Posts Tagged ‘God’s intervention’

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.

The Gospel of Power

Free to Dance!

Preaching in Kenya Africa

The Apostle Paul wrote: “Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” (1 Thess. 1:5)

We are to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom like Jesus did; not just with words, but with the dynamic power it carries. God’s message is not dependent on the speaking skills of men, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit. To preach the Gospel of the Kingdom is to release more that just eloquent sermons, but to experience the power of God that transforms the world around us. The concern is that we would allow our preaching to rest upon the wisdom of man rather than the power of God (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

This is how the Apostle Paul describes his ministry: “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done, by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” (Rom 15:18-19)

Evangelistic strategies must not rest on gimmics or elequence. This is not just the suggestion of the Apostle Paul. It was what changed the atmosphere of unbelief throughout all of the culture of Jesus’ day. He came to bring a Kingdom that would crush darkness as it advanced in the Earth.

  • Jesus went about proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people (Mt. 9:35).
  • God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38).
  • This was the purpose for which the Son of God was manifest, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8).

We must lead people to Christ through the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. Our need is to preach the Gospel as Heaven’s Message to mankind and welcome God’s intervention as the One who confirms His Word through signs and wonders. He will do it as He said He would (Ps. 107:20)(Zech. 4:6).

“This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.” (Heb. 2:3-4)

This is what God does! He uses miracles to testify about salvation. A message that only speaks to the intellect is an incomplete message, because the call is to set the captives free from sin and the works of the devil. A Kingdom message offers power that brings good news to the poor and advances freedom and healing to the sick. Miracles become tools for evaangelism and explosive advancement against the strongholds in a region. People are longing for breakthroughs in their daily lives. They are looking for the answers and solutions to their problems. We can demonstrate the heart of God in the power of the Gospel. But we must stop being ashamed and begin to believe what God has clearly promised. Righteousness and the evidence that salvation has come is revealed by faith (Rom. 1:16-17).

Boldness Includes Miracles:

Miracles are so important to evangelism that when the apostles were dealing with opposition, they prayed for more signs and wonders. ”Enable Your servants to speak Your Word with great boldness. Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:28-31) Immediately the Lord answered their prayer. The building shook violently and they were once again filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with fresh boldness.

Filled with the Holy Spirit:

Notice, the evidence came when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. A powerful message included a powerful experience with the Holy Spirit. When we wait for the Holy Spirit to anoint us, God will respond by stretching forth His hand to heal and perform signs and wonders.

Don’t Settle for Fluff!

My point really comes down to this, signs and wonders do not belong in the margins. They are plainly part of the Gospel of the Kingdom. They were a part of how Jesus preached and told His disciples to preach. It is what He pointed to when He communicated the Great Commission and told the apostles to go make disciples and teach those who would follow their message, to observe all the things He had commanded them. The signs and wonders challenge our comfortable preaching styles when they rely on fluffy content and fancy illustrations, but they make the Gospel truly relevant.

In order to effectively preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, it must carry power… the kind of power that sets people free from the works of the devil!

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