When We Question God!

When We Question God!

And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” Exodus 3:9-13 NIV

When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” And the LORD said, “I will wait until you return.” Judges 6:12-18 NIV

Throughout the course of history, whenever a person needed clarity from God, they asked questions and since God wants us to conduct ourselves with wisdom–He gives us clarity–so we’ll understand and not be misled or mislead.

Of course, we could go back even further to see Abraham bargaining with God and how God allowed Abraham barter with Him. When we have a right relationship with God, we can talk to God and question Him because He wants us to understand.

Moses had a heart open to hear God and wanted to please Him, but when he didn’t understand why God was using him, he questioned Him and God responded.

When Gideon didn’t understand how he was to do what the angel of the Lord was saying to him, he questioned Him.

The Word tells us the testimony of two witnesses is true. I always look for confirmation in God’s Word of anything He tells me do and usually after I’ve questioned Him–seeking understanding. For The Word also tells–in all of our getting–get understanding.

So when things happen and we don’t understand them, we have a right to question God and He will respond as a loving Father responds. God doesn’t want us wandering around in circles–not understanding the direction He wants us to take.

I remember when He told me I was to teach His Word. He woke me at 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning and we argued or rather I argued, He laughed at me, for three hours. I didn’t understand why God would use me and in fact–told Him, He had the wrong house. I even tried telling Him about my past and how He couldn’t possibly want me. And when I did that, I heard Him say, “Like I wasn’t there with you.” That did it for me. Because I’ve always known that God is always with me, but I couldn’t fathom why He wanted me to teach His Word. I stopped arguing, but I did say, “If you want me to teach Your Word, then You’ll have to teach me.”

Now, I had read the bible–in its entirely–just three months before I had this conversation with God–out of boredom or so I thought. I now know He was preparing me. And in the course of preparation, He led me every step of the way, getting clarity and understanding about what He wanted me to do.

That was over twenty-five years ago and I’m still teaching His Word and still questioning Him when I need clarity of anything. This one thing I know–He loves me and would never lead me astray. At times, when I hesitate to be quickly obedient it is because I am waiting for confirmation and when I get it–I act.

I believe The Word–Some may trust in horses. Some may trust in chariots. But I will trust in The Lord and when I don’t understand something, I will question Him.

Looking around the world at all the events that are taking place–the earthquakes, the floods, the violence, and hatred--I shake my head in wonder and question Him–Why, Lord, why?  And He answers.

I don’t have to like His answer, but when He speaks, I know it is Him and another–man or spirit trying to mislead me–I will not follow. When we have a right relationship with God–child to Father–He treats like us His children and responds as a loving Father, not a taskmaster.

Give Thanks!

Give Thanks!

Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.

Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. I Chronicles 16:8,9 NLT

PRAISE REPORT!

Every year, the Harper Woods Band Boosters hosts a wonderful event at the high school. This year, we celebrated hosting our 22nd Band-O-Rama!

This was my second year coordinating the event and though not everything was smooth sailing, we still had a wonderful day. God provided us with just the right weather to be outdoors–with sunshine and cool temperatures.

The community provided us with assistance from former band boosters which included the CFO of the school district and his wife, Kohl employees who volunteered and a number of students.

We enjoyed watching great band performances from local schools that ranged from 50 band members to over 200 and it was delightful!

Since this is our biggest fundraiser of the year, we try to make this event as profitable as possible, but reasonable enough for all to enjoy great food and I was told–repeatedly–that our grill master “was the bomb.”

Considering the fact that we never know what the weather will be from year to year when we plan this event, I can say–unashamedly–that I stayed in communication with my Daddy–I prayed for good weather, for cooperation with others, and participation from other schools and for everything to be the success He would have it to be. God never disappoints us when we know all things work for our good.

So, this morning, I’m a bit tired, but grateful–for all who contributed to this success and for meeting some really wonderful people to whom I am indebted to love for the rest of my life.

Our God is an awesome God and I know–as long as we continue to please Him–He will hear and answer prayer.

I’m thanking Him for giving me strength to endure and courage to persist in doing all things well and hearing and answering our prayers.

Giving thanks for all He has done, is doing and will do for all who love Him and live according to His Word.

 

Being Thankful!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17 NIV

When we understand how God does things–not necessarily how we do them–and remember to thank Him for all things, He never lets us down.

Many are the plans of man, but only what God has planned will work. I see that so often in my own life that I know I should never be concerned about anything and what the end result will be. But human nature–such as it is–always leans upon one’s own understanding of how things should be instead of allowing God to guide. However, when we know–He’s in charge–and allow Holy Spirit to speak to us–and we listen–all things really do work for the good of those who love The Lord.

When we allow The Word of God to guide us in all things–loving one another, showing compassion towards all, providing all things honest in the sight of all–as His chosen people, we see His results for all we do.

For the past year, I have served in a volunteer capacity with our school’s Band Boosters as the treasurer. With the help of the past treasurer–who is a real jewel and treasure all by herself–we managed to do all we needed to do and enjoy success with our fundraisers. Last night was the culminating event–a celebratory banquet–recognizing the accomplishments of our school bands and honoring those to whom honor is due. Though we had a rocky start in the planning, God showed us the way and the event was a delight for all who came.

I am usually not a pessimist–more a realist–and I wasn’t sure how things were going to turn out, but I decided to trust God and I said, “Whatever You want it to be, Lord, that’s what it will be.” And it was! I am so grateful and thankful to be His and for His love!

Sometimes, we miss the practicality of applying The Word to our lives and as a result, we miss receiving God’s best in our lives. Moments like last night, remind me that we should always apply The Word to our lives in all situations and there is nothing–absolutely nothing–we could ever experience, plan or do that is not covered in The Word.

Glory to God! What a blessing to rest in His peace and know joy in the midst of confusion of chaos and uncertainty, He is right there! Thanking God for all things–whether I understand them or not.

Why None Can Compare To Our God!

Why None Can Compare To Our God!

Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5 NIV

Reading this passage reminds me of what testimonies used to be--a testament of God’s goodness.

I know many people are still testifying of His goodness–all the things He has done–delivering them out of darkness and bringing them into His marvelous light. He has healed bodies and emotional distress. He has saved us from ourselves when we didn’t realize we needed to be saved. He has made ways out of no way. He has planned our future and keeps us on the path of success when we obey Him. He warns us of impending dangers and keeps giving us chance after chance to get living right–according to His Word.

While I cannot speak for others, I can certainly speak for myself. I am here today because of His Love and His Plans for me. When the enemy attempted to take me out by discouraging me, God was there. In the midst of two rear-end collisions in which I should have been dead, God was there. When I thought I was so grown I didn’t have to listen to anyone else, He was right there, waiting for me to reach the end of myself so I would know, I needed Him.

When I had a stroke, He reminded me of His promise to me–and I reminded the devil, I will live and be restored whole. When darkness clouded my life and thoughts, He removed the clouds so I could see all that He had prepared for me. I am a survivor of so much that my heart is filled to overflowing knowing that He was right there and nothing the enemy planned, worked. I have been through some fires, some floods (figuratively speaking)–been on the mountain-top and in the valley and everywhere I was, so was He. There is none like Him!

When we trust people–they usually let us down because of their fickleness, but God is faithful, even when we are not and He never changes. Doctors may have some book knowledge and skills, but it is The Lord who guides them when they listen. When we fly–our hope and trust should not just be in the pilot’s abilities, but in God who can keep the plane in the air until it’s time for it to come down and safely land it. When we ask Him to bless our food (and our tummies, too), He can remove anything from the food that might harm us and we may never know it.

There is not enough space for me to proclaim all that He has done for me and what I know He will do because all of His promises are true–I simply have to stay in position–in obedience–to receive them. Can we say that anyone does what God does? No! There is no One like Him!

On The Journey–Beth

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.

With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

Blessed are You, O LORD!
Teach me Your statutes.

With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.

I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.

I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.

I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word. Psalm 119:9-16 NKJV

The question that was asked so long ago, should still be asked and answered in the same manner. How can people cleanse themselves (free themselves from sin)? By living according to The Word! The Psalmist is pleading with God–Don’t let me go astray–help me to stay on the right path.

And then there are the declarations–He has hidden the Word in His heart so he won’t sin against God. Have we hidden the word in our hearts? Have we read it enough that we remember? Have we studied enough to understand it? Do we allow God’s Word to be our guide in everything we do?

Do we love to hear the testimonies of those who have experienced God in their lives? I mean real testimonies of God’s miraculous intervention, like the woman with the issue of blood, being saved from a horrendous situation, or just being kept–in our right minds. Do we love to hear those testimonies? Better yet–do we have a testimony? Coming into the knowledge of Jesus Christ should be a testimony for everyone who is claims to be saved and has chosen Him to be the light of their lives.

Do we declare–with our own lips–God’s goodness or are we content to share the testimony of others because we are ashamed of who we are? Do we proclaim God’s Word in its entirety–the blessings and the curses–or do we simply sugarcoat The Word in order not to offend others when we need to correct them?

When was the last time we told God, “I am so happy to know Your Word and to know that it is Your Word that will keep me safe from harm?” Are blessed by knowing God’s Word or do some feel inhibited or intimidated by God’s Word?

Have we reached a place yet–on our journey in life–that we can say, “I will meditate upon Your Ways O God, I will always consider what You have said before I do anything or say anything to anyone else.  I will be happy and favored to study Your Word and I will share each revelation You give with others so we might have peace in the land?”

For knowing God’s Word and living His Word (by everyone) will surely bring peace upon the earth since knowing Him, loving Him, means loving all. And how can we cause harm to those we say we love?

With all of the chaos and violence and killing everywhere we turn, we know that people have not yet learned Love–they have not hidden His Word in their hearts and they are certainly not living it. Perhaps, it is because we have not taken the time to meditate upon His Word and allow His Word to become deeply embedded in our souls and spirit.

If we allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all we do–after having meditated and studied The Word–He will keep us on the path of life that God has designed for us. If we don’t study and meditate upon The Word in order to receive revelation knowledge–Holy Spirit won’t be able to get through to us for we have not anchored The Word in our hearts.

Think about these things, calmly and meditate upon God’s Word without distraction or interruption and see what He is able to show you.

 

Knowing It’s Jesus!

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before by Father in heaven. John 10:32,33 NIV

Do we need to be ashamed to call upon Him and let others know from whom our Help comes from? No! It is Jesus–the Son of the Living God–who holds me when I need comfort; who heals my ailing body; who provides me with instruction through His Holy Spirit; who leads me in the right direction every day I wake; who whispers in my ears that He loves me and will never leave me; who gives me wisdom whenever I ask and strengthens me to accomplish my tasks–It is Jesus!

Oh it is Jesus,
oh it is Jesus,

it’s Jesus in my soul;
for I have touched the hem of His garment,
and His blood has made me whole.
The chorus of this song, by Andrae Crouch, says it all for me.
It is Jesus! It is Jesus! It is Jesus!
It is He who loved me enough to die for me.
It is He who prayed for me in the garden at Gethsemane before I was born.
It is He who has paved the way for my success in all things.
It is He who gives me strength on a daily basis to do what must be done.
It is He who teaches me patience when I want to give up on people.
It is He who fills me to overflowing with love so I can love others.
Oh, It is Jesus! And I will shout it from the rooftops, in the valleys, from the depths of the sea to the peak of the mountains–It is Jesus–by whom salvation is made possible to all who will believe and receive His love today!
And because He is who He is–I can face whatever life throws me, knowing there will be victory in His name and I can be glad I am His!