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Posts Tagged ‘Exodus 3:1-10’

Stress and Stillness

July 15th, 2014

“Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14 NKJV.

The pace of schedules and noise of surroundings generate stress.

My thoughts and comments today are about “stress and stillness.”

Stress is your body’s reaction to challenges, the impulse of “fight or flight.” Hurry, worry and weariness will leave you vulnerable to stress. Its negative and debilitating effects are cumulative, diminishing your joy and optimism and even damaging health. Stress can result from concerns about health, relationships, pressures, finances, past mistakes, or future fears.

In daily life, stress is heightened by the frantic pace of our schedules and the deafening noise of our surroundings. Prolonged, those are wearying to body, soul, and spirit. The effects manifest interpersonally in relationships, marriages, or families, as well as intrapersonally, affecting yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. Your spiritual life and personal relationship with God is diminished and less satisfying.

Isaiah discovered, “Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength . . they will run and not get tired; they will walk and not became weary.” Read Isaiah 40:28-31 NAS. There is so much that you miss when you fail to take the necessary time to be quiet before God. Job, in the midst of the whirlwind of experiences and the confusion he felt, received wise counsel, “Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14 NKJV. Life makes better sense when you place God at the center of it all.

There are two concerns that I have. First, the pace of your schedule compromises the priority of God’s voice. See Exodus 3:1-10 NKJV. You will not hear the voice of God in your heart without quieting your spirit to wait and listen. Secondly, the noise of your surroundings competes with the clarity of God’s voice. See 1 Samuel 3:1-11 NKJV. Any time but especially when life is unclear and uncertain, spend time with God’s Word, quietly in His presence.

The Psalmist David was deliberate, I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2 NLT. At all times, you need to learn this truth, “Be still and know that I am God.” Read Psalm 46. Be intentional; it is important.

Some years ago, a book, Restoring Your Spiritual Passion (Gordon MacDonald, author) influenced my spiritual disciplines. MacDonald named three things essential to recovering passion when experiencing lost purpose, clouded vision, or confused direction: an address book with the names of “special friends who encourage you to obey God,” a map indicating the location of “safe places where you rediscover who God is,” and a calendar marking “still times when you hear what God says.” Respectively, each corresponds to three vital, Biblical principles of Fellowship, Sanctuary, and Sabbath.

For your personal study, I suggest consideration of events in the lives of Elijah, Jehoshaphat, and Moses. (1) “Be still when you need to hear a word from God.” Read 1 Kings 19:7-16 KJV. (2) “Be still when you need to know the plans of God.” Read 2 Chronicles 20:10-22 NKJV. (3) “Be still when you need to see the power of God.” Exodus 14:10-16/30-31 NKJV.

Today, my prayer for you is to truly know God in a deep and personal way.

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History and Destiny

May 31st, 2011

“The bush burned . . yet was not consumed.” Exodus 3:2 Amplified

“Where destiny connects with your history you will find God there.”

My thoughts today are about “history and destiny.”

Wouldn’t it wonderful if every question had an answer, if every dilemma had a solution, and if every mystery had an explanation? Unfortunately, much of the time they don’t. You should seek answers; you should want solutions; you should desire explanations. But life isn’t always that simple. It’s a good thing that life does come with an instruction book – the Bible! The Bible may not answer every question you ask or solve every problem you have, but it will lead you to the One who will. Sometimes life can’t make sense apart from God. Why would you expect anything to make sense without God’s truth and wisdom?

An interesting incident occurs to Moses in the midst of his daily routine. He was just minding his own business, finally having put Egypt behind him with all its history, painful memories, and unexplainable events. His life wasn’t all that great but it was better than it had been, until that fateful day. “The bush was burning with fire, but was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will turn aside and see . . why the bush does not burn.’ So when God saw that Moses turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush . .” Exodus 3:1-10 NKJV.

Here’s what I observe from this Bible narrative: God knows your history and location; God wants your attention; God has something to say that gives direction and purpose to life; where God meets you is holy ground; God’s direction is about your future, not your past.

What Moses saw – a bush burning but not consumed – did not make sense. It was contrary to everything he had previously known. Drawing his attention with this confusing incident, God had some pretty important things to say to Moses about his future and the future of a nation. Where Moses’ destiny connected to his history, God was there.

Those things that don’t readily make sense are often the very instruments God uses to pique your interest and gain your rapt attention. As you read the burning bush incident did you notice that God seemed to be waiting and watching until Moses would stop what he was doing long enough to find out what God was doing? That’s a challenge for people busily running to anyone promising an answer. God “called to him from the midst of the bush.” Exactly in your bewildering moment and out of the thing you cannot understand or explain, God can speak clearly through the very situation that fills you with curiosity and uncertainty.

People often stay too busy to notice God around them and live lives too noisy to hear what God wants to say to them. Maybe your unanswered questions or unsolved dilemmas could be God’s invitation to discover truth deeper than every inadequate answer for which you would have settled. God may or may not answer your specific question, but He does answer the question you should have asked and provides the answers and understanding you really need to know. See James 1:2-8 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that you place your past, present, and future in God’s hands.

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