Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chutzpah and Tikkun olam


Last night I watched an amazing documentary on Israel. Though they spoke of many things including chutzpah (which is audacity), what caught my eye was the final phrase Tikkun olam, which means repair the world.

This week has been a multitude of insights from the Lord, and I don’t know where to start.

He has had me all over the OT. So I guess I should just start with the beginning, which is not where I began.

But, for the sake of simplicity, let’s go:

We read in Genesis 2:16-17 where God speaks to Adam:

…”You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

And then further down in Genesis 3:1:

Now the serpent was more craft than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made, he said to the woman, “Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”

Like Eve, from the beginning you and I have the truth laid out before us, regardless of how it has been spoken into our lives.

Yes, verses 16 and 17 were spoken to the man. But it would be folly to think that these words were not spoken into Eve’s life – whether by the voice of God, or by her husband.

You see, it makes no difference how God’s Word is spoken into your life – Truth is Revealed!

Even in creation, which is spoken of in Romans 1:20

But you and I have the very Word of God

John 14:6 says, I am the way, the truth and the life

Rev. 2:7 encourages us "He that hath and ear, let him hear ...I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

Like Eve, it is not the good we have been given that holds our attention for long. No we actually will begin to take that glorious good and take it for granted. Then rather than living joyous and thankful lives we indulge ourselves with discussions of our lack.

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the tree in the garden.But, God said that we must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and we must not touch it, or we will die.”

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:1-5


You see, having convinced ourselves of the good of self-indulgence, for whatever the reason, we are swallowed up, we are trapped by our sin.


Whether you are reading of these things for the first time or the hundredth time, we all have revealed before us the Tree of Life –  as well as the way of rebellion, following our own indulgences...which lead to death. (Romans 6:23)

Like Eve we have chosen our own way. And we know, our eyes are opened, it is death!
Face it, there is nothing you can do about it!
BUT WAIT! The second half of Romans 6:23 is “...the gift of God is eternal life.”
No, there is nothing you can do!

But God has, since the beginning, God has provided the way.

Our answer lies in the the Tree of Life, which is Salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our answer lies in Christ alone!

God understands what it will take to save you, even the very end of Himself. This is why He has sent His own Son that He died for me, and you.

              That He would suffer and even bare for eternity the scars of that suffering in His body!

 Scars inflicted by my,
                                        by your self-gratification – self-satisfaction – self-aggrandizement.

Sister, whatever it is that you desire above Him –it will be your eternal death – yes you will surely die!
Whether like Adam you walked into it with your eyes wide open,
                                                       Or
Like Eve you were deceived about the very nature of God……….. Today is the day!  Confess and Repent!
I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I John 4:15 continues with “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he is in God.
Repent ladies  and receive His forgiveness, and live!
I started this message by referring to two Jewish words, chutzpah and Tikkun olam. Though both are really cool sounding, and in the case of Tikkun olam, right sounding ideas, let me say it is with audacity that mankind has tried to repair the world.
Let me say also that we have failed.

Oh yes we like to blame God, but in that garden ,that good and right garden, even in our own lives today, He has never denied us the Way, the Way which would truly repair the world.

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life

If you have never come to the end of yourself, and acknowledged before God that you are a sinner in need of a Savior, and you so desire salvation today, begin by calling out to Him now.
Join me as I pray:
Father, Abba,
Today someone may read these words and feel within their heart the longing and desire to surrender their lives to you. I pray O King and Creator, that You do what only You can do and lead them in that one and only way. That they might repent of their sin and rejection of Your Son Jesus Christ. That they may receive Him into their life. Father. I trust that as by Your Holy Spirit You have begun this good work of salvation in their lives, that You will also complete it. I pray You will lead them to a good bible believing church, that they may grow in the knowledge and grace of Christ Jesus. Amen



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Submitting to God's Timing

Well Ladies if you weren't at Beth el Baptist Church inHouston today, youmissed a couple of pretty good messages, and some awesome singing. Sherry Bohannnon sang a beautiful song. I will get back with you on the name. But it was so beautiful.

The theme of our message today was “Submitting to God’s Perfect Timing!”

The very title of this message suggest that:
      You know Christ as your personal Savior. You have a personal and intimate relationship with Him. You spend time in God's Word, daily. You spend time in prayer, daily. You recog nize His voice when He speaks, and you obey Him.  (Check out  John chapter 10)

That being said, I suppose we have all spoken those infamous words; “When Lord? When?”

Waiting on the Lord isn’t a new subject.

I’m just not sure that we appreciate the importance of waiting.

Maybe the reason is we just don’t like to wait. Waiting makes us anxious.

Why is that?

Doesn’t God’s Word say, be anxious for nothing, but in all things…

Many years ago, when I was a child, time was such a huge thing for me. From one weekend to the next, seemed like forever. Preparing to leave and to journey anywhere, the store, the doctor’s office or going on vacation, was always preceded with, “When are we leaving?” and then as we started down the road, “Are we there yet?”

I was impatient and my parents timing didn’t always move fast enough for me.

How different would our journey’s together have been if I had instead been trusting and thankful.

As I started this devotional I had to ask myself, how much this attitude has changed as I became a mature christian.

While considering this I reread two stories in the bible, so ­­I would like you to join me for a little exercise that I did with myself.

There you are, sitting in the cool shade of the elm tree, can you feel it, the wind gently blowing on your tear stained face. You are remembering the early days of your marriage, when you and your husband spoke with excitement and eagerness of the family you would one day have.

He was so sure that he had heard the voice of God saying

 “…I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust then your offspring could be counted.”

Knowing that he was a godly man, you trusted his leading. More important you trusted God.

But that had been so long ago. You have since floated in and out of depression.

If you could just have a baby!

“When Lord?” You cry out in your heart. “When? I am getting too old to carry a baby, and my husband hardly looks at me any longer!”

 As the endless tears begin to flow again, It is then you open your tired, aging eyes, and see her, young and beautiful, made to bear children, and you have an idea…..
Now lets move from the elm tree, to the office:

There you are sitting again. This time you are at your desk. With so many fears and worries laying heavily on your mind, you began to pray, “Why, God, why is this happening to me? I have loved You so much. Even when my mother died so young, Even when my brothers disowned me, tried to destroy me, I trusted You. Not only have I loved you and trusted you. I have always obeyed you.

You blessed me, by giving me this job. But now it looks like I am going to lose it! The boss is coming on to me. He’s married and he isn’t a believer. I know he’s going to get rid of me if I keep saying no.

Lord, I can’t afford to lose this job. It seems like I take one step forward and two steps back in life. When is it going to get better? When?” you ask as you open your eyes, and see he is standing there in front of you. He’s not a bad looking man, and he is very nice to you. And you begin to think maybe this is God’s will, surely he doesn’t expect me to lose what he has given….

You may recognize those two scenarios, as being borrowed from the bible. In each of these circumstances, which I modernized a little bit, in each of these circumstances, I can see what I perceive as valid reasons for becoming impatient, and not wanting to wait on God to do something.

Psychology tells us impatience is a decision making problem.

And I agree with that.  Whether you have waited hours, weeks or years, many a bad decision has been made because, for whatever the reason, someone couldn’t wait any longer.

For the Christian our decisions and the outcome of our decisions is the result of our ability or inability to not just to wait, but to wait on God.

What’s more, our ability to wait on God is directly related to our belief system, our faith.

But, It is also directly related to the world. We are often distracted and our faith is weakened by what we allow into our ears and our eyes, and ultimately our hearts and our lives. Once this occurs we begin to grow anxious. (Anxious that we didn’t hear right, anxious that we misunderstood, anxious that we will lose something, miss out on something, anxious that God’s goal isn’t our goal)

We know the outcome of both Sarai and Joseph’s response to waiting for God’s timing, but I want to do some dissecting just the same.

But first let’s take a look and dissect someone elses story. I am sure you remember King Saul.

Go with me to I Samuel 13:8 - 13

8. And he tarried seven days according to the set time that Samuel had appointed; but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.

9. And Saul said, bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.

10. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made and end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.

11. And Samuel said, “What hast thou done?” And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.

13. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly; thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord, thy God, which he commanded thee…

Prior to our text, we learned that a battle was brewing between Israel and the Philistines.  Samuel, the man of God, was well aware of the war and ensuing battle. He had said to King Saul that he would return on a specific day and offer the required sacrifice to God.

Saul an Israelite knew the law. He knew the requirements and He knew the prohibitions about who could and could not make sacrifices before the Lord. Yet as he saw his troops disappearing, as he heard of the thousands of Philistine troops gathering, as there was no sign of the man of God, his faith began to falter, and he became anxious.

He needed to do something! This is war! Waiting could cost us everything!

This moment was not a total surprise to Saul. God had been preparing him all of his life for this job. Philippians 4:6 tells us to trust that whatever God brings us to, He will bring it to completion.

I am not saying that Saul knew of this specific event.

But God, who had shown Himself to be trust worthy over and over, was working in Saul’s life. God was teaching him principals of obedience and trust. Saul should have known another trial was coming his way.

Saul needed to be at the place in his life where he understood God had called him to this crisis. 

He also needed to be prepared for God’s outcome, whatever it would be.

Now we are getting somewhere. Isn’t that why we grow anxious and panic? We aren’t sure of God’s agenda. We are not sure where He is taking us.

When we enter such circumstances and times, when the pressure is on, the clock is ticking, the world and your emotions are saying you have to act, you have to do something….let me caution you to wait for God.

Although every specific situation that comes into our lives is not specifically written into the bible, the principals to live by are in there. Our circumstances do not surprise God. He has given us all we need, to know what to do.

 His character, His principals do not change because we have entered panic mode. Stop and wait submit, surrender to God’s timing, regardless of the cost!

Now let us look at Sarai and see how this applies to her life.

What did she know?

1.      She knew her husband as her lord and master. Like it or not ladies your husbands are your head. He is the leader of your home.

2.      She knew God’s Word through her lord; it had been made clear to her.

3.      She also knew she was getting old, her body told her so. Like Saul her feelings/emotions were screaming in panic, something had to happen.

I know that she had waited a lifetime. God knew that she had waited a lifetime.

By all that we know in the worldly realm of things, Sarai was not going to be a mother.

And had God not spoken into the life of her husband, maybe seeking out a surrogate would have been the right thing for her, or adoption.

But God Himself had nixed the idea of adoption, when He told Abraham his servant Elieazer would not be his heir and when he said his son would come from his loins. (Gen. 15)

If Sarah had been patient and waited a little longer she would have personally had God’s Word on it that she would be the one to bare Abraham a son. Gen 17:16.

But she began to doubt, lose faith, and become anxious, because by the world’s standards she was out of time. She was beginning to think that God might not give her the desires of her heart. Hadn’t the promise been made to Abraham?

Since she was now using the world’s standards of timing, and she had begun to doubt God’s Word as revealed to her husband, it was easy for her to look around and see that the world had its own solutions for this type of situation.

There is nothing that comes into our lives that surprises God. Not our barrenness, or our captivity, nor the world.

And when these things do touch us, He is trustworthy! Still,

Like Saul we are often distracted by what is going on around us. Let’s go back and look at it through his eyes again.

He is in the midst of a war. The war isn’t going well. The appointed time arrives and God hasn’t shown up, and neither has God’s man.

Ladies, that phrase should resonate with some of us.  “…God has arrived and neither has God’s man!”

So what do we do? Usually, we do the same as Saul. We start to look around and figure out how to handle things ourselves. How do you think women’s’ lib was born?

But as we turn our eyes upon the problem, on the seeming lack of solution, we are turning our eyes to a worldly view of the problem and worldly solutions.

As Saul looked around, he saw his troops panicking and deserting him. He saw they needed to see something that would bring them back, to where he needed them. He needed to do something that would inspire them to victory.

Wait a minute! Did You hear that “..he needed to do something that would inspire them to victory!”

Is that what he thought?

When waiting on God, and it seems that God hasn’t shown up, Saul felt, Saul believed he had to do something to inspire his men to victory?

Is that what he thought he was waiting for Samuel to come and do, to motivate and to inspire?

Are you beginning to see the problem?

The offering that Samuel would make is not related to how it would make the people, the soldiers feel.

It was to honor and acknowledge God. It was about obedience, It was about trusting God!

Ladies, He is our Victory! Even when it looks like defeat!  Do you remember Calvary?

Do you remember the tears and the fear?

Do you remember the victory?

And what of Sarai?

Every day, she saw the bony old fingers of the women in her camp, pointing at her.

Every day, she saw, or imagined she saw her husband’s disappointment as he looked at her aging barren body.

She could only see what at this time appeared to be empty promises from a distant God.

Saul seems to have placed his faith in a man, Sarai seems to have placed her faith in tradition and her own understanding.

 Ultimately they both placed their faith in themselves and their ability to devise a way.

But let’s finish up by looking at Joseph. Joseph who doesn’t try to make things happen. Joseph who is willing to suffer all things according to the  will of God. Joseph who chooses to walk up right before the Lord even if it means prison or death. Joseph who chose to surrender to God’s Timing.

You see we talk about submitting and committing, that keeps everything in our control.

When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, he could have justified in his mind, much like Sarai and Saul. He could have justified by saying my master is a eunuch. He has made all of the servants in his house eunuchs, except me. Perhaps this is Potiphar’s wish, surely he knows I am young and healthy and his wife is beautiful. Maybe this is why God placed me here!

But no, Joseph who had long ago surrendered himself to God’s will for his life looks passed the things, the lies of this world.

He looks past his own aching loins and loneliness.

He sets aside his anxious feelings, knowing that God has spoken into his life, and will complete the work He has started.

He doesn’t look at what the world sees. He looks only on the character, the face of his God.

God would be offended if I slept with another man’s wife.

Joseph a son of Jacob had less of the law than Saul did. Yet he knew the requirements and expectations of God from his father.  He knew the prohibitions about premarital sex and adultery, again from his father. Oh wait a minute, his dad had two wives and two concubines. But still he knew. 

Joseph was not  looking for an excuse to go his own way.

He had surrendered his life to God, and if doing it God’s way meant prison or death, then so be it.

What does Joseph know?

A Slave has no life of his own, if his Master doesn’t speak or answer, the slave does only what he has already been told, otherwise he stands and waits!

So what about you, my sisters? Are you waiting on something? Are you being tempted by the promises of the world as you wait?

Is the clock ticking? Are you feeling panicked? A decision has to be made!

I will leave you with

Sarai, who in her old aged bore a son to her husband Abraham. I leave you with Joseph who was second only to Pharaoh and who saw his brothers and his parents bow down to him.

I leave you with the words of David who surrendered to God and His timing and ultimately replaced Saul who failed to trust in God’s perfect time;

The Words in Psalms 27:14 simply say:

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.










Monday, April 2, 2012

The Secret You May Have Missed Principal #7

Ladies, this is the last message from John 4. I wanted to draw out something that you may have missed. Sometimes we overlook the plainest message in front of us. The secret to a living walk with the Lord, is sharing.

This loose woman from this drunken town made a difference in her life, as well as in the life of the place she lived, Sychar, drunken town that it was.

Look at verse 26 through 30. Jesus said to her.  I, Who speak with you, am He....Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town. And she began telling people, Come! See a man who told me everything that I ever did! Can this be the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One?  So the people left the town and set out to go to Him.

Did you see it? She left her water jar and went!

That which had driven her into the heat of the day, that which she once thought would quench her thrist and wash her over and over again, no  longer held her in bondage.

She left her water jar to go and share the Living Water of Salvation.

There is nothing in the life of a believer that should come so easily as saying. Come, to my church, hear of Christ, who has changed my life! I do not understand it all, but one day He spoke to my heart of all I have ever done. He showed me that I am a sinner, and knowing in my heart that He was correct, I said, Yes! I am! He then showed me that as I am guilty of sin, there is a penalty that I owe. A penalty I could not afford to pay. I agreed with him that I was destitute and could not pay. Then I rejoiced when He said, Come to Me! For I have already paid. Come and see this God that has provided a lamb in His Own Son. Won't you Come?

Now, no longer a loose woman, enslaved by alcohol or sex, or whatever else may have held you or me in bondage.

Now and forever, a child of the King.
The Secret You may have missed, Principal #7 Share what God has done for you. Just do it! Just open your mouth and say, Come to my church, and hear of this Christ who has truly changed my life.

See as you walk in, and share the Truth, see the chains of bondage fall away.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Principal Six found at the Well in Sychar

Hello and thank you for coming back. Today's message is a little shorter than the other two. I thought I might try to stetch it out a bit. But as I spent time with the Lord, I realized, simply that I shouldn't.

Anyway, As I reread John chapter 4 I kept going back to verse 19: "The woman said to Him, Sir, I see and understand that You are a Prophet." (Amplified).

As this drunken sinful and loose woman from a drunken town would not be driven from the well, spoke with Jesus, she began to get a glimmer of the light of Whom it was that she spoke with.

I think I kept going back to this verse because I had heard it said that this statement was the woman's attempt to draw Jesus away from her sin.

That maybe so, except she had already confessed to Jesus. Agreed with His assessment of her life.

Now she seems to have that growing desire in her heart to worship, as Jesus said, "...you samaritans worship what you do not know." John 4:22

And, how could she, how could we not, desire to worship, to truly worship, when IN His revealed presence? Even when we just don't know, just don't understand...

You know Jesus didn't stop there. He also said to this thirsty woman, "...a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

So let me ask you, when was the last time you sat down with the Father, allowed Him to pour His Word over Your life,

                                      Reveal your sin,

Then as you come into agreement with His assessment of your life,

and with joy umexpressable in any other way, simply Worship Him?

So I will end with principal #6 for removing the shackles from your life.

Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Worship Him on your knees or upon your face. Worship Him as if He is your God.
                                      That is who He is.

God Bless you my Sister's in Christ. I covet your prayers.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Principals to be learned in a Drunken Town from a Loose Woman

Early in the week, after sharing how the lost can come to Christ, we touched on when the saved remain in bondage.

Let's take a look again at this lost woman  and her story and see if there are any principals that will loosen the shackles in our lives, that they may fall to the ground.

Open your bible to John 4; 6-7.

We read that it was about the sixth hour (noon).

Our heroine, because of her sin, was no longer welcome at the community watering hole, with the respectable women of the town. You see they all came in the cool of the morning to draw their water.

Welcome or not she had a need for water, so she came to the well at noon, the start of the hottest part of the day. This wasn't a want. she proabably wished it was a want. A want she could walk away from.  But, it was a need. So she went to the well everyday at noon, because she had a thirst and a need to be washed. So she went to the well when she wouldn't be seen.

Sometimes, our sins drive us into hidding too. We hide from ourselves, other's and our Lord. Like Adam and Eve. They met with the Lord in the cool of the morning everyday until...
Until, they sinned. Then they hid.

The Lord, he came out of His way each day to visit with them

He had come out of His way that day in Samaria, to meet this woman from Sychar.

He has come out of His way to meet you, as well. You are His own. His precious daughter.

The cool of the morning may have passed for you. In the heat of the day, you may be seeking water. He who is the well awaits you.

Keep coming to the well, even when your drawing bucket seems to come up dry and empty.

Come to the well of His word and listen for His voice

He will speak to you. No matter your sin. Come to the well of Truth. Draw deeply from it.

He will penetrate even your insolence and your shame. He will break through to your heart and bring you to that place where you to can confess your sins and find restoration.

Just come to the well. Listen and don't run from this conversation of the heart.

Just as is was difficult for this Samaritan woman to hear her sin, it will be difficult for you to hear the Lord identify your sin, and tell you what is wrong with your life.

Dear Sister listen to Him and agree with Him. Answer Truth with Truth.

John 4:17 "The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, you have spoken truly..."

Empty your self of your pride, return to the well, that speaks truth and satisfies.

Sometimes we who are holy vessels become so filled with things of the world, all of the wants and longings and lies it promises. Yet as full as we are of these worldly things, these sins, we are so empty.

Come before the Lord. Bathe in His Word until He speaks to you. Let Him empty you that He may fill you to over flowing.

Principal One; Dive  into God's Word.
Principal Two: Pray, talk to Him. Listen to Him
Principal Three: As He speaks, listen
Principal Four: Agree with what He says, and watch the chains begin to fall away.
Principal Five: Let Him cleanse you and fill you with Truth.

Next week Principal six

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A drunken town and a loose woman

I was reading in John 4 today. It is the story of the woman at the well. Jesus was on His way to Galilee, when He decided to go out of His way and stop in Sychar of Samaria. Sychar means drunken. It was about noon when he arrived at the well, where he sat down to rest. The disciples had gone on into town to buy some food. But Jesus, He had a divine appointment.

As He waited, a Samaritan woman came to draw water. She came at noon becasue the other women looked down upon her. She was considered to be very loose. He asked her to give Him a drink. What a question to ask of this loose woman in this town known for it's desire for drink.

Her response was what you might expect from this probably lonely, angry, used woman. It was an in your face, who do you think you are, answer.

Jesus, not one to take the bait or to be easily offended, responded with TRUTH. "If you knew, knew Who I Am..."

I don't know how many of you know that my past was that of an alcoholic. Yes, I am a recovered alcoholic. And Jesus went out of His way to rescue me. I have read this story many times, but this is the first time that I realized the name Sychar means drunken. Thus the town had a reputation, that probably everyone was aware of. including Jesus.

Ladies, I don't know what your problem(s) may be. I don't know what drives you to the well in the heat of the day. I don't know what seperates you nad binds you. Is it alcohol? Sexual addiction? Were you molested as a child? Are you promiscuous? Are your children out of control? Has your husband lost his job/ Left you? Are you depressed? Or just don't know which way to turn?

What I do know, is that Jesus has gone out of his way to meet you where you are?

He desires to give you truth.

Like the woman at the well, you need to recognize that you are a sinner. You need to recognize who Jesus is. And you need to repent and call upon the One who can save you. The One who went so far out of His way for you that it cost Him His life. A cost you could not pay your self.

Maybe you know Jesus, but still you find yourself enslaved to some horror. Yes horror, and you thirst for deliverance. Rest assurred He is your answer too. Won't you meet Him at the well.

He thirst for your freedom!

Tune in next week, as we discuss how to be freed.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

When Life doesn’t turn out like you Expect

I first gave this message On April 1st 2010. Yes I had to get up and speak on April Fool’s Day. I wasn’t exactly happy about the timing. But God’s timing and purposes are always right on. I heard Him clearly that this was what I was to do.

God’s Word says in Isaiah 28:16 and Paul repeats in Romans 10:11 that who ever believes on Him will never be ashamed. I trusted and believed and He came through that evening as He always does. I was amazed. But then He is an amazing God. An Amazing Father.

Yes even though my life looked nothing like I had once imagined it would be, I knew that God’s plans were greater, far greater than anything I could have dreamed.

And I did have dreams.

I thought I would have a 30 kids and as many grand children.
Too often over the years I followed what I thought was right and good in my own eyes, rather than what I knew was God’s path.

For example: I knew premarital sex was wrong. Yet, I followed my own desires.

For example: Abortion, Knowing it was wrong, but convincing myself, this was the only way! Truly not wanting to be known to be pregnant, AGAIN! And not wanting to have to publicly say, I was wrong! I made a mistake! I didn’t want to dance to the tune I had written for myself. And ADOPTION! I couldn’t give my child to someone else to raise! I half tried that once! How could I live with myself! How selfish to deny my child life so that I could live with myself. Father forgive me.

For example: Back in the early 2000’s I knew God had called me to Chiapas, but I reasoned myself out of it. I must learn Spanish, I am afraid of going alone. Someone even said it would
make me old. HA! Like I was going to get to skip getting old if I stayed in the states.

On one level I wanted what God wanted for me. But I on another level….

Well anyway, you can see, life had not turned out the way I planned. God’s Word in Jeremiah, says “I know the plans I have for you…”

When I spoke on this subject back in 2010, I said that sometimes life can seem like a cruel joke.

Yet sometimes we are glad that some of our plans haven’t turned out. I am glad I don’t have thirty kids.

Isn’t it funny though, how we really only question …our lives…our God…when things turn out less than what we planned, or wanted.

I wouldn’t give anything for my family, but that abortion still haunts me.

And Chiapas, aahh Chiapas.

Today, I want to talk with you about Moses. Now there is a life to review! For his life definitely didn’t turn out like anyone planned, except God! He knows the plans He had for Moses………

Oh well lets just turn to Exodus 3, starting in verse 1:

{Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the Priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush. “Moses, Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here am I.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.}

You may recall that Moses was born into slavery and under a death penalty, for simply being born a boy. Then in a twist of fate, he winds up being raised and loved by the very household that ordered his death sentence. The house of Pharaoh.
This is one of those times when life didn’t turn out as expected and it was a good thing. 

He didn’t die and…… he didn’t live life as a slave.
So here was Moses raised as royalty in the house of Pharaoh.
Educated in the finest Egypt had to offer.
He learned languages, politics’, math, world religions, history
management strategies, and even the magical arts, and astronomy.
I imagine there was one thing that eluded him though.

He probably was not in line to be Pharaoh.

For he was not Egypt.
With all of his education and sophistication, this one thing would forever be out of his reach.
                And I bet, at least for a time, he wanted it badly.
   

In his heart of hearts, he knew he was destined for greatness!

Most of us are ambitious for something.

So here’s Moses, who knows about his Hebrew Roots. By God's design his first 3 years were spent with his own mother who would have instilled as much of God in him, and who he was, as she possibly could.
Yes, he felt it! He knew it! He was destined for greatness…
Educated,
Intelligent,
Ambitious,
                  but he was not Egypt.
 
Sometimes we have a hint of God's plan's for out life and instead of waiting we wrap it in human trappings and think we know what we are doing.


Yes, Moses was living a dream.

But even there, in the palace how could he not have a bigger dream? One that was made up of wants and self, lots of self.

Have you ever met anyone who didn’t have a dream? Everyone hopes for something. Please don't misundertand. Their is nothing wrong with dreaming. But, those dreams should not be the goal.

So what was your dream? What was it that you believed could and would happen?

          Where did your dreams come from? Were they born in your childhood?
As a young adult?
Nurtured by parents, teachers, friends?
Where they elaborate?
Simple?
Fun?
Romantic?
Practical?
 

I think Moses dreams were fueled by the stories he heard at his Hebrew mother’s knee.
The stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob …
But not just that, there was also,
The ambition that being raised and nurtured in the lavish house of Pharaoh brings.
And of course there were the stories of Joseph,
                                                        a Hebrew, second only to Pharaoh.
Exodus 2:11 tells us Moses ventured out and watched his own people at their labor, beneath the task master’s whip.
I can’t tell you what was in Moses heart that day as he observed the abuse these people of which he was apart and was not apart, suffered.
But let me tell you about my heart. Maybe it is your heart too.
When I am watching TV, and one of those commercials come on about starving children, it hurts.
Feeling helpless, I usually look away. Sometimes I send money…Is it guilt, compassion, solution that gnaws at me?
Sometimes I even dream about ways to help in more substantial ways.
If I were rich I reason, if I were a famous singer, or talk show host, I could do something more substantial.
We have seen famous people do some wonderful things. Some have even benefited from their own benevolence.
There is nothing wrong with benefiting in some ways. Sometimes benefiting is impossible to avoid. As Moses heard the call to serve, I can see how he could easily perceive it as a dream, his dream.

I can see how he perhaps began to develop a plan, an educated plan. A plan to benefit the Hebrews and Moses. Why not!
Maybe he decided that he could steal the hearts

                                                     of this multitude of Hebrew slaves, who longed for freedom.

You know years later that is exactly what David’s son Absalom did to his father. (II Samuel 15: 1-6 tells us that Absalom went and sat at the gate of the city “…and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.”

If a blood son could conceive in his heart such a plan, so too could an adopted son.

Moses could have his dream and become Egypt and set his people free too!

What a noble cause!

Yes I think Moses dreamed he could be the Hebrew deliverer and

They, these Hebrew slaves,

would be his vehicle to power

to become Pharaoh.

But, Moses plans, what ever they were, our plans what ever they are, are never as big, or wonderful as God’s plans.

If you have been a Christian for any length of time you have probably heard about the letter that Jeremiah the weeping prophet sent to those Israelites who had been devastated by war and taken captive by their enemies. God said in Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you.

I imagine these people, ripped from their homes, many of their loves ones dead, or sent somewhere else, struggled with this statement. How can Your plans of captivity be better than my plans of freedom?

Well God’s answers in Isaiah 55:8-12 when He says, “My ways are not your ways…”

Even in our salvation, often times we only see that we are saved from hell.

We should also see with eyes of faith, what we have been saved to. Our vision our plans are so small in comparison to His plans. We often live with one foot in Canaan and the other in our past, our Egypt.

When we don’t grow in our faith, when we don’t heed God’s direction, when we don’t wait upon His Word, when we follow our own ways, we should not be surprised when our plans run amuck of problems.

                                       Remember the problems that Moses ran into.

          He goes out to his people, (Exodus 2: 11-10)

          and in perhaps, indignation or anger he kills a man!

          It doesn’t matter what you call it or why he did it…

                                                 I assure you Moses felt justified in his actions.

Verse 12 tells us “…looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”

Yes, he felt justified!

Don’t we usually feel justified? We seldom do something for no reason. When we act apart from God, whether it turns out right or wrong, we usually can find a way of justifying ourselves.

The ways of a man always seem right to him. Proverbs 14:12 / Proverbs 16: 2, 25

 
If the man he had killed had been a Hebrew slave,
 
it probably wouldn’t have mattered to anyone who mattered, especially not to Pharoah.

But, this man was an Egyptian!

Isn’t that the way it unfolds ladies.

Just one misstep, one mistake,

and there are no do over’s…

By the way, it doesn’t look like Moses realizes he has blown it.
     
As a matter of fact I think he thinks he is still in control and

now really feeling like the deliverer.

Remember David with Bathsheba, he was out of control and didn‘t even know it!

Thinking his plan is unfolding nicely,

Moses returns to the pits for an encore, looking for his applause…

Are you looking for the applause of man? Applause from the world?

Be careful!

Moses returned to the pit to find his people only saw him as a pretender and a murderer.

THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS!
 
Oh yes and lets not forget Pharaoh.
 
Pharaoh, who now sees his Hebrew son as a threat.

                                     A threat that needs to be eliminated!


Have you ever found yourself there, on top of the world,
 
    
and then suddenly the world is on top of you?

* crushing and breaking you,

* making you desperate,

* making you run.

* Your heart is pounding,

* the tears, the fears, the panic

* and the utter desperation!

 
Then you and I have a soul mate in Moses.

He literally went in moments from a dynasty to devastation, and a desert.

Think about it:

Tainted by the glamour and glory of his life in Pharaoh’s palace,

Moses is unskilled and ill prepared to live in the world of

harshness,

thirst,

tents and

other indignities

and discomforts.

And yet ladies he survived!

Doors opened even if they were only the flap of a tent.

he survived because God is in the desert too.

 
So life had not turned out like Moses expected.

· Moses, who would be Pharaoh,

                                                         is now shepherding a flock of nasty sheep in the desert.

· It probably seemed like a cruel trick…  

                                                         I bet he grieved and wept over his loss.

· Have you looked around ladies and found smashed dreams?
 
                                                        Have you found a Bedouins tent instead of a palace?

It is okay to grieve and be sad. But don't live in the land of regret.

Face it, look at it squarely.
· Is he gone?
· Have your children chosen paths of destruction and ruin?
· Have your careers, turned into dead ends?
· Did you bring it on yourself?
· Did someone else do it to you?

It is okay to grieve and cry….But as you grieve and cry remember

that Moses was right where God wanted him….

at just the right time.

Oh, it still hurt….Like you wouldn’t believe….it hurt!

Sometimes we forget or just don’t want to think about it…but it’s the really hard times we face that are the most important.

And they usually have us right where God wants us.

Even though Moses’ life had run amuck of all his plans and dreams,

God still had His plan.

And unbeknownst to Moses,

God’s plan was to prosper him and all of Israel.

It was a plan to give hope and a future.

At this point Moses probably doesn’t feel like God,

if there is a God, even cares.

And I think Moses is still reliving all of his mistakes, recalling all of the what if’s..

What if he hadn’t gone out that day!

What if he hadn’t lost his temper!

What if…

Ladies, do you trust Him today.

Do you believed God cares about you?

Do you know and believe that even amid this pain God has a plan?

Maybe you don’t know it. Maybe you have just survived…

Maybe like Moses you still aren’t done with your dreams, desert or not…

Maybe like Moses you are still hanging on to Egypt….

Let’s read our text again. Exodus Chapter 3:

"Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the Priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush. “Moses, Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here am I.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God."

 

You know Ladies, this isn’t written anywhere, but I bet Moses was still hanging on to his Egyptian sandals.

Exodus 2:15 says that Moses fled from Pharaoh. He didn’t have time to change into his hiking boots. When he fled he was probably still wearing his fancy Egyptian designer suit and sandals. Then when he arrives, the Midianites recognized this Hebrew as an Egyptian. Probably because of his clothing and accessories.
When Moses moved into Reuel’s tents, he eventually had to take off his fancy duds. He had to take off Egypt,

to become a shepherd.

I think in those early days in the desert, when the wound was still fresh,

he had put his fancy sandals away and sometimes, as the years went on, when he was having a pity party,

he pulled those sandels out, stuck them in his travel pack and took off to the far side of the desert to try them on again….

away from everybody….

to remember and to weep…

I think he was wearing them that day recalling his lost glory,

when the God of Gory called to him from a burning bush.

Sometimes ladies even when our dreams and plans have fallen,

we still hang on to bits and pieces, as if they would do us any good.

You know ladies, in the bible, up till now, when God first spoke to people, he just showed up and spoke.
Adam, Noah, Abraham, they had no theatrics, no burning bush.

No, God just spoke or He showed up.
But here’s poor Moses;
      who had lived in the house of Pharaoh,
                       tainted by the splendor of the life he had lived.

He did know magic and the arts.

He had lived with the “god King” Pharaoh;
he had probably seen this supposed god stub his toe, become angry and fail.
Yep, Moses would have known Pharaoh was only a man, a lie.

So maybe Moses had difficulty believing in any god. His disbelief was probably not helped by his current circumstance.
So as old Moses shepherds a smelly flock of sheep, he really had no reason to believe.
 
So what does God do?

          He gives Moses a burning bush.

                           And you know Moses isn’t awed in the least.

He doesn’t yet, fall on his face.

He doesn’t shake in his fancy sandals.

This man who had probably seen and learned magic tricks that stunned the common man,
he is once again only reminded of Egypt and her wonders.
As he looks at that bush, wearing his Egyptian sandals, he is reminded of his loss.

Instead of awe he very nonchalantly walks over and says

“Cool trick let me go over and check this out. I remember when..”

I wonder how often I miss out on the awe and presence of God because I am so

*Busy looking back and remembering what was, or

*Because I am so calloused and jaded by the modern magical world

we live in today.

You know it has been a long time coming. Moses has been through a lot. But God knew exactly what it would take to reach Moses.

God gets Moses attention, and then he speaks…..

God Himself, brought Moses to the exact place he needed to be in order to hear the very

voices of the one true GOD!

Ladies, God Himself knows exactly what it is that you need right now.

         God said to Moses amidst his brokenness and disbelief,

                                          Take off your sandals…

Take off the remnants that are Egypt,

Take off where you have been,

what you have been through,

what you have believed, and stand here with Me. For I am God!

Yes in a gentle voice by the light of who He is, maybe God is calling you to let go of the bits and pieces of your dreams, and embrace the plans that He has for you.

In the light of who HE IS, Egypt pales in comparison.

Maybe right now you are standing on Holy Ground. Maybe God is saying “take off your past, your sorrows and your loss.”

Yes maybe God is speaking to you.

He knows you have been through a lot.

He knows it is hard sometimes to let go

of those bits and pieces of dreams.

Maybe your going through it right now.

It is okay to grieve and ask why.

It is okay to say I don’t want it to be this way. I want to get back to the palace, the dream.

I don’t want to let it go!

But maybe tonight is the night you can lay down the past, and what was.

Maybe you are here tonight and you too have looked at your life and found it isn’t all you had expected.

Maybe you go through the days numbly waiting for it to happen.

Maybe tonight is it.

Don’t miss it.

Don’t be so busy looking back you can’t see God is sending you a burning bush. Won’t you turn aside, come on over take off the past and see what God is doing and preparing you for.