Archive for November, 2017

Getting out of Midian

This is not our destiny!

Midian is not our destiny!

There is a powerful story in Scripture about Moses running to the land of Midian. It happens after he kills an Egyptian who had abused one of his Hebrew brethren (Ex. 2:11-15). In this circumstance Moses expresses a common feeling… what most of us feel in the midst of injustice.

In verse 12 it states the problem… “He looked this way and then that; when he realized there was no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand”. The spirit of strife arose inside of Moses to such a degree that it blinded his heart… forsaking the command of God in regards to murder.

Choices are the fruit of a heart’s focus!

Raised an Egyptian and coming to grips with the Hebrew heartbeat was like standing in an intersection and not knowing which way to turn. Moses’ wrong choice released the confusion that resided in his heart and created an enormous backlash among his brethren. The next day he went out to find two Hebrew men fighting. He spoke to the man who started it: “Why are you hitting your neighbor?” The man shot back: “Who do you think you are, telling us what to do? Are you going to kill me the way you killed that Egyptian?” Then Moses panics… “oh no, word’s gotten out; people know about this”. Secrets are often difficult to shake free from. Pharaoh hears about it and tries to kill Moses, but Moses gets away to the land of Midian. He sits down by a well with his confusion and there receives the call to be the “hand” of deliverance for God’s people (Ex. 3:1-4).

Midian is not the place Moses chose to go…

But God would meet Him there. Interestingly the word Midian means “striving” or “habit” and the Midianites were the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son from another season of bad choices. Oddly enough its very rare that one generation’s poor choices do not become a crucible for our life later, but that is another blog topic. Yet now, in order to escape punishment for killing the Egyptian, Moses runs away to Midian, a place of habitual strife. He finds himself face-to-face with… “himself”.

Sounds like God’s intervention…

Running away takes Moses to a burning bush… with a broken heart.  Moses became a stranger in a strange land, separated from his home and family… and he needed a new identity. It took many years after this incident for Moses to be ready to serve God. The good news is that Moses did trust God (Heb. 11:27) and leave Midian. Moses found the God who transforms our identity!

We must recognize the God who transforms us as quickly as possible and allow His priorities to shape our life choices. If not, we may find ourselves visiting the land of strife. Leaving Midian can only happen when we have felt the crushing reality of God’s intervention in our character. Yet it must happen if we expect God to use us, bless us, or prosper us.

Character transformation is the defining reality of what makes a leader attractive to those who follow.

When I find myself on edge, offended or bitter toward others, there is a good chance that I am hanging out in “Midian, the land of strife”. There are spiritual realities that effect my thought life, choices and behavior patterns. God takes us into places that test us and show us what resides within our hearts. He does this for our good, as His way of chastening His children.

God chastens those whom He loves and accepts! (Heb 12:4-11)

The Christian attitude toward anger and strife should be consistent with God’s heart. There is just no room for angry outbursts or strife ridden behavior in the processing of Christian relationships. We should call it sin and repent of it or we give place to confusion. Like Moses, we could wind up in the land of Midian until it gets burned out of us.

Here is what the Bible says: (Ps. 37:8)(Prov. 19:19)(Prov. 27:4)(Eccl. 7:9)(Gal. 5:19-20)(Eph. 4:31).

Living in Midian is like living next door to a volcano that only explodes once every couple of months. I believe many folks live in Midian, a land cursed by a spirit of strife and although the erruptions only occur every few months; life is lived in confusion and fear, waiting for when and how destructive the next outburst will be. This must not be our legacy, because it is most certainly not our destiny.

Getting out of Midian is as easy as recognizing the sinful behavior and repenting of it. Ask the Holy Spirit to deliver, then begin to rest upon the Truth that God is faithful to meet you in Midian with the power to transform your heart.

Sin’s Progress

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:12-13)

Remind yourself that sin has a progress! It takes you further than you want to go, costs you more than you can pay… and it keeps you longer than you intended to stay. So give it no ground! (Jms. 1:13-16)
· It goes from passing temptation to chosen thought (errors).
· It goes from chosen thought to object of meditation.
· It goes from object of meditation to wished-for fulfillment.
· It goes from wished-for fulfillment to planned action (secret faults).
· It goes from planned action to opportunity sought.
· It goes from opportunity sought to performed act.
· It goes from action to repeated action.
· It goes from repeated action to delight (presumptuous sins).
· It goes from delight to new and various ways.
· It goes from new and various ways to habit. (idolatry)
· It goes from habit to idolatry, demanding to be served.
· It goes from idolatry to sacrifice.
· It goes from sacrifice to slavery. (bondage & dominion over me)

We can fight the good fight of faith: (2 Cor. 10:3-6)(Eph. 6:10-18)
1st) Pull down strongholds of the mind
2nd) Cast down everything that argues with the knowledge of God
3rd) Bring every thought into obedience to Christ
4th) Punish all disobedience, when obedience is achieved

Recognize that you do not have to open the door, when thoughts come knocking at your heart… don’t think about, meditate upon or even entertain evil thoughts, because they aim to rob you of your peace and joy in Christ! Hide the Word of God in your heart! (Psa. 119:11)(Heb. 4:12)

Sharing in His Glory

“And the Glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (Jn. 17:22-23)

The Glory which the Father gave to Christ Jesus has been offered to us. As we come to experience Him and begin to look into His Glory… we are changed. We are transformed in that place like no other place. Its a place of incredible revelation! If we continue to come up into that place, climb the mountain of the Lord, and abide in His holy place, we will be continually changed from one state of Glory to another (2 Cor 3:17-18). Glory will increase in us in the same way that faith increases when we exercise it in the trials of life. What emerges as we are stretched and transformed is pure gold… precious and tested by fire.

Weightiness of the Glory:

Gold is weighty like Glory; called “kabod” in Hebrew. Glory is the weighty manifestation of God’s Presence that is revealed more visible on the other side of tests. When we are changed from Glory to Glory through the trials of life, gold appears in our character and it is manifesting an eternal weight of Glory for us (2 Cor 4:17).

Joy in the Greater Glory:

So count it all joy when tribulations come, knowing that it is perfecting and completing you (Jms 1:2-4). You are His temple being overlaid with gold – every part of your inner and outer man is increasing in Glory. In Moses’ day there was a curtain keeping the weighty Glory separated from the rest of the temple, but when Christ paid the ultimate price of redemption on the cross, the veil was rent in two and the way burst open for the presence and power of God to fill the whole temple with Glory. So – we must not miss our opportunity to rejoice… the way is made for us to enjoy the greater Glory of the latter house of God (Hag 2:9).

Jesus Christ is your hope of Glory! (Col 1:27)

If Christ be in you and if you are allowing the Holy Spirit to form the mature stature of Christ in you, then your heart is an everlasting door that can provide opening for the King of Glory to come through into the atmosphere of your life (Ps 24:7-10). Jesus Christ is the King of the Glory.

Ezekiel 10:4 – “Then the Glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’s Glory.”

We are the Ark of His Covenant – Overlaid with Glory – a Temple of the Holy Spirit where the Eternal weight of Glory increases even as the noonday sun takes ownership of the sky.

Real Anointing

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,” (2 Cor 1:21)

No question, it is God who anoints us with the Holy Spirit and establishes us together as ministers of the Gospel. We have been set apart with an incredible calling. We all have a ministry; for some its hospitality, for others intercession or evangelism… yet for every one of us there is an anointing that accompanies the gift and makes it effective in the world around us. God is dreaming big dreams and asking us to partner with Him in fulfilling His purpose upon the Earth.

Obeying God puts a demand upon our lives.

We must break out of small places and small thinking. The Prophet Zechariah said, “Not by might, nor by power; but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts” (Zech 4:6). This amazing declaration gets to the point… the impossible can only be accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord. Yet God does it through the human instrument, frail and incapable. God anoints and commissions His Child with the Holy Spirit and power.

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me… to the end of the Earth.” (Acts 1:8)

If we aim to carry the real anointing of the Holy Spirit, we must recognize the fact that God is not looking for talent or skills. He is looking for those who have made themselves available to be entrusted with the eternal message of Christ… “the Anointed One”. He is looking for someone He can wear like a glove and use to demonstrate His glory.

God is Listening

God is listening

Let the new song arise!

Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one. So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.” (1 Sam 16:12-13)

***

As the young teenage boy looked out on the flock of sheep he was tending, his heart was filled with pain. Once again, they had rejected him. The great Prophet Samuel was coming to their home, and he was the only family member not to be invited.

“Why do they hate me so much?” he whispered to himself. “Am I really that different? It’s not my fault that I had a different mother from the rest of them.” Pain and lonely seasons were nothing new to this young man, but he was about to enter a new season.

New songs lead to new seasons, God is listening.

After drying his tears, he picked up his instrument and began to worship. It was music like no one had heard before; it was different because it touched both the heart of God and man. As David played, the familiar presence of God began to wash over his being. Words he had never heard before began to flow out of his mouth and he lost himself in the love of God… where there was nothing rejecting him. His melodies of worship were interrupted by the searching cries of one of the household servants.

“David!” the servant yelled, “Come quickly! The prophet is asking for you! He has told your father he will not leave until he meets you.”

“Why does he want me?” David asked breathlessly.

As he ran toward home, the servant who was now watching his sheep yelled one last thing: “None of your brothers have been chosen.”

Its a story like no other, as a shepherd boy takes his first steps toward a throne… from a deserted place to a king’s palace. He would be nurtured along by an anointing; this touch of power from God, would birth courage, favor and honor.

Because God is listening!

So the next time you are considering the path which leads back into the deserted place, remind yourself that its the sound of praise that brings the chosen child to the prophetic call…

Where God is listening.

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