The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned vast numbers of livestock. So when they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideally suited for their flocks and herds… “Do you intend to stay here while your brothers go across and do all the fighting?” Moses asked the men of Gad and Reuben. (Numbers 32:1,2,6 NLT)
When God gives us a vision, He expects us to reach it without any compromise.
More often than not, we settle for less afraid of losing the provisions He gave us; forgetting, if not for the vision we won’t have that provision in the first place.
We are where we are because of the vision. It is not acceptable that we reach ‘almost’ there and settle for less. The most exciting time is yet to come if we pursue all the way!
After all, vision is not about us! Why we settle for something seems suitable just because vision seems to be impossible? We know its far from who we are called to be. Let’s be bold to cross the Jordan and fight the good fight!
You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. Galatians 5:7-8
John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel. (Luke 1:80 NLT)
John right from his childhood lived up to His motto, “He (God) must increase and I (soul) must decrease!”.
The “I” he knew was his soul, which is his self will, emotion and intellect – these he made sure decrease; meaning these will not be strong enough to overcome his decisions and purpose for his life!
For this reason, he forced himself to live in wilderness where there is not much appetite for his flesh and until his soul (self will, emotions and intellect) submits to his calling.
As soon as he dominated his self, his spirit became strong by the power of God’s Spirit and His word – sharp enough to discern and pinpoint accurately the Lamb of God Jesus Christ, the Messiah to the whole world!
A great preparation was needed for that great calling and the great life of John the Baptist, it wasn’t automatic because God said so. Are we getting ready?
You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Luke 1:14-17
Place these staffs in the Tabernacle in front of the Ark containing the tablets of the Covenant, where I meet with you. Buds will sprout on the staff belonging to the man I choose. Then I will finally put an end to the people’s murmuring and complaining against you.” (Numbers 17:4, 5 NLT)
When God chose a leader to lead, He relives the pressure off the leader to prove his/her authority.
Beware, God do allow a season for others to see the leader is not so perfect. But then, God will move with a mighty power for everyone to realize that it is indeed He who has chosen and appointed that leader to lead them.
For this to happen, the leader has to refrain from all arguments and quarrel; willfully come to a place of humility by submitting him/herself before the Word of God (tablets of the Covenant) and waiting in His presence (Ark, Tabernacle) until God brings the supernatural life and fruitfulness in the authority He gave.
No self promoters survive this sprout test. Let’s place ours under the Word’s check and soak it with His presence until it sprouts!
On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him throughout his life, as they had revered Moses. Joshua 4:14
“When you arrive in the land where I am taking you… you must set some aside as a sacred offering to the Lord. Present a cake from the first of the flour you grind… as you do with the first grain from the threshing floor. (Numbers 15:18-20 NLT)
Not just entering the promise land requires obedience to God so He would fight for us, staying in the promise land requires a continual obedience so His power will keep us!
It is essential that a mutual trust is established between God and ourselves right from the beginning that we would be His people and He would be our God. This means we obey God and He will protect us and provide us.
First step to show God that He can trust us is by showing our first love is for Him. This means keeping Him first in all we earn, spend and do!
If we really trust God we trust His command to tithe (first portion) of all we earn!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways,and He will guide you on the right paths.
Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled,and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:5-6, 9-10
The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing. (Proverbs 10:28 NLT)
Godly are those who made themselves right with God and strive to stay right before Him by fully knowing their righteousness, sanctification and wisdom are only in Lord Jesus Christ.
The only way these godly/righteous can live is by setting their hope in God’s plan for their lives and the promises He made to them.
Such life brings great peace and will result in happiness because they eliminated the risk of depending on their own skills, abilities and smartness.
Often these godly look weak, incapable and vulnerable in the world’s eyes, but their success and joy would be shocking and indigestible! Secret is their hope – the source of unusual strength, wisdom and patience from God their Lord!
The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong.
…He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor.
…No one will succeed by strength alone.
…he increases the strength of his anointed one.” 1 Samuel 2:4, 8-10
A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the Tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai. On the first day of the second month of that year he said, “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men… (Numbers 1:1, 2 NLT)
People of Israel were brought out from Egypt with greatest signs and wonders. In wilderness they were protected and provided miraculously. Yet, God told Moses to mobilize an army to defend themselves.
God didn’t led Israelites like cattle by not requiring them to do anything but simply to trust Him. But made them to become responsible, trained them equally as any nations army existed at that time and equipped them with all supplies needed for their families so they can be devoted to these duties.
Only on top of all these necessary duties He entrusted on them, He showed up in their battles, in their weakness, in their impossibilities and made them to conquer!
A God’s child is never exempt from training himself/herself in all that is needed to defend including his/her faith. When we do all that we are required to do diligently by His grace and wisdom – He will add His favor and strength to make us win!
Let’s prepare diligently as we are called not just to conquer but to become more than a conquer thru’ Christ Jesus!
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37, 39
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high. (Leviticus 26:13 NLT)
Mordecai in the Book of Esther lived with his head held high and would not bow down to evil and to the spirit of slavery, fear and constant threat.
There is a beautiful underlying message our Lord always wants to convey to us, which is – He is our King and we are His people!
If we are dependent on the world’s idol systems, then we will be slaves to it walking with a heavy yoke tied around our neck, and constantly feel defeated and cheated.
Our Lord God is always zealous for His people and He wants to personally provide, protect, heal, comfort and rule if we allow and trust Him.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18
At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? (Mark 8:16-17 NLT)
When things get tight and there is shortage in supply – naturally an argument sets in to point fingers on each other and figuring out who’s responsible for the “mistake” that caused all these mess.
The result is strife, envy and hatred – breaking the unity and losing the self-worthiness.
Disciples were arguing over the food which would really doesn’t matter more than a meal. In fact, they want to complete the root cause analysis on whom to blame before Jesus finds out what’s going on.
But the correction from the Lord Jesus was both rebuking and comforting the disciples! He made them to remember the miracles of feeding thousands with just meager amount of bread.
As God’s children, especially in the family, Lord never wants to beat ourselves or blame others on those forgotten responsibilities and realize we serve a forgiving, wonder working God!
May Lord help us not to pass our stress on each other for things that really doesn’t matter. Let’s trust in Him who is our Provision.
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Colossians 3:1 MSG
One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (Mark 7:1, 2 NLT)
Usually people who are good for nothing and don’t have anything to do in their lives, look at every good things in a wrong way and accuse all the time.
Lord Jesus never allowed such ridiculous wrong/erroneous accusers around Him or His disciples. In fact, He spoke straight to them that they’re not of God and warned His disciples then and there never to listen to such or become religious like them.
We all have to be careful not to become self-righteous and proud, resulting in narrow mindedness and foolishness to argue with God Himself about the way things ought to work.
Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too greator too awesome for me to grasp. Psalm 131:1
So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds…
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (Mark 4:36, 38 NLT)
Faith in God will make us do astounding things like sleeping peacefully in the middle of a storm – which will very well irritate everyone around us, especially when we are looked up to lead them.
People wants someone who has faith in God among them, they hang around, they’re joyful, they are excited to tell they live by faith – but when a storm hits they panic and demand everyone panic with them – and it becomes unacceptable if the one that has faith says, ‘Be calm and let God control it’.
As much our flesh wants to react and use the opportunity to show our burden, love and care for those panicking in the storm – it is more important to show what our faith in God can do and challenge them to put their faith in use by the way we react, and show how faith handles the storms of life.
God use storm to perfect our faith or at least to find the real faith!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7