desires, etc. – we still don’t know ourselves like our God knows us.
Therefore, don’t you think He’s much better equipped to make your life better than yourself? Of course He is.
Yet this requires a loving choice on our part to follow Him even if what He says goes against what we think and/or feel. It’s time to ask the Spirit for the faith and strength to enact that faith with your next choice.
It’s high time that you do. His thoughts outnumber yours gazillions to one.