Sometimes the best conversations happen on a car ride. Do you agree?
“Mom, is that a needle on the ambulance?”
“It looks like a needle honey. But I believe it’s a snake. Snakes are sometimes used in signs – “
“Oh, yeah, I know all about that Mom. The ambulance must be a Christian. We’ve been reading about Moses and the people in the desert. They were complaining so God sent poisonous snakes. But Moses prayed because so many people were dying. So God told Moses to pick up a snake and put it on a stick. The people who looked at the snake lived.”
“That’s (almost) right sweetheart!”
“Yeah, I pretty much know it all now.”
I’m not lying… that exact conversation happened yesterday between me and my older daughter who is 8 yrs old and “knows it all”. She also informed me of why Moses wasn’t allowed into the promised land. But I’ll save that story for another day.
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:4-9
Now, before you get mad at God for sending snakes, know this – God loves His people. He rescued them from slavery. He caused enemies to fall into His people’s weak hands. All they had to do was follow His way. Although, not easy, God proved time and time again that He could be trusted. But, just like you and me, His people grew impatient and strayed from His law. Also, rest assured, God sent a sacrifice once and for all through Jesus. No more snakes!
So what’s the lesson here?
- Have a childlike faith?
- Follow God’s law?
- Don’t complain against God?
- Only drive behind “Christian ambulances”?
No, I think the real lesson here is God listens and prayer works.
But why do we often find ourselves looking at the snakes in our life and complaining instead of running directly to Him for a cure?
In the days before Jesus there was a barrier between God and His people. God’s people needed a sacrifice, a priest, or a leader to present themselves before God.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrew 10:19-22
What’s the cure for our lives?
- Have confidence that God listens.
- Jesus is your ticket to enter into God’s presence.
- Run to God with your heart wide open.
- Be assured that your faith has purpose.
Lord, we are weak. We don’t have what it takes. Please give us confidence, not in our own abilities, but in Jesus’ sacrifice. Grant us faith that goes beyond what we can explain with words. For those of us that have a hard time understanding, give us an extra measure of your grace and assurance that we are simply loved by an awesome God. Amen.
–>Bloggers – please link up your prayer post anytime this week! Question: would you like me to put Mr Linky on the sticky post up above for the entire month? Then everytime you post on prayer you can come over and link up all month long? Or would you prefer to link up via comments on my Tuesday posts as we’ve done in the past?
Today, how will you let your light, your Jesus, shine?
Spending time with Christ changes our world. Our face may glow like Moses. Or maybe your reaction time slows a little – thinking before speaking. Someone may notice something different about you and ask what brings you such confidence and peace.
To read more, head over to Exemplify’s blog.
I’ll begin this post with a confession. My devotional life is out of whack right now. I’m a bit off from my normal routine.
Why? I believe the main purpose comes from my false ability to separate my research for a new talk with my quiet time with God. Let me show you how I prepare and I think you’ll get the picture.
DEVOTIONS: There is one main text – The Bible – for my devotional life. I also have other resources that may speak to the text that I’m reading at the moment. Then I have my notebook and pen ready to respond to what I’m written. The journey using ends in writing my prayer to God.
RESEARCH: When I am preparing for an event topic the Bible is my central text. I may have some other books or resources from my life that I use to help prepare. I usually purchase a new notebook and pen and then go to town writing down ideas for good topics and conversation. I often begin and end these sessions by writing in prayers both before I begin and after I finish my work for the day.
See how similar they are? I’m having a hard time separating these 2 very vital and important pieces in my life and preparation. Sometimes it’s not bad because what God is teaching me is what I need to be teaching others. But that’s not the case right now. I feel like I’m putting them both off because I need to set boundaries.
Enough about me – let’s get to Moses. Here was Moses’ devotional life, found in Exodus 33:
Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
I love the sentence that I highlighted above, “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” I would love to visit Moses, spend some time with him for just one day to see how he did it. He needed direct contact from God on how to lead, where to go, what to say. This whole leader of the Israelites was definitely not on his own. He needed time with God to be refreshed, restored and renewed. But he also needed specific details on how to handle the situation of the day.
Luckily for Moses, he didn’t have the option like I do, just forget about the whole thing. Procrastinate! Rebel! Not on his terms of vocabulary. But, maybe what the Lord is showing me, is that HE knows what I need. Allow my mind to quiet, come to Him in humble reverence and allow Him to lead the way.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai… he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD
And maybe when I get up to speak on behalf of the Lord, my face will shine with His glory and not my own.
I’m really looking forward to hearing what you have to say about these verses. Please play along and fill out a comment. Or, you can blog about it then leave us to your permalink in the comments. Facebook friends could use the note section and link us to your page. Also, if you have suggestions for a topic that you’d like to discuss, please let us know! Thank you!
Visiting my home church this weekend, the pastor relayed a story about a preschool art project. The students were instructed to squirt primary colors on a paper plate and squish the colors together by covering it up with an additional clear paper plate. The result was beautiful! An abstract planet earth. As a final step, children were asked to glue on a black cross. One boy hesitated, then told the teacher, “I don’t want Jesus to ruin my world.”
Can you relate?
The presence of the cross should shake up our world. Jesus’ love is radical and life changing. But how often do we keep our world pretty? As if it’s our own creation. As if it’s ours to keep.
Catching just a few clips from The Amazing Race last night I was struck by the differences in competitors’ attitudes. The race traveled through poverty stricken streets in India. While passing people, animals, and debris on the road one young man was overcome with tears to see the way people lived. Meanwhile, another couple, didn’t seem moved at all. They could only think of the race, getting ahead in the game, and their own selfish ambition.
Which path do you choose today? Will you allow the cross to reform your heart and love others unconditionally? Or will you wallow within your sinful soul and sink into selfishness?
It all starts with the presence of the cross. And how do we get close to that love? Allowing Christ to cover our world and spend time in His living Word.
Moses did not have the advantage of the written Word of God. Instead, He had the awesome priviledge of witnessing the actual presence of Word of God. After spending time with God, Moses’ face was changed. Read from Exodus 34:
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai… he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD… When Moses finished speaking to them [the Israelites], he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with Him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
Can people notice the difference in your face today? Let that be our prayer. Come back tomorrow for What’s on Your Mind ’09 to discuss our personal devotional life. To prepare, read through Exodus 33 & 34, and see how God speaks to you.