Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eating with God

“There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence!” - Exodus 24:10, 11

As I read this, the first thought that came to my head was, “WOW! How awesome would it be to sit in God's presence and eat and drink!” The immediate next thought was, “Wait, I get to do that every time I ask the Holy Spirit to be with me or fill me.”

How often do we pray for Holy Spirit, and then forget that we've just asked the Almighty to bless us with His presence. We may not consciously forget, but do our actions show that we've forgotten? Just as these nobles saw God with blue gems under His feet, God joins us in a room when we pray for His presence. Stop for a second. Think about it. I know I straightened my clothes & sat a little straighter when I realized that it was almost as if God was sitting next to me. Do we always bless Him with the reverence He deserves when we ask Him to come in? And if not, do we really expect Him to stay? Think about this: If you invited your friend over (and I like to think of God as my best friend) and you didn’t listen to her as she gave advice, interrupted her, or constantly ignored her, would you expect her to stay? Better yet, if you were that friend, would you want to stay? How grieved Holy Spirit must be when we treat Him that way!

Just because He doesn’t appear to us with gems around His feet, doesn’t mean that we too don’t get to eat and drink in the presence of God. Let’s be good to Him when He’s our guest!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

When Things Seem Rough...

“When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, ‘If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’” - Exodus 13:17 (NLT)

If you remember the story of the Israelites escape from Egypt, they grumbled about being in the wilderness. They wanted to know why God led them so far out into the wilderness and even accused Him of bringing them out there to die. But here’s what I didn't notice until now: God directed them on the longer path to protect them from even worse troubles than they experienced.

What wilderness times might you be experiencing? Perhaps you wonder where God is in your life. Perhaps you wonder why you must suffer certain things, or when it will end, but the truth is, perhaps you're where you are, and not where you could have been, to escape death, injury, illness, etc. Just because what you're going through is bad, doesn't mean that what you escaped going through wasn't worse. So count your blessings, be grateful, and trust God who never forsakes the righteous.

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