Posts tagged ‘Moses’

Gideon

I found this among my things and thought it was worth sharing. be blessed and have a great weekend!

 

In my reading over the weekend, I read about Gideon. I’ve heard about him before, mainly him testing God with the whole fleece deal. But, what I didn’t know was how many times he had God proved Himself and that He was calling Gideon to be a hero for Israel. He practically made God jump through hoops, and God jumped through each and every one of them. He encountered the Angel of the Lord underneath the tree and had him wait while he ran back to his house to get some meat and bread so that the Angel could perform a miracle. All my life, I’ve heard people say that we shouldn’t test God or ask for fleeces because that shows a lack of faith, but this morning I was thinking about Gideon and a question came to mind.

I asked God why HE allowed Gideon to put Him through all of those paces. The whole fleece deal to me seemed like Gideon was stalling while trying to find a way out of that responsibility on one hand, but then God reminded me of something. Gideon was a part of that next generation of Israelites who no longer remembered the great miracles that God had performed for Joshua’s and Moses’ people. He couldn’t relate to the sun staying in the sky or the Red Sea parting, or even the conquest of Canaan. I can only imagine Gideon sitting in an environment of idol worship all around him, even in his own household, then hearing the voice of God coming through loud and clear calling him a man of great valor. When God spoke those words to him, it spoke volumes to me. God spoke to Gideon as HE saw him, not as Gideon saw Himself. It’s apparent that Gideon had a very low opinion of himself, or else he might not have been so hesitant to obey, but God saw beyond the present state towards the created state. So, it’s only right that God spoke to Gideon in the light of what he had been created to be in order to shake him from the stupor of what he was! But, I digress. When I asked God why He allowed Gideon to put Him through all of these tests, God answered me. He told me that because of Gideon’s environment, it required actions outside of the way that He was choosing to move at that point in time. Gideon was not used to living a life of faith the way his forefathers had, so in order to get his attention, God moved in a way that Gideon could perceive with his natural eyes that strengthened his spiritual awareness. Each time that Gideon had an encounter with God; it moved him further and further along in his faith to the point where he moved with fervor to accomplish God’s plans.

I’ve always heard that God meets us where we are and seeks to bring us up to His level. God has shown me this so clearly in the life of Gideon. He used whatever means were at His disposal to raise up a new Judge for Israel.

How great is a God who is willing to exhaust His inexhaustible resources to reach a people who have turned their backs wholeheartedly on Him. As unworthy as we are, His grace and mercy still seek to reach into our hearts and grip us; never letting go.

There is a purpose for you that goes beyond what you can see with your physical eyes. God has placed a mantle of greatness on your life. An ordinary life will not do for one of God’s chosen. This world needs extraordinary, and that’s what God’s grace will enable us to do if we will listen to His voice and be willing to step out in the knowledge that God will never leave us, and that God will never lead us wrong. Have faith in God.

I pray that God will continue moving among us. Lord, wake us up from our drunkenness. Awaken us to who we are in You and what you have predestined us to accomplish in Your name. Your mercy is great, but Your love is greater still, and if you have chosen us for a purpose, Lord please love us with such intensity that our hearts burn within us to accomplish the will of our Father, which is in heaven. Amen.

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My Testimony

“Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit, says the Lord. “

 

This has become the story of my life it seems. I can remember sitting in my supervisor’s office almost 2 years ago with tears fighting to come down my face. I was resigning. The job was not working out. I was frustrated by my own inability to please them, and torn by the voice of God telling me to do something that seemed unnatural to me. I had just come off of a three day suspension for things that I still don’t understand, and during that time, I felt God speaking to me. He told me that Human Resources was not my home anymore. He wanted me to go back to school. And while He had told me this several times over three years, my actions continually told Him no.  Yet, here I was now, backed into a corner where my only recourse was to finally surrender. In the immediate aftermath, it didn’t feel good. But as I started thje process of getting accepted into alternative certification program, and eased back into classes, life felt better.

 

That first summer, we were good. God intervened a few times, but we still felt self sufficient. Going into the fall was when we thought that the bottom dropped out. We were wrong. I was proud, expecting to get hired just because I felt like I was awesome! That fall and spring were challenging, as we weren’t able to make the kind of cuts that we needed in order to survive. Again, God was faithful, but I still felt like as the man of the house, I deserved to be the one who made the money. It made me feel worthwhile. It was my identity. And with each new defeat, my identity took more and more of a hit. I had to learn how to ask for help. I had to learn how to receive help with the right spirit. I had to learn how to open up to others. And going into the second summer, I was so sure that I was ready for a teaching job. I applied for jobs and had two awesome interviews. Both jobs went kaput, and all of my other applications yielded nothing. At the time I thought that I was settling for a job in the library of an elementary school. Yeah, right. In the past year, God has humbled me. He has built my faith, because there have been some dire needs, needs that haven’t completely gone away month to month, that God has provided for. However, in the process I was broken so badly that I completely gave up at several junctions. My pride was wounded, I was bleeding all over anyone who dare got close to me. I was hurting because I could not understand why God would have me leave a good paying job with benefits, to live out in the desert. I’m no Moses.

 

It turns out, that there is some Moses in all of us. This past year at the elementary school has been one of the most amazing times of my life. I have learned that I LOVE kids. I love watching them succeed. I love watching them struggle and then find solutions to the problem. I love giving them hugs and fist bumps. I love playing jokes on them. I love teaching them new things. Even as recently as a year ago, I didn’t love any of those things. I loved my kids, but I wasn’t all that concerned about others children. God expanded my world exponentially, and enlarged my heart past the point of breaking. He laid it wide open, and allowed 400 children to take up residence. This has happened to such a degree that I have almost shed tears in interviews when I talk about these same kids.

 

Fast forward a bit. Struggling to pay rent month to month. Struggling with bill collectors and collection agencies. A truck that was repossessed. God paying rent on some months. A little money here and there for food and gas. We are surviving…not thriving by any means. Then my wife is told by her school that they are not renewing her contract. WHAT??? So, now both of us are looking for jobs. My wife applies for a job, gets and interview and is hired the same day. I was so happy for her, because she never lost faith. I wouldn’t allow her to lose faith. At the same time, I was so jealous and hurt that God had “apparently” not given me any consideration. Can you imagine driving to a marriage retreat with these issues running around in side of your head? When we had about 20 minutes to reach our destination, I finally opened up to my wife. I told her everything. I expressed my feelings using the words that I knew, but not really finding an adequate way to say to her “I’m proud of you. I’m happy for you. God loves you. Evidently He loves you more than me, because I’m the forgotten one.” Self pity stinks to God. It doesn’t move Him. Just a side note.

 

We get the retreat and the speakers are talking about surrendering to your spouse; putting them above your own wants and desires. I felt so convicted, and as we talked and prayed for one another, I repented to both her and God for my anger and  how it was manifesting, and had manifested over the past couple of years. My Pastor and I were talking a little later, and out of nowhere he told me that I just needed to give up trying to make this teaching thing happen. Where did that come from? Anyway, I did just that. I mean, I REALLY did just that. I gave it up. It sucked to not carry it around anymore, but it also felt so good to not worry about the fall.

 

Now, here is where the story picks up dramatically. Monday after the retreat, I am called by one school district about an interview for the following day. I go to the interview and absolutely nail it. During that interview, a second school district calls. They set up an interview for that Friday. I don’t nail that interview. However, before that interview I have an encounter with God that I will never forget. It felt like His presence surrounded me in the room that I was in. I sang and worshipped and prayed to Him, and His voice spoke to my heart. He told me that for our family, the season of lack had come to an end. As I spoke those words aloud, I could just feel peace entering my heart. I screamed them at the top of my lungs, just to be sure that Satan could hear me. The air was energized with something life changing, something sure to alter our lives for generations to come. Then, God asked me if I wanted this job. Without trepidation, I said yes. Now, I have spent 7 years of my life teaching people how to nail interviews. I was an interview pro. This interview, however, bombs. It angers me. It hurts me. And then I sulk about it. Which brings us back to the original verse..

 

“Not by power, nor by might, BUT BY MY SPIRIT, says the Lord.”

 

I go to church on the following Sunday so that I could repent and surrender again. Nobody else is there but God and I. And in that silence, peace returns to my heart. The following Monday, God speaks to me as I’m praying. He tells me that the school district that I had the horrific interview with will be calling me. So the entire day, I’m looking at my phone every time it rings, only to see people trying to collect the monies that I already know that I owe them. Finally, during the time that I am feeding my son, the phone rings. It’s them. I can’t answer because I am too in shock. I call them back. They want me to interview with the Assistant Superintendents. I freak! Now to fast forward some more.

 

Our church is preparing for God to move in a mighty way. In our current state, we can not take part the way that we wish too. Trying to find an offering has been frustrating, especially when you don’t even have enough money for this month’s rent presently.  But as we praised and worshipped that Sunday, I felt God speak to me again (seems to be happening quite a bit these days). He said this.

 

“I have set this job aside for you so that you and your family can take part in what I am doing in this body of believers.”

 

Then shortly afterwards, I saw a vision of me signing my contract. It was a surreal moment, and I continued to worship God even after church had been released. I didn’t want to move. I wanted to stay right there in that place with God until He was finished with me.  It’s so nice to be able to be pulled away by God.

 

Yesterday, I am at home preparing for this interview. I feel peace. As a matter of fact, the only thing that I can think about if how great God is. And it is that song that stays with me as I go into the building. I am dressed to the nine, black suit. I’m looking good and feeling better. During the interview, the vibe is very friendly. I am still on guard because the questions are just as challenging, but I still feel like God is speaking my heart to them. Matter of fact, I laid my heart bare before those two men in a way that was all at once uncomfortable and cleansing. A few times I almost cried during the interview as I spoke about how God has changed me and how ready I am to show my students the kind of love that they need in order to succeed. At the end of the interview, the Principal from the Jr High walks in. They tell me that we will be moving on to the second part of the interview. She looks at me and says

 

“Justin, I only have one question for you.”

 

I nod my head.

 

She says, “Would you like to come and work for our school district?”

 

All I can do is say YES!!!

 

Handshakes all around. A hug from one superintendent. Then they scheduled me to come in and sign my contract. MY FIRST CONTRACT!!!  As I left the building, I waited until I got into my car, and then I screamed, laughed, cried, laughed, screamed, cried, and laughed all at once. My emotions were so frazzled, the release feeling so good. And God saw my thankfulness. I know that He did.

 

See, in the past 2 years, I have learned that my power and might amounts to nothing. I can not do what God has not willed for me to do. I can not be successful apart from God’s will. I am destined to fail at even my next breath if God decides to take me. But when God’s Spirit enters the mix, everything changes! It is His Spirit that does the work through us. Then, and only then, can we truly know Him, and success. The past 2 weeks, I have begun to dream of the future again. For 2 years, I hated even considering the future. I only saw more pain and hurt, more lack. Yet, even before I got the job, God has already birthed it within me. And it spurred me to dream.

 

This is our story, yet I believe that this is just the beginning. I won’t dare say that we have emerged from the test. I just believe that God has allowed us to experience His goodness in a new and exciting way. I love the Lord. He did it again! I’m a teacher now!!!!!!!!  It still feels like I dreamed this. YES LORD!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!

 

Be blessed, folks!!

Breaking New Ground

“Have you been released”

Ex 18:13-16- Moses handling disputes for all the people. Jethro asks him why he does this. Moses says that he is trying to inform the people of God’s decrees and instructions.

In these scriptures, Moses was playing a role put on him by the people, so much so that he began to believe that was his role as well.

1. Be released from others
Mark 10:46-52- Jesus and Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus doesn’t care what anybody thinks about him. He hears that Jesus is near and grabs the opportunity. He didn’t let what others thought about him keep him from Jesus! How many times DON’T we do what God wants us to do because of what others think or might think of us? Bartimaeus threw down his coat and ran to Jesus.

That coat was his life, so when he cast it aside, he was leaving his life behind, leaving his role behind, casting all aside to follow Jesus. He didnt know that Jesus was gonna heal him, but he cast aside everything by faith, believing that there is something better for him that Jesus has.

What is the one thing that has kept us in spiritual darkness?
Why are you holding on to it?

If Bartimaeus had not seized the opportunity, he probably would have died. We can’t let what others think of us decide who we are. Jesus has better for us.

2. We have to be released from ourselves.

Moses probably thought he was doing the will of God, but Jethro set him to the truth. His solution freed Moses up to lead the way that God wanted. Its the same with us. We put pressures on ourselves to earn Gods favor.

Romans 3:25- For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe….

Oftentimes we think we need to be a certain person for God to accept us. We don’t need to fix ourselves up before God.

Heb 12:1-2- Therefore, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses…. 12- take a new grip with your tu red hands amd strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Stop worrying about our past sins amd failures. Focus on Jesus and run toward Him. When we become released from the things that have kept us from God, we become released TO God. Then God can reveal Himself to us. Once Moses was free from the expectations of the people, God revealed Himself at Sinai in Exodus 19.