Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Salty Christians

Salty Christians
May 26, 2009
Luke 14:34 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?"

Salt is salty. There is no way of getting around it; or so you and I think. You reach for the table salt to add flavor to your food and you get what you expect, salt. And it is certainly salty. There is no way you can reach for that salt and have it taste like anything else. You can just remember the time you made the mistake of putting a teaspoon of salt on your food when you thought it was sugar. You were surprised when it hit your taste buds. It made your lips pucker and you reached for a glass of water. There is no mistaking salt for anything else. So, how then can salt lose its saltiness?

Salt cannot lose its saltiness. If salt lost its saltiness, it would not be salt. The chemical composition of salt is NaCl. It is a chemical bond that is very, very stable and very tight. It is difficult to separate the Na from the Cl in Salt. If pure NaCl were to be separated by a chemical reaction, it would not be NaCl anymore. When Jesus spoke of salt losing its saltiness, He was not referring to a chemical reaction; He was actually referring to a mixture that contained salt. In the time of Jesus, the salt they used was either evaporated salt from seawater or crude, impure rocksalt. Both forms of salt in His day contained other substances, foreign to the purity of saltiness. It was possible that the salt portion of the impure rocksalt was used up, leaving useless rock particles.

Jesus was making a parallel to you and I with this crude, impure rocksalt. Sure we might have the light of Jesus inside, be we are human, full of so many other particles that are impure to salt. Jesus was saying that if the salt in your life, the flavor of Jesus, is used up and not replenished, then you would be useless. Christian, you are useless in this world without Christ in your life. You are called to be the salt of the earth, the flavor of Jesus to everyone you meet. If you do not have the flavor of Jesus in your life, then you are useless, good for nothing, and should be tossed aside.

If you lose your saltiness, your identity as a Christian, you will be tossed aside by the Lord, to be trampled on by men. This seems harsh, but Jesus was very clear when He made His remarks. He was sure to point out that if you lost that zeal for the Lord, that passion, that burning flame inside of you, then He has limited use for you. God wants you to maintain that flavor He put inside of you, to impact everything you touch, just like salt. Salt has so many uses, and it only takes a little bit to affect so much.

Christian, you are that salt in this world. But if you lose your salt, your zeal for the Lord, your ability to impact the world for Christ, you are useless. Determine right now to get that flavor back into your life.

1. When in your life were you "salty" for the Lord?
2. Where in your life did you lose your saltiness?
3. How can you get that saltiness back into your life?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Matt 5:13, Mark 9:50

When God Betrays

When God Betrays
May 18, 2009
Matthew 27:46 "About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?""

There will come a time and a day, if it hasn't already, when you will be completely abandoned and betrayed by God. Well, not really. It will FEEL like God has betrayed you. You will feel so dark and depressed and hopeless and lost and alone. You will cry out to God and you will hear silence. You will scream aloud for the Lord, Almighty, to hear your begging, but you will not get a reply and your prayer will go unanswered. You will shake your fist in the air, daring God to come down to save you if He is able, but He will stay enthroned in Heaven. Every one of you reading this knows exactly what I mean. You will feel betrayed by the one who was never suppose to let you down; you will feel abandoned by God.

Jesus felt this way. Jesus felt the emptiness and aloneness that you and I have faced. Jesus knew what if felt like to be betrayed by God. Jesus was left to die alone on a cross, bearing the weight of the world on His shoulders. He cried out to God, wondering why God had forsaken Him. Even though Jesus spoke those words from the pit of loneliness and despair, He was actually quoting scripture. The words He uttered on the cross were written by King David, when David felt betrayed, probably a thousand years before Jesus was born. Jesus was telling you and I that He knew what David felt like, what you and I have felt like. Jesus felt that feeling of betrayal, when God brings you to a place of suffering and then leaves you there, unwilling to rescue you.

You will question why God brought you to that forsaken land and left you there. You will question why God allowed your spouse to leave you. You will question why God allowed your child to die. You will question why God allowed such a horrible thing to happen to you. You will question why, in your darkest hour, why God did not come down to rescue you from that terrible situation. You will scream out to God, begging for His help, but He will be silent. If you haven't felt this already, you will. Jesus felt it. It is an awful, wretched feeling, where you cannot imagine the depths of Hell burning as badly as you burn inside for God to help you.

Christian, you are not alone. Jesus felt that way and EVERY Christian out there has felt that way. Everyone has felt betrayed by God; this is not a new experience. You may feel that way right now. Rest assured, however, that God has not forsaken you. You may feel like God has abandoned or betrayed you, but God has not. At the deepest, darkest hour in your life, one thing will always be true. God will be in control. God was in control when Jesus suffered on the cross and God is in control through the pain you are experiencing right now.

God has a promise for you right now. Never will He leave you or forsake you. You may not understand how God works or why He allows things to happen, but your situation is not beyond His knowledge or reach. Like Jesus' death on the cross, your deepest, darkest hour might be for an amazing resurrection story. Trust that God IS in control. Allow your feelings of betrayal to be just that, a feeling.

1. When and where have you felt betrayed by God?
2. Can you believe that God is still in control?
3. Believe right now that God CAN redeem that feeling?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Ps 9:10, Ps 22:1, Ps 94:14, Mark 15:34

Commanded to Love

Commanded to Love
May 11, 2009
Romans 13:9 ". . .and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself.""

In the Old Testament, the Lord gave Moses two tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments written on them. This list of "Don'ts" was given by God as a standard to live by, rules that would make for a safe and happy life. But in the New Testament, it is unclear whether those original Ten Commandments were to remain in-force. Jesus spoke to that question and gave a new order to cover over the Ten Commandments. Jesus said that we are simply commanded to love. This "love" that Jesus spoke about, if enacted out, would be a way to ensure a safe and happy life as well as encompass all the original Ten Commandments.

In fact, we are not only told to love but required, as Christians, to love. We are required to Love the Lord, God, first and then required everyone else. We are required to love everyone else like we would love ourselves. Examine that last topic for a minute. Think about yourself and what it would feel like to be loved, really loved. No one can love you like you love yourself. You spend money on yourself, you take care of yourself, you want to be encouraged, you want to talk about yourself, you want to think about yourself; you want YOU to be happy. Basically, the human nature is t0 be selfish; it is all about you, you, you. If this love action was turned inside out, you would be spending money on other people, taking care of other people, encouraging other people, talking about other people, thinking about other people, and wanting THEM to be happy.

How about the unloveble? How do you love the unlovable? Consider someone you are having a hard time loving. If you can't love him like yourself, first try to love him like a friend. If you can't love him like a friend, then try loving him like your enemy. Either way, you HAVE to love. Even if you hate him, you have to love him. Even if you hate her, you have to love her.

This love that Jesus commanded is not a touchy, feeling warm fuzzy inside of you when you think about them. The love that He spoke about was intended to be an action. Loving someone means taking care of him and his needs. Loving someone is making sure she has what is needed in life to be healthy and happy. Loving someone, as it turns out, has little to do with a feeling at all. So even if you don't feel like you love your neighbor, enemy, or even spouse, start with the action first. The feeling might actually follow the action. Start taking care of everyone like you would take care of yourself. When you do that, they will naturally love you in return and it will be so much easier to feel love for them.

1. What would it look like if someone truly loved you?
2. Who are you having a hard time loving?
3. How can you love the "unlovable" like you want to be loved?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Lev 19:18, Matt 5:42-44, Mark 12:31-24, Luke 6:27, Gal 5:14, James 2:8

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Cost of Doing Business

The Cost of Doing Business
May 4, 2009
Luke 14:28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?"

When making any major decision in life, it is wise to first sit down and estimate the pros and cons of the decision. You take all the facts and resources at hand, and calculate the potential future based upon the action you are about to take. It is smart to ask yourself, "Am I willing to live with the consequences of my decision? Or, "Can I deal with the results for the rest of my life?" If the answer is "no," it is best to make a different decision. This is true in business, life, and even in following the Lord.

Jesus was very clear that becoming a Christian, a true follower and disciple of Christ, would not come without a cost. He said, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." There was a rich man who came to Jesus and asked what it would take to gain eternal life. Jesus told him that he had to first sell all he had and give it to the poor. That man was sad, because he had great wealth. He wasn't willing to part with his money and so that man never followed the Lord. It was too costly for him.

Another rich man had all his money taken from him. All his riches and wealth were stolen and his children killed. This man's name was Job. Job had a great response to following the Lord, despite the cost. Job said, "Though he slay me, yet I will [follow] him." Job was standing firm in the cost of following God. He knew the cost, and wasn't going to falter when the price got too high. Fast forward from Job a few thousand years, and you see Jesus dying on the cross to follow God. Jesus was living out and fulfilling the words that Job spoke, "though he slay me." Jesus WAS slain for following God.

Christian, you have already found out that following the Lord will allow you to sacrifice many, many things in this world. But those things that you might give up to follow Him are nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed to you in Heaven. Jesus didn't lie to you; He told you that following Him would cost you a few of the creature comforts of this world, maybe more. The question now is, has the cost become too high for you or are you willing to keep going? You've already chosen to follow the Lord; now continue to calculate the cost and realize that it WILL be worth it someday. I promise.

I hope you are willing and able to say, "Though He slay me, yet I will follow Him!"

1. What has it cost you in life to follow the Lord?
2. Does that cost make you want to quit or keep following Him?
3. How can you take up your cross to follow Him, even though it is costly?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Job 13:15, Matt 16:24-25, Matt 8:18-21, Matt 19:16, Mark 10:12, Luke 9:57-58, Luke 14:25-29

The Inspiration of God

The Inspiration of God
April 27, 2009
Genesis 2:7 ". . .and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

The word "inspire" comes from the Latin words "in + spirara," which mean: to breathe. Our own modern dictionary clarifies it a little further: to influence, to move, to breathe or blow into. From the word "inspire" we also get the intransitive verb, "inhale." We use the word "inspire" to infuse life into an idea or thought. We use the word "inspire" to communicate emotion or internal human momentum. But God used the word "inspire" to give breath to us mortal beings.

Recall in Genesis, where all the phrases occur that start with the words "In the Beginning . . ." This was God creating the universe, before the first man was alive. At the end of all His creating, He made man, and at the very last step, God breathed life into Adam. Picture God; standing over Adam's lifeless body, leaning over onto his mouth and nostrils, taking a deep breath and breathing into Adam, filling Adam's lungs with His own breath and life. Wow, what an image, what a picture of what God did to give you life. The very life that is in your body is the life and breath of God. You are an inspired creation of God. God breathed life into you; God inspired you.

God's inspiration into humans did not stop with the first breath; it continues on to this day. Throughout the Bible, God inspired men to move and to act according to His great purposes. Some of those purposes were in writing the actual Scriptures themselves. For this reason the Bible is called "The Inspired Word of God" or "God breathed." This same breath of God is what inspires you and I today. We are led by Him to will and to act according to His great purpose.

If you are a Christian, you have the breath and life of God living in you. This should give you a "wow" moment in considering the power of that statement. God's breath is giving you a pulse, not just a physical pulse, but an emotional and spiritual pulse to live your life in honor to Him. God has inspired your life and given you many, many giftings to use for Him and His glory. He has inspired your heart and your mind to even read these words right now. He has given you a passion and burden and if you will listen to that passion burning inside of you, you will realize it is the inspiration of the Lord leading you on.

Christian, the Lord has something for you to do; He has inspired you for a reason, a purpose. Submit to Him and His leading and be amazed at what the Lord can accomplish through your work. Submit to that inspiration, the breath of life, in you and begin to be used by Him to change the World. If you aren't changing the world, you may not be listening to the inspiration of God. If you are feeling a little un-inspired, it is time to allow God to breathe His life into you and your situation right now.

1. What has God inspired you to do?
2. Have you lost your God-given inspiration?
3. How can you get your inspiration back?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Job 12:10, Job 32:8, job 33:4, Jer 32: 40, Phil 2:13, 2 Tim 3:16

In God's Time

In God's Time
April 20, 2009
Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

God was tired of the man He appointed king over the children of Israel. His name was Saul, and God was disappointed in him. So God sent His prophet, Samuel, to anoint a very young man to be the new king. This young man's name was David. In fact, David wasn't even a man, as he was referred to as the 'son of Jesse.' He wasn't mature enough to be his own man, let alone be a king. And there was another problem; King Saul was still on the throne. Throughout history, when a man was appointed king over any land, his first job would be to immediately take over the throne, to assume his new position. This did not happen in David's case.

God anointed David king over all Israel, but did not give him the throne. It wasn't even a private or secret anointing; it was done in the presence of David's entire family, who were not instructed to keep it a secret. David was an aspiring man of God who wanted to do God's will, and though he was anointed king over Israel, he was not given permission to simply take over the throne. For some reason, it wasn't God's perfect timing yet for David. David soon found himself in a unique position, in service to the current king, Saul, but appointed to be King by none other than God, Himself.

Though David was told his future and given his exact position and calling by God, he was not allowed to assume his position. It wasn't God's time yet and David knew that, even though most people knew David was supposed to be the king. David was given many opportunities to overtake the throne and was encouraged to do it many times by numerous people. But David knew God and was submitted to God's perfect timing. David was a man of integrity who did not want to take anything that wasn't his yet. Though David was told he would be king, he still waited patiently for God's timing to bring it to fruition. David could have taken what was rightfully his, but He wanted to wait for God to give it to him. David wanted God's timing.

Christian, I am confident that your current situation may not be what God has for your future, but your future is not yours for the taking; it is God's for the giving. Let me say it another way, if you take your future before God gives it to you, you will be in rebellion to God and His timing for your life. A perfect example of this is Abraham. Abraham did not wait for God to give him a son, so Abraham slept with his wife's maidservant, Hagar, who bore him a son, Ishmael. As you know, Ishmael was the father of all the current Muslim nations of today. Abraham did not wait for God to give him a future and we are still paying for it today.

David waited for God's timing, even though he was tempted to take it. In fact, he even had to encourage himself to wait for God's timing, as David was the one who penned the words in the scripture above, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." I'm sure if he had to do it all over again, he would still wait for the Lord and HIS appointed time for everything.

1. What specific future are you waiting for?
2. How have you tried to take it before God has given it to you?
3. How can you wait patiently for God to GIVE it to you?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Gen 16, 1 Sam 16, 1 Sam 24:6, 1 Sam 26:11-16, Psalm 37:7, Is 30:18, Lam 3:24

The Worst of Sinners

The Worst of Sinners
April 13, 2009
Luke 7:47 ". . . but he who has been forgiven little loves little."

The apostle Paul was one of the most influential and Christ-like persons in the Bible. His writings and contributions to the Scriptures outline God's heart every time we read his words penned over two thousand years ago. His model behavior and heroic acts of sacrifice inspire awe and action in our hearts and minds. Yet Paul never saw himself as such a model Christian. Paul, in his sober judgment, knew the condition of his heart was just as black with sin as our hearts are today. He was not an arrogant fool, thinking his life was free from sin or that he even sinned less than the next person. This great man of God was in touch with his humanity enough to realize why he was in need of a Savior.

If you read Paul's writings in the New Testament, he mentions himself many times, often commenting on his own person. Several of those comments reflect his view of his heart. If you read his first letter to Timothy, Paul refers to himself in a very negative manner. He calls himself the "worst of sinners." In another translation of the Bible, he calls himself the "chief of sinners." Paul certainly knew of the forgiveness of God, so why would he still consider himself such a rotten sinner? Paul's past was certainly full of sin, but Paul was aware of God's forgetfulness when it comes to sin. Paul was aware that God does not keep a record of our wrongs, especially the forgiven ones. So, despite Paul's lifestyle of preaching and living out God's will for mankind, and living a pretty clean life, why would Paul consider himself such a violent offender? He probably sinned far less than you and me.

Paul spent a great deal of time in a personal relationship with God. It was in this one-on-one time with God that Paul was made aware of God's Holiness, God's perfectness. It was from this time with God that Paul was able to reflect on every area of his own life and see his sin. The illumination of God's glory has a way of shining into the deepest, darkest corners of our lives. The more time we spend with God, the more we will be aware of our own sins, even the ones that others might consider teeny-tiny. But that illumination of our sin isn't meant to condemn. No, it is meant to make us aware of the need for a Savior, the need for God to apply the atoning sacrifice that washes away those sins. It is meant for us to allow God to work in our lives, making us more Christ-like every day.

This illumination of our sin is not meant to make us feel guilty, but to allow us the opportunity to change. It is a chance for us to realize there is a need for Christ's blood to cover our sins every moment of the day. It is from this realization that we should seek the Lord's forgiveness as we repent of our wicked ways. AND it is an opportunity to rejoice. This sounds a little odd, but we are not rejoicing in our sin, but in the application and acceptance of the forgiveness of God. Because as Jesus said, "He who has been forgiven little loves little." The more you are aware of your sin, the more forgiveness you will get. The more forgiveness you get, the more you will love and appreciate what Christ did for you on the cross. The more you appreciate Christ's work on the cross, the more you will rejoice. Paul had a lot to rejoice about.

We all have been forgiven much; some of us are simply more aware of it than others.

1. Are you aware that you are the worst of sinners?
2. Are you constantly in repentance and asking forgiveness?
3. Do you love and appreciate God more and more every day?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Ps 103:12, Matt 9:13, Luke 5:32, Rom 5:8, 1 Tim 1:15-16

Run For The Prize

Run for the Prize
April 6, 2008
1 Corinthians 9:24 ". . . Run in such a way as to get the prize."

I recently took part in a 44 mile relay run. No, I did not run the whole 44 miles, but I had an acceptable leg of it. We had a team of 7 individuals, all running our respective lengths of the course, handing the baton at the end of each leg. Not being a runner by nature, it was particularly hard for me as I only had 40 days to prepare. I was excited to be a part of something bigger than myself, on a team with a few key individuals much stronger than myself. The race was planned for a nice spring day; we began to prepare to run for the prize. There were many teams that day, all identifiable by their respective team jersey. I prepared for my leg, knowing exactly how many miles I had to run. But when we got to the race, my length was several miles further that I had ever prepared for. In fact, it was farther than I had ever run in my life.

The weather did not cooperate, and as I started my leg, it began to rain and sleet with the temperature a rough 44 degrees enduring 20 mile/hour winds at my face. Despite a cold and wet wind chill of 26 degrees, one or two miles into it, my muscles felt warm, and I began to set the pace on cruise. There were many people on the sidelines, cheering everyone on, all in support of their own team, encouraging them to continue strong. Three or four miles into it, running against the wind, my legs began to burn, my lungs tightening with each breath. A few other runners began to pass me, but I was determined; I never stopped. I persevered and pushed through the difficulty. None of the other runners were about to stop and walk, they wanted the prize just as much as I did. I wanted to represent my team well, and I did. I ran as to get the prize.

Our Christian life is very similar to this relay race. We join a team, with some members being stronger than ourselves. We prepare for our relay, ready to hand the baton to our fellow teammates. There are many to cheer us on and encourage us in the race. But there is always the unexpected, the rain and winds and longer stretches, longer than we had anticipated or even prepared for. We still have to run as to get this prize, despite whatever reality comes our way. This is what the apostle Paul writes about when he said that all runners run as if to get the prize. This is true when the running is as planned, and this is also true when the running gets hard, when we hit the unexpected in life. We have a choice; we can turn around and quit, or we can embrace the challenge and run into the wind and the rain, persevering through the difficulty. We can go home or we can run as to get the prize.

I've known many Christians who have chosen to not run as to get the prize. They get lazy in their Christian walk and decide not to push through or persevere in the difficulty. Each runner must run as to get the prize and each must push through whatever adversity occurs. Despite most runners planning and training, the race is never, ever easy. Even the best of runners must put forth a huge degree of effort, and so must you in your Christian walk.

Christian, you are in a race, and it is long and hard, more difficult than you could ever imagine. It might be raining and the winds might be strong, but don't give up. Don't turn around and go home. Push through that adversity and run, not just your best, but run as to get the prize. Make your team proud and finish strong, no matter what reality comes your way, especially the reality you are dealing with right now.

1. What adversity are you running against in your Christian life?
2. Are you running as to get the prize; are you pushing through it?
3. What other team members can you cheer on and encourage?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Ps 119:32, Pr 4:12, 1 Cor 8:26, Gal 2:2, Gal 5:7, Phil 2:16, Heb 12:1

Sensitivity to God's Voice

Sensitivity to God's Voice
March 30, 2009
Matthew 18:3 ". . . unless you change, and become like little children. . ."

Adults are so sophisticated; at least that's what we think. We are far too intelligent and far too enlightened to seek the Lord like a little child. But that is what God requires. He does not want us to be like a child in regard to our maturity, but He wants us to be like a child in the simplicity of our faith: uncomplicated by a jaded world of confusion and question. A child does not doubt and does not question God. A child takes everything for what it is, at face value. This is true in faith and this is true in hearing God's voice. A child is far more likely to believe in the voice of God, and therefore can be more sensitive to listening to Him. My four-year-old daughter is a great example of this. Recently, she had a conversation with her mother. It went something like this:

"Mama, sometimes when I talk to Jesus at night, He sounds soft because He is so far away. But then He says, 'Here I am; I'm not far away; I'm right here with you and I can hear you.'"

"And what do you say to Jesus, sweetheart?"

"I tell Him that I want Him to live in my heart and someday live in Heaven with Him. And He says, 'I do live in your heart and you will live with me in Heaven someday.' What does Jesus say to you, Mama?"

"Well, it's hard for Mama to hear Him sometimes, Honey."

"Mama, it's easy to hear His voice, you just sit back and listen."

Though this conversation might seem simple, it is a testament to my four-year-old's sensitivity to the voice of God. And it is exactly the kind of conversation God desires. First and foremost, she gives Him the opportunity to speak into her life, as it is a traditional conversational volley. She does not doubt that the voice is God's and she does not doubt the truth of what He has to say.

Far too often, we don't want to develop a sensitivity to hear God's voice. We won't admit this, but it is true by our actions. We limit God's ability to speak into our lives by only listening to Him when it is welcome and convenient to us. We block off a few minutes a week when we talk to Him, but we seldom give Him opportunity to speak, and we certainly don't enter into a conversational volley. We may never allow Him to speak, because we are afraid of what He might say to us. We are afraid He might communicate His disappointment in us or His frustration with our bad habits. We are afraid He might ask us to do something that may make us uncomfortable or we are afraid that He might tell us "No."

Despite our difficulty in developing a sensitivity to hear His voice, He does desire to commune with us on a simple child-like level, free of doubt and confusion. God wants to have a conversation with you and He wants to talk to you more often than you think. Regardless of your pre-conceived ideas of what He might say, you might actually be surprised. God may not tell you what you want to hear, but He will tell you what you NEED to hear.

1. How audible is the voice of God to you?
2. Do you give Him the opportunity to speak more than you?
3. What are you afraid He might say?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Matt 18:4, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17, Phil 2:15

Undo What You've Become

Undo What You've Become
March 23, 2009
Luke 18:27 Jesus replied, "what is impossible with men, is possible with God."

Too far gone. That's what they say when your situation can't be turned around. At least, that's what they say when it is not possible in human terms. But with God, all things are possible. That is actually how God prefers things, when the situation seems so far gone, that it seems impossible to get out. Hopeless; when you're at the end of human reasoning, unable to make a change in course, this is when God prefers to work. Consider the great leader in the Old Testament, Moses, and his "3 X 40".

Moses had three distinct periods in his life, each lasting roughly 40 years. In the first period, Moses was born and educated in Egypt, raised to be a leader, and one of upper society's elite. He was well-off and a very eligible bachelor. Life was good and there was no way anything could derail him and his progress upward in life. Then, the unexpected happened, one event changed everything. Moses, without forethought, committed murder and was exiled from Egypt. This was the start of his next 40 years.

For the next 40 years, Moses wandered the desert with a strange people, not his own, where he herded sheep. He wore animal hair instead of fine fabrics, the sun burned hotly on his skin, and he was in charge of stupid, smelly sheep. This continued for years. His education seemed pointless, and all his leadership training was truly wasted on those sheep, for FORTY YEARS! Moses was too far gone. Surely, 32 years into herding sheep and Moses must have considered himself in a dead-end situation with a go-nowhere job. There was no way on earth his situation could change. This was it for him.

But you and I know otherwise. After 40 years in a go-nowhere job, and a hopeless situation, Moses found himself talking to a burning bush. (He must have thought the desert sun had finally gotten the best of him). Through the burning bush, God asked something great of him, to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses did not want to do it, not because he was being disobedient, but because he thought his situation was too far gone. He may have figured he had forgotten all this education since he had not used it in forty years or that his leadership training was wasted away on sheep. All he knew now was how to lead sheep; his situation was too far gone for the Lord to use him, or so he thought.

Perfect. God wasn't asking Moses to be a charismatic, political change agent. God was asking Moses to lead a wandering people group through the desert. Moses spent his second 40 years in preparation for his third, and last, 40 years. Not using his education or practicing his politics made Moses humble, and it enabled the Lord to work though Moses in front of Pharaoh in Egypt. All Moses' practice leading sheep through the desert was perfect for leading a large people group through the desert.

Moses' situation, though it seemed too far gone, was actually perfect. God knew what He was doing. God had to spend 40 years undoing what Moses had originally become in Egypt. It wasn't Moses' sheep herding career that needed undone, it was his arrogance and pride that had developed from being a son of Egypt. God had to spend 40 years undoing Moses' first training, not the other way around. You may want to undo what you've become recently, but that actually might be what God is trying to do for you. God may be undoing you right now so He can actually work through you in the future.

1. What situation in your life would you like undone?
2. Have you considered God may be undoing something else?
3. Are you willing to be used by God once you've been undone?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Exodus 2-15, Exodus 4:13, Proverbs 18:7, Matt 19:26, Luke 1:37