Monday, July 28, 2014

Please Him And Ask For It!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  James 1:5
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In 1 Kings 3 and in 2 Chronicles 1 we see an example of the truth of the words above. It is the account where God says to Solomon, "Ask, what shall I give you." and Solomon's answer was "Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?"

God's Response; was to give it liberally and without reproach, "Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life--but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king--wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who have been before you, nor shall any after you have the like." 2 Chronicles 1:1-12

Why? Why does God give wisdom to ALL liberally and without reproach? I believe the answer to that question is found in the 1 Kings 3 account.  When God says, "Ask, what shall I give you." The wording of  Solomons answer is a little different. In this account it reads, "Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?" And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: "Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days."

In this account the wisdom that he is asking for is the ability to discern between good and evil that he might  be able to judge God's people. He was feeling the weight of his new found role and all the responsibility that came with the job of being king. It says that it pleased God that wisdom or the ability to discern between good and evil was the thing that Solomon asked for. He didn't ask for the list of things that God mentioned because the thing that filled his heart was his desire to do right by God's people. He asked for wisdom because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and what filled his heart when God said, "Ask, what shall I give you." was a response that revealed his heart for the people. what filled his heart was his knowledge that he couldn't do the job without the ability to know the difference between what was right and what was wrong. In his heart he knew He needed God's help to make godly choices on behalf of the people he needed to lead.

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and the words that flowed out of his heart and mouth were the words that pleased God so much that He not only gave Solomon the wisdom he asked for but all the things he could have and didn't ask for himself.

Seems to me that if wisdom, or the ability to discern between good and evil, is something that God is pleased  to give and He gives is liberally and without reproach them maybe, we as believers, should please Him and ask for it a whole lot more often!

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lay Your Burdens at Jesus' Feet

Moonlight was her only guide.

This is so dangerous.

Ruth heard some movement to her left and jumped. Slamming her back against the wall of a building, she clamped her right hand over her mouth in an effort to hold in her squeal.

After waiting to see if anyone was coming, Ruth starting moving again. She had immediately found one of the servant girls when she arrived at the threshing floor. The sweet young woman in service to Boaz was a hopeless romantic, and swooned at the very idea of helping Ruth. She helped Ruth watch for Boaz, so she could see the place where he would lay down for the night.

The party had come and gone, and most everybody was laying down, waiting for sleep to claim them. Ruth could feel her heart thundering in her chest. She could hear someone's loud snores.

There was a time when she never would have considered doing this. But day by day, Boaz had charmed his way into her heart, and Ima Naomi-that conniving matchmaker! She had spent days talking about Boaz and about how he was a relative, a redeemer even. Then she hatched this plan, and before she knew it, she had agreed to it.

All of that led to this moment.

Because she could see him.

He was sleeping peacefully, the moonlight playing on his face. She smiled at the silly look on his face. He was happy. He even looked comfortable. A thick blanked was covering him from feet to chest. Another blanket was wadded up under his head as his pillow.

This was it. Everything came down to this moment. Would he reject her, or would he welcome her under his wing? Would he be willing to provide for her, love her even? Ruth wanted those things so desperately. The last few years had left her heart broken.

She needed some healing.

Creeping closer, she knelt down, and gently removed the blanket from Boaz's feet.

She laid down on her side facing Boaz. She was placing everything, her whole future, at his feet.

Based on Ruth 3:6-7

Does the Bible ever seem random to you? Do the stories and the customs of the people ever just blow your mind? You just sit there and go, "What on earth? That is so weird!" Well, I've felt like that with this part in Ruth and Boaz's story.

Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, hatched this crazy plan for Ruth to go to the threshing floor, and in the middle of the night, uncover Boaz's feet, and lay there.

I can just see the faces of all of you who can't stand the idea of gross feet. Today, you and I would say, "Why would you go lay down at someone's feet? Gross." Control your gagging, and hang in there; I have a point.

Boaz woke up and saw Ruth there. Ruth said, "I am Ruth, your servant. Spread you wings over  your servant, for you are a redeemer." (Ruth 3:9)

This action was so humble and submissive and trusting. It moved Boaz. He says, "My you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman." (Ruth 3:10-11)

To us, this all seems so bizarre. Maybe because we don't lay our burdens, our lives, every hope and dream at Someone's feet.

Isn't this what we are supposed to do with Jesus? It is! We are supposed to lay all at His feet. We are supposed to go to our Redeemer. Unlike Ruth, we do chase after the "younger" things in this world. New things to hope in and believe. New religions to try. New gods to worship. New ways to provide money. New people to trust. Instead of God, we chase after all these things.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

This is Jesus talk for, "Come lay at my feet, and I will redeem you!" This is a blanket invitation that Jesus has spread over us.

"And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."
1 John 2:17

Instead of chasing things that will fade away, things that won't solve our problems anyways, lets lay at Jesus' feet. Luke 10:38-41 is the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus said that Mary chose the good portion. She immediately went to Jesus' feet, and didn't move from there.

No matter the commotion around you. No matter how dire the situation. Lay your burdens down at Jesus' feet. Like Naomi, Mary, and faithful Ruth, that should be our first and only idea.

V. Joy Palmer

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"A Key Response"

   Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way.
   So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive.
   And David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelites, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.
   Then David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
   Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, "Please bring the ephod here to me." And Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
   So David inquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?" And He answered him, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all." So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him..............  1 Samuel 30:1-9
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Today's message is one that I think that we all need to take note of because we all go through times that seem difficult and where it seems that circumstances have conspired to come against us. I'd say this is one of those times for David and his men. We see that they have come home from battle to find out that their home has been raided by Amalekites and their families have been taken taken captive. This would definitely qualify as a difficult time! A time full of heartache and despair! It says that David was greatly distressed by the loss of his wives and the fact that his men wanted to stone him because they blamed him for the loss of their families.

My point today is this; As horrific as this experience was, to come home to everything in flames and everyone he held dear gone and taken away as captives, David didn't blame God or turn against Him for what had happened but, instead, he turned to Him! .... "But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God." is how the word puts it. Instead of blaming God, as so many do when something horrible happens, David turns to God for strength to deal with it. He turns to God for counsel on what to do and what the outcome will be. He specifically asks God, "Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?" Is it any wonder that in 1 Samuel 13:14 and in Acts 13:22  God's testimony of David is, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will." Even in this horrible situation David turns to God to see what His will is and what God's heart is. He strengthens himself and seeks God not the advice of those around him.

The word strengthened (2388) in this verse means: to fasten upon, hence to seize, be strong. David, instead of turning away from God and being caught up in the despair of the circumstance turns to God. He fastens upon Him, choosing to seize hold of God, knowing that only in God will he find the help needed to overcome.

Jesus said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  No matter what the situation or how bad the circumstance the Key is to respond the way David did. Be a man or woman that is after God's heart  and be willing to seek His will and in the process you will be encouraged, receive the strength needed and have the peace needed to overcome.

You'll notice God's response to David was, ...And He answered him, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all." So, the next time things are tough remember the words of David in Psalm 9 and be reminded to look to Him and of course, overcome!

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9:9-10





Friday, July 25, 2014

A Real Happy Face

There were whispers and pointed stares as she walked the street. She could smell the familiar scent of barely.

Ah, that's right. It's time for the barely harvest.

Walking next to her, Ruth craned her head, looking right and left and all around trying to glimpse every inch of Naomi's homeland. Every five minutes she said, "It's beautiful!"

"It's beautiful, Ima Naomi!" Ruth exclaimed with her eyes bright with light for the first time in months. Ever since...

"Yes, it is," she said quietly.

"Oh, praise Yahweh!" A sweet voice spoke from behind Naomi.

Naomi turned around and gasped. Her dear childhood friend stood there. She had a hand over her mouth, her eyes were wide, and tears were running down her face.

"Hatovah!" Naomi dropped her bags, and threw her arms around her old friend. "I'm so happy to see you! I'm so grateful."

Naomi's tears mingled with Hatovah's, and Naomi pulled back a little to look at her friend better. Hatovah's hair was thickly dotted with long silver strands, giving a stark contrast to the rest of her dark locks. Her face was still lovely, but wrinkles had developed around her eyes, showing a glimmer of age had laid hold and grasped the beautiful friend she had left behind. However, it appeared the Lord had been good to Hatovah. Much better then he had been to her.

"It's wonderful to see you, my old friend," Hatovah whispered.

"Oh," Naomi gasped, "This is Ruth. She's my..." Naomi fumbled for a second. "She was married to my son."

Hatovah's look at Naomi spoke volumes of love and sympathy. Ruth stepped to them slightly, still clutching the reigns of the donkey.

"Hello."

"Hello dear." Hatovah smiled warmly at Ruth, sending warmth through her heart. Ruth was the daughter she never had.

If their arrival hadn't been curious enough already, they had certainly made a spectacle of themselves now. All over, people who had known Naomi before she left, started to pop out of houses and around corners.  "Is this Naomi?", they asked again and again. They looked happy to see her. Eager, loving, and welcoming.

Naomi was certain, that's how they meant to come across. But their hugs and questions, the repeated sympathy and cries of anguish from them only reminded her of the bright young, hopeful, pleasant woman she had been when she left.

Now, all she was was a bitter, lonely, old, broken woman.

She broke away from their hugs, and held her hands up high. Everyone looked at her with surprise at her sudden outburst.

"Do not call me Naomi anymore."

Everyone gasped, and she could see the concerned look on Hatovah's face.

"Call me Mara." Because I'm Bitter. "For the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?"

Mara lowered her arms, and the silence of the people engulfed her for a moment. Now everyone knew just how broken and angry she really was.

Based on Ruth 1:19-21

Okay, I don't know about your Bible, but the footnotes in my Bible give the meanings for Naomi and Mara:

Naomi-Pleasant
Mara- Bitter

Naomi wanted to be called Mara because she was bitter and angry. Earlier in Ruth chapter one, you learn that her husband and two grown sons had all died. She felt like God had abandoned her, and taken away everything she loved. She blamed God, and was giving up.

My husband noted something really cool. Even though Naomi said, "Don't call me Naomi; call me Mara," all throughout the book, she is still referred to as Naomi-like God didn't acknowledge her angry name change. Like God was saying, "I've still got so much in store for you. You will be pleasant once again."

Spiritually and metaphorically speaking, we will be going along fine, and then hit a brick wall. We get out to look at the damage, kick the torn up bumper off our car, and freak out. We've all responded like Naomi. We've all taken a situation, and instead of being pleasant about it, we purposely choose in our hearts to become bitter.

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

Is your spirit crushed because of the trials and sorrows of this life? Or will you hold the joy of the Lord in your heart? The end of Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is your strength. Will you let God be your joy no matter what? Will you let His joy strengthen you?

I know that I don't want to give up and become a bitter, old grump. I want to keep my Naomi name! I want to keep a pleasant heart. No matter what is going on in your life, God doesn't want you to give up and swap out your loving, pleasant spirit for a bitter, empty one.

"Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!" Psalm 126:5

Don't give up in God. Don't choose an identity in bitterness. Wait on God because He will not disappoint you. Ever.

"Rejoice always." 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Put on your real happy face.

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"I Think He Knew"

Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Him and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood. Mark 12:41-44
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Today's message is going to be pretty short and sweet and despite the fact that this event is only four verses long it always gives me the opportunity to see the heart of our Lord. I love that He was just sitting there observing the people; taking time to notice them. It reminds me of  Psalm 139:1-6 where it says, " O Lord, You have searched me and known me, You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high and I cannot attain it." And with that in mind was He? Was He just sitting there observing or was He waiting? Was He waiting to give this widow the recognition and commendation that she deserved? Was it a coincidence that He took advantage of in order to teach His disciples an important truth or was He watching and waiting because He knew she would come? Personally, I think He knew she would come and what she would do!

According to this Psalm He would have been acquainted with all her ways. He would have known that she would come and give all she had. He knew that she had a heart that would give even though she didn't have much. He knew her and He knew that those two mites was all she had! He knew the details of her life and her giving. He knew her and He knows us as well. He knows when we give out of our abundance and He knows when we are giving out of our poverty and I'm not just talking about money either. He knows our heart and He knows our motives. I don't think it is an accident that in the three preceding verses He was teaching them and said, "Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."

It doesn't take long to learn all the right language and be able to talk the talk of being a follower of Christ. But today, the thing this account reminded me of is this truth; He and He alone truly knows when it is a show and when our motive for giving Him our praise, worship,  time, attention, and or even our money is really from a heart attitude that desires to give all we have or if our giving has a different motive. He knows because He knows us and He knows our coming and our goings and He knows all about our abundance and our poverty. He knows because He has searched our hearts!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

He Will Come and Find You, Part 6

Ivver smashed into the hard, packed dirt. He could see some blood on the small, sharp rocks where he had hit his head. Touching the cut on his forehead, he winced, but noted that it wasn't anything serious. Lifting his head, he watched as the men filed out of the house behind him, and like water parting around a rock, they walked by him, not bothering to look down and meet his gaze.

Thud!

That is, they had been walking by him. Some of the young men kicked and stepped on him as they left. Ivver recognized the sneering face of the younger Pharisees before his world went dark.

                                                                                           

Ivver woke up. Looking around in the sun's blaring afternoon light, he guessed he had been unconscious for a couple of hours. He checked his head wound, and was at least happy to see that it had stopped bleeding.

Now what?

Ivver felt the brave exterior he had held against the Pharisees start to break. He knew he didn't have anyone else to go to. His parents had been avoiding him ever since they were seized and questioned. The same for the rest of his family and friends.

I'm alone. Where can I go now? I have no one.

With that last thought, the chink in his armor was found. He started to cry. First just slow, hot tears that ran down his face. Soon they evolved to a heavy flow of sobs. His world was blurred as he cried, completely at a loss of what to do now.

A hand cupped his shoulder, and Ivver jerked away. Looking up, he realized it was Jesus, the one who had healed him.

Embarrassed, he tried to wipe away the tears. Jesus extended a hand to him, helping him up. Brushing the dirt off of himself, he looked at Jesus, waiting.

"Do you believe in the Son of Man?"

What did he believe in now? Who did he believe in now? He didn't know. He desperately wanted something to believe in now. "And who is he, Sir, that I may believe in him?" His own voice was horse and gravelly.

"You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you."

Ivver studied Jesus, then blinked. Jesus had come to find him. Jesus was the one he had been defending against the Pharisees. Jesus was the one for whom he had risked everything. Jesus was giving him hope. And suddenly, Ivver just knew. This was it. "Lord, I believe." Worship rolled out of him. This was HIM. The sound of worship was beautiful, and the most glorious thing he had ever seen was the look of love in Jesus' eyes.

"For judgement I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."

Ivver didn't understand Jesus' words until he saw some of the Pharisees standing nearby, watching them.

"Are we also blind?" A short, stout man asked. The indignant look pulling on his face somewhat comically.

"If you were blind, you would have no guilt, but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."

The man huffed, and whacked the other Pharisee on the arm. Stomping off, they left Ivver with the one who had saved him.

The one who had saved him from everything.

Based on John 9:35-41

The whole reason I wanted to do this series is right here:

"Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him...." John 9:35a

I love that the formerly blind man, Ivver as I named him, came to know Jesus as Lord. I love that Jesus totally gave the Pharisees what for, calling them out on their own spiritual blindness. But what I really loved was that when Ivver was cast out of the church, Jesus came and found him. Jesus sought him. Jesus loved him when everyone else had abandoned him.

Jesus came specifically for him.

Jesus didn't leave him there in his pity party. Jesus didn't say, "Well that's the price of standing up for what you believe." Jesus didn't forget him. Jesus didn't let all the other things He had to attend to distract Him from finding this man, and showing him love and comfort and God. He gave him something to believe in, to hold onto, to give him hope.

"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

God has never left us to our own devices, despite how it might feel like that sometimes. God has never abandoned us. Jesus will always come and find you. His Spirit will always be there for you, to guide you. Jesus came for you once already, to save you.  He will come for you again.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul is writing to the believers in Corinth. Word had gotten out about the persecution and affliction they had experienced in Asia. They had felt so beaten down that they despaired of life itself. They thought they were going to die. Paul starts this letter to the worried Corinthians by talking about God's comfort. In fact, the heading in my Bible is "God of All Comfort."

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Out hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

God will always be there to help you stand up, no matter what is beating you down, no matter how alone you are, no matter who has turned their backs on you.

"He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again." 2 Corinthians 1:10

Jesus will always come and find you. You can always set your hope on Him.


V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"The Big What If"

As I was writing for the kids devotional today I wrote about Noah and the Ark. In the process I shared with them this bit of information... "Now stop and think about this fact. When all those animals came in and lived in the ark for those forty days and nights; Who do you think took care of them? The Bible scholars believe that there were around 17,600 different species and they figure there were more than 45,000 animals on the ark. That is a lots of animals to feed! What that also meant for Noah and his family was a whole lot of hard work, first to build it that big, to gather that much food, and then to take care of the animals once they were in it!"

Have you ever really stopped to think about all the work and preparation that went into the whole "Noah's Ark and the Flood" event? It was a huge undertaking and an immense amount of hard work. And the thing is God picked the right man for the job because Noah stayed faithful till it was completed. Is it any wonder that the Word has this to say about him. "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:8-9 So, at this point you probably think that today's message for us is also about Noah and the building of the ark when in truth it really isn't. I just think that Noah's faithfulness in the face of the incredibly hard amazing job that he had to do deserves a mention especially in comparison to what I really want to talk about.

What I really want to talk about is this.. 45,000 animals showed up and went into the ark to Noah. Genesis 7:9. Wouldn't that event alone cause you to believe? 17,600 species coming together into one place. Wouldn't that have been enough to convince you that God is about to do what He said He would? 17,600 species - more than 45,000 animals had to of been noticed and it had to of made an impression! Why didn't more people believe? When did they figure it out? After a few days of rain when it was too late?

What about this event...Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness." And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians, you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." And the Lord said to Moses , "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea."Exodus 14:12-16

Once again we see the multitude of people doubting and not choosing God. He had just done all kinds of miracles getting them released from their bondage in Egypt.  He had shown them that He went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people. Exodus 13:21-22 His presence went before them. He led them to this particular place. He had the plan in place. Why didn't they trust Him? Why did they as a people doubt? When did they start to believe that He wouldn't fail them? Was it when Moses declared His words of faith? "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians, you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." Was it when he lifted His staff and the wind that God sent to blow back the waters came? Or maybe it was not until they finally had to choose for themselves to actually go forward; one step at a time until they were in between the two great walls of water.

There are always going to be tons of people who miss out on the blessings and provision of God because there are always going to be multitudes who are quick to doubt! There will also always be a man or woman like Noah, Moses, David, Ruth, Daniel, Easter, Peter, John, Paul etc. who will listen, obey, and stand firm for God. When Moses stretched out that staff and the wind started to blow people had to make a choice. When they stepped forward to pass between those great walls of water they had to choose to believe that He would continue to hold them back.

Its pretty easy for us today to sit in judgment and wonder about the choices that have gone before us BUT, What if 17,600 different species and 45,000 animals moved into the neighborhood? Would we recognize that God was about to move?

What if suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as a rushing mighty wind, that filled the whole house and there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire that sat upon each of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues. Acts 2:3-4 Would we be the ones who are accusing them of being drunk or would we see the power of God and receive it for ourselves?

What if we were  the ones standing at the edge of the water and we had to make the choice. Here is the big what if. WHAT IF it were you? Would you dare to step forward and pass through the waters, trusting Him to keep the water as a wall on either side of you? Knowing that if He doesn't, you will drown. Would you trust Him and step forward?

Will we be a people who doubts or a people who trusts that He will keep His word. Will we be a people who will believe Him when He says, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3

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