Posts Tagged ‘belief’

View from an ancient prison

Image by Natasha Lloyd via Flickr

Sometimes you just need to believe God.

We’ve all been there, hit that wall where it looks like nothing will ever come around to what it seems like God has said it will be.

I’m thinking of Moses. He, a prince of Egypt, ended up tending sheep in Midian for what must have seemed like forever to him. From Egypt, the super power of the ancient world, to the backside of nowhere in what must have seemed like a split second. Then staying on the backside of nowhere for over 40 years.

And, basically what was he doing? Waiting, learning and maybe even sometimes trying to believe this God of his people.

Just like Joseph in prison. Joseph who despite some youthful arrogance, that we all can claim quite frankly, did everything right, and still found himself in prison after he had been promised in his dreams that would be a leader.

Even though Joseph was in prison, taking care of the other prisoners and rising to prominence within the prison system, it must have seemed like he was on the backside of nowhere.

And, like Moses, basically what was he doing? Waiting, learning and sometimes even trying to believe this God who had sent him dreams.

Sometimes there is a close relationship between being put on the backside of nowhere, learning skills that seem meaningless at the time, and trying to still believe God. The wall of unbelief is sometimes so high, so wide and so long, that there is no way we can see our way around it, and I’m sure that both Moses and Joseph felt the same way.

The funny thing is that in their waiting they received the training that they needed to do what God wanted them to do. Moses, a shepard, had to lead God’s people out of Egypt and then take care of them for 40 years in the wilderness, while Joseph learned administrative skills both in Potiphers house and in prison that would help him to take the reins as overseer in Egypt.

These are the more obvious things they learned that played directly into God’s plans for them all along, but the less obvious lesson was that God was bigger than their doubts, their fears and, yes, their unbelief when everything looked dark and despair must have certainly set in.

They learned that although their unbelief must have seemed insurmountable, that didn’t have any affect on the God they served and His faithfulness.

Sometimes it is in our Midian’s when we find ourselves on the backside of nowhere,  that we learn who He truly is.

“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!””

Mark 9:24

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I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)

Image via Wikipedia

We toss around the word love so much in the western world. We use it to describe so much of our everyday lives.  We love chocolate, so we have to have it. We love football, so we have to watch it.  We love children, so we have to have more of them.We love God, so we have to have more of Him (really?).

But, what is this love that we base a lot of our decisions on? Is it just a feeling that can fly away as quickly as it came; a combination of hormones, chemical and electrical impulses that drive us toward the object of our affection ( no matter how changeable that object can be); or is it something more permanent?

Being a background dweller who has for many years been in the writing field where observational skills are everything, I’ve always had a great opportunity to see people, hear what they say and see whether or not what they say is actually reflected in their lives.

In most instances whether it be in the world of politics, business or the arena of the personal, the two don’t actually line up.

In the church, if you asked most people who or what they love the most, generally they will hesitate, a little wide-eyed at such a forward question,  before giving the pat answer of, ‘God.’ The answers get even more pat when you ask them what they think of Him, which says a whole lot about how much they know about this person they claim to love.

One of the brutal realities of life is that most people don’t live out what they say they believe. And, I’m certainly not excluding myself from this assessment. For all of us, what we know in our hearts, what we actually believe, at some point must start to play itself out in our attitudes, our behaviors and our decisions.

I think Del Tackett the maker of the Truth Project said it best when he said, “Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?”

Do we really believe that what we believe is really real? If we really believed that God loved us so much that He came down in bodily form and paid the price so that we could have a relationship with Him. If we really believed that that type of extreme love was really real and not the fickle, changeable type of love that we all seem to experience in our world, then I’m sure our lives would reflect the reality of that love.

When you love someone with the solid reality of the love that only God can give, there should be nothing we wouldn’t do for Him, nothing we wouldn’t give up for Him, nothing we wouldn’t hand over to Him. There should not be a day that goes by that we don’t want to share with Him.

“Hear O Israel, the Lord your God the Lord is one, Love the Lord you God with all you heart, with all your mind and with all your soul,”

Deuteronomy 6:4

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