Monday, March 30, 2009

What’s going on in your TENT?


Deuteronomy 1:26-27 (AMP) Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God. (27) You were peevish and discontented in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, He brought us forth out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us.


Moses retold the story of the scouting mission into the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14). When the scouts returned with reports of giants and walled cities, the people were afraid to move ahead and began to complain about their predicament. But the minority report of Joshua and Caleb pointed out that the land was fertile, the enemy was vulnerable, and God was on their side. We become fearful and immobile when we focus on the negative aspects of a situation. How much better it is to focus on the positive-God' s direction and promises. When you are confronted with an important decision and know what you should do, move out in faith. Focus on the positives while trusting God to overcome the negatives. Problems don't have to rob you of the victory.


How does this apply to me?

Verses 27 really jumped off of the page at me: Deuteronomy 1:26-27 "but you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; 27 and you grumbled in your tents and said..." Notice the phrase "you grumbled in your tents." As I read that, the Holy Spirit pricked my heart. What am I saying at home about God, HIS church, or HIS people? God refused to allow the children of Israel to receive the promise of the promised land for 40 years, partly because of what they said in their tents. So the question for today is "what is going on in my tent that is keeping me from receiving Gods promise?" Are my words uplifting? Is my attitude Christlike? Am I submitting to those in authority in my life (employer, parents, teachers, etc)? Am I spending daily time in Gods Word? What is happening in my tent? Is God pleased?

What am I teaching my children "in my tent?" I am teaching the importance of God's Word by the importance I show it "in my tent." I am teaching the importance of controlling my tongue by how I control it "in my tent." I am teaching the importance of prayer by the way I treat prayer "in my tent." I am teaching character issues by the way I respect people "in my tent." I am teaching my kids how a husband and wife are supposed to treat each other by what takes place "in my tent."

Listen to what Jehovah God says in Deuteronomy 6 about how to act "in your tent"

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you (7) and then get them inside your children.

It is so important that I get God's Word inside of me before I can get them inside my children. I get God's Word inside of me by giving it high priority "in my tent."

Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. (8) Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; (9) inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.

If the only place I discuss God's Word is at church, then I am raising children who believe that serving God is just about religion. But if I daily bring the Word of God into my tent, then I am teaching my children that being a Christian is about a relationship with a very personal God. It all starts with how I am living "in my tent." Christianity that isn't effective in my home, isn't true Christianity. So I ask again, "What's going on in your TENT?"

I made an acrostic of the word TENT to show what happened to the children of Israel to keep them from going forward into God's promised land:

Talk was laced with fear ("Giants are too big")

Expectations were encased in forgetfulness (How quickly they forgot the parting of the Red Sea, Manna from heaven, etc)

Negative Attitude replaced Faith ("Why didn't we just die in Egypt")

Trust in God displaced by Frustration ("Let's kill Moses and get another leader")

How about you? Is your talk laced with fear? Are you expectations encased in forgetfulness? Have you failed to remember how often God has come through for you? Have you allowed your faith to be overcome with a negative attitude? Has frustration displaced trust? These are questions that we need to meditate on today, if we are going to truly examine what is going on in our tent. It cost the Children of Israel forty years in the desert before they learned their lesson. What is it going to cost me?


"Lord, I come to you today with a heavy heart. My heart is heavy because at times I have been careless with what is going on in my tent. It is in my tent that I should be preparing my children for a life of trusting God, however I allow frustrations and time constraints to keep me from being all I should be in my tent. The children of Israel complained in their tents and missed out on your promised land for forty years. Basically, a full generation missed out on so many things that God had for them because of frustrations that manifested in the tents. That is why the lack of trust in God spread...inside the tent, where trusting God and His Word should have been emphasized, they were discussing how God had let them down and that He wouldn't finish what He started. When I begin to get down, I need to examine my own life...and tent. I repent of not being everything that you need and desire me to be in my tent. I make up my mind today that I will be more of a godly influence in my tent. I need your help and guidance. In Jesus' name, amen."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jealousy and Rebellion can lead to leprosy


Numbers 12:1-16 Miriam and Aaron talked against Moses behind his back because of his Cushite wife (he had married a Cushite woman). (2) They said, "Is it only through Moses that GOD speaks? Doesn't he also speak through us?" GOD overheard their talk. (3) Now the man Moses was a quietly humble man, more so than anyone living on Earth. (4) GOD broke in suddenly on Moses and Aaron and Miriam saying, "Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting." The three went out. (5) GOD descended in a Pillar of Cloud and stood at the entrance to the Tent. He called Aaron and Miriam to him. When they stepped out, (6) he said, Listen carefully to what I'm telling you. If there is a prophet of GOD among you, I make myself known to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. (7) But I don't do it that way with my servant Moses; he has the run of my entire house; (8) I speak to him intimately, in person, in plain talk without riddles: He ponders the very form of GOD. So why did you show no reverence or respect in speaking against my servant, against Moses? (9) The anger of GOD blazed out against them. And then he left. (10) When the Cloud moved off from the Tent, oh! Miriam had turned leprous, her skin like snow. Aaron took one look at Miriam--a leper! (11) He said to Moses, "Please, my master, please don't come down so hard on us for this foolish and thoughtless sin. (12) Please don't make her like a stillborn baby coming out of its mother's womb with half its body decomposed." (13) And Moses prayed to GOD: Please, God, heal her, please heal her. (14) GOD answered Moses, "If her father had spat in her face, wouldn't she be ostracized for seven days? Quarantine her outside the camp for seven days. Then she can be readmitted to the camp." (15) So Miriam was in quarantine outside the camp for seven days. The people didn't march on until she was readmitted. (16) Only then did the people march from Hazeroth and set up camp in the Wilderness of Paran.


Moses didn't have a Jewish wife because he lived with the Egyptians the first 40 years of his life, and he was in the wilderness the next 40 years. The woman is probably not Zipporah, his first wife, who was a Midianite (see Exodus 2:21). A Cushite was an Ethiopian. There is no explanation given for why Miriam objected to this woman.

People often argue over minor disagreements, leaving the real issue untouched. Such was the case when Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses. They represented the priests and the prophets, the two most powerful groups next to Moses. The real issue was their growing jealousy of Moses' position and influence. Since they could not find fault with the way Moses was leading the people, they chose to criticize his wife. Rather than face the problem squarely by dealing with their envy and pride, they chose to create a diversion from the real issue. When you are in a disagreement, stop and ask yourself if you are arguing over the real issue or if you have introduced a smoke screen by attacking someone's character. If you are unjustly criticized, remember that your critics may be afraid to face the real problem. Don't take this type of criticism personally. Ask God to help you identify the real issue and deal with it.

After Miriam was stricken with leprosy, Aaron then asked that he and Miriam not be punished for their sin. It is easy to look back at our mistakes and recognize their foolishness. It is much harder to recognize foolish plans while we are carrying them out because somehow then they seem appropriate. To get rid of foolish ideas before they turn into foolish actions requires eliminating our wrong thoughts and motives. Failing to do this caused Miriam and Aaron much grief.

Spitting in someone's face was considered the ultimate insult and a sign of shame imposed on wrongdoers. The religious leaders spat in Jesus' face to insult him (Matthew 26:67). God punished Miriam for her smug attitude not only toward Moses' authority but also God's. He struck her with leprosy, then ordered her out of the camp for a week. This punishment was actually quite lenient. A week was the length of time she would have been excluded if her father had spit in her face. How much more she deserved for wronging God! Once again, God was merciful while retaining effective discipline.


How does this apply to me?

How easy it is to "talk behind someone's back." It really is very cowardly, and we all fall into this sin probably more often than we admit. God shows His thoughts and attitude towards it by what happened to Miriam in our text. She poke against her brother (Moses), behind his back, and all of a sudden God appears in the midst of them. His anger was very real and as He leaves Miriam is stricken with leprosy. Leprosy will eat away at your flesh until you finally die. Aaron, her brother, cries out to God and Moses and begs for forgiveness. God grants forgiveness, but Miriam has to stat outside the camp for seven days. There are always consequences to our sin. Sins ALWAYS causes something to die. It may be respect, reputation, trust, peace...but something dies when we sin.

We live in a day where very little is respected anymore. You hear children saying "yeah" or "yes" to their adult parents and other adults as well. Many people leave their hats on during the National Anthem. Many more run off with their mouth putting down church leadership, and God is not amused by it at all. It is sin, and it will leave something in your life dead. As previously mentioned, to talk about anyone behind their back is a horrible example to our children, our co-workers, our friends, and our spouses. It is also the epitome of cowardice.

Are you inflicted with spiritual leprosy because of your rebellious or jealous spirit towards someone? Leprosy, as a type of sin, will eat away at your spirit man little by little, until it leaves you a shell of the person you used to be with very little positive influence. God forgive me for the times I have become careless with my mouth. Forgive me for the times I have spoken "behind someone's back" behaving as a coward and anything but Christlike. I do not want spiritual leprosy to attack my testimony and my reputation.

I choose today to be much more careful in the words that come out of my mouth. As Proverbs 18:21 says, Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." I will eat for years to come the fruit of my words. So I truly need to be careful what I say. When I get hurt, I am much more likely to say something that as a Christian I really shouldn't. When I do speak from frustration, most of the time, I am the one that comes out looking foolish, and unChristlike, regardless how justified I think I might be.

Therefore, I need to guard my heart and shut the door to any rebellion or jealousy that the enemy will try to sneak into my life. Then "shut my mouth" to anything that could cause harm to the body of Christ...or my testimony. Read the example that Jesus left us while He was in the middle of pain and abuse in His life:

Matthew 27:13-14 Pilate asked him, "Do you hear that long list of accusations? Aren't you going to say something?" (14) Jesus kept silence--not a word from his mouth. The governor was impressed, really impressed.

Jesus was falsely accused, treated badly in front of people that He loved and respected...but He kept His mouth shut! He kept silent, so much so that Pilate was impressed, really impressed. The question I have for myself today is, "When was the last time anyone was impressed because I kept my mouth shut even while being falsely accused?" Wow, I don't like the answer!

How about you?


"Lord, please forgive me for the times that I have allowed a rebellious, jealous spirit sneak into my life. Nothing good ever comes out of that. Nothing. I have seen it too often in churches and staffs where one person thinks she/he isn't being treated as good as another one, and they slowly, subtly (just like the devil) begin to leak poison into the body of Christ through their attitudes and words. This ought not to be Lord. I have been guilty of it myself in the past, and I am so sorry. I ask you to forgive me for the cowardice action of talking behind someone's back. It is not Christlike in any form or fashion, and I ask you to forgive me. I realize that I will eat the fruit of my lips for many years to come, so I want them to be sweet to the taste and not bitter or hurtful. I am so thankful for this powerful SOAP that you have used to clean another area of my life today. I know you have forgiven me and removed any spiritual leprosy from my life. Thank you for your faithfulness in my life, daily! In Jesus' name, amen!"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Journey from Lust to Bondage


Numbers 11:31-35 And there went forth a wind from the Lord and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall [so they flew low] beside the camp, about a day's journey on this side and on the other side, all around the camp, about two cubits above the ground. (32) And the people rose all that day and all night and all the next day and caught and gathered the quails. He who gathered least gathered ten homers; and they spread them out for themselves round about the camp [to cure them by drying]. (33) While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote them with a very great plague. (34) That place was called Kibroth-hattaavah [the graves of sensuous desire], because there they buried the people who lusted, whose physical appetite caused them to sin. [I Cor. 10:1-13.] (35) The Israelites journeyed from Kibroth-hattaavah to Hazeroth, where they remained.


The remaining verses of the chapter describe the fulfillment of the dreadful promise given in Numbers 11:19-20 in the coming of the quails, and the plague which followed. The wind from the sea in Numbers 11:31 is referred to in Psalm 78 as both east wind and south wind which blew from the Arabian Gulf, bringing vast numbers of migratory birds from the south. The psalmist's description of meat raining on them "like the dust" and "like the sand of the seas" makes it clear that it was an unusual, indeed, miraculous manifestation in the natural realm. In what follows in Numbers 11:32-33, it becomes clear, as Calvin points out, that "God did not wait till satiety had produced disgust, but inflicted the punishment in the midst of their greediness."

Numbers 11:34 tells us that their physical appetite (also called lust) caused them to sin. Craving or lusting is more than inappropriate sexual desire. It can be an unnatural or greedy desire for anything (sports, knowledge, possessions, influence over others). In this circumstance, God punished the Israelites for craving good food! Their desire was not wrong; the sin was in allowing that desire to turn into greed. They felt it was their right to have fine food, and they could think of nothing else. When you become preoccupied with something until it affects your perspective on everything else, you have moved from desire to lust.

This takes place in Kibroth-hattaavah which means the "graves of sensual desire." From there they traveled to a place called Hazeroth, which means "fenced enclosure."


How does this apply to me?

Because of a complaining, discontented, thankless spirit, the children of Israel found themselves whining to each other, and to Moses, that they didn't have any meat to eat. As noted last week, they were crying "manna, manna, manna" with disdain in their attitudes toward God. I just read that one of the meanings of "complain" is to make a charge or accusation against God. In other words, that God isn't taking good care of me. When I don't believe that God is taking good care of me, then I begin to crave and lust after things that I feel that my relationship with God is keeping me from. When I do that, slow spiritual death begins to take place. I find myself in Kibroth-hattavaavah, or the "graves of sensual desire." I may get what I crave, but the final painful results will not be worth any amount of pleasure that I may obtain.

On top of that, I will end up in Hazeroth, which is a "fenced enclosure" or a place of bondage. It was in Hazeroth that Miriam, Moses' sister, being displeased that Moses had married a Cushite wife (Numbers 12:1) induced Aaron to join with her in rebelling against Moses. God vindicated the authority of his "servant Moses," and Miriam was smitten with leprosy. Moses interceded for her, and she was healed (Numbers 12:4-17). Now, even the leadership of the Israelites have begun to complain to each other. It is very easy to allow whining and complaining to influence my life instead of my life influencing the whiners and complainers away from the discontent they are verbalizing if I am not very careful.

They "grave of sensual desire", or lust, will eventually lead to the place of "fenced enclosure" and I will find myself in spiritual bondage and it is very likely that I will "remain there" for some time. The journey from lust to bondage is not that far away from any of God's Children. So, I must guard and fight against anything that will remove my thankful, and grateful attitude. I am blessed beyond measure...I need to act like it!

Galatians 5:1 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.


"Lord, I thank you for the freedom and liberty that you have given to me. I am so sorry for the times I allow myself to complain and whine about something that I do not have, or something that I really wanted to do. When I whine or complain, I now realize that I am "charging" you Lord with not being able to take care of me or my needs. How easy do I begin to do that. I truly repent from the bottom of my heart. My heart, right now, is so full of thanksgiving and praise for each blessing that you have poured into my life. I do not want to see my spiritual life begin to drift from you, and die in "the graves of sensual desire." Nor do I want to end up in Hazertoh where I am fenced in with bondage because of my decisions. The Israelites "remained there" for some time. It took a while for them to leave the "fenced enclosure." My prayer today is that I will never again allow anyone to put a harness of slavery on me. I choose to stay away from "the graves of sensual desire" and the "fenced enclosures" that desperately want to swallow up my dreams, desires and purpose. I give you my desires, dreams and purposes, and die to the whims and lusts of the flesh. I love youLord, and thank you for this SOAP for my life today. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not a one time event


John 7:37-39 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. (38) Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" (39) Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

My observation from our text today is my sermon outline from yesterday mornings message:

1. Significance of the Place (v. 37a)

John 7:37 "On the last day of the feast, the great day…"

A. Feast of Tabernacles explained

B. Fulfillment emphasized

If you look at all of the sacrifices for the Feast of Tabernacles in Numbers 29, you'll see some very interesting numerical patterns:

The Feast of Tabernacles had 7 days to it
It was in the 7th month of the year
It was the 7th Feast of the year There were 70 bulls sacrificed during the Feast There 14 rams sacrificed during the Feast There were 7 goats sacrificed during the Feast There were 98 lambs sacrificed during the Feast

All of those numbers are multiples of 7, the number symbolizing completion, perfection or fulfillment. The hallmark number of perfection and completion is stamped all over the feast.

2. Symbolism of the Person (v. 37b)

John 7:37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink."

Jesus is the "living water."

A. Passion to overcome religion "Jesus stood up and cried out" (Cried out is from a Greek word that means "hoarse raven.")

B. Prerequisites for receiving "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink"

"If anyone thirst"-Desire

"Come to me"-Dependency

"And drink"-Digest

3. Starting point is the Polestar (center of attraction, directing principle) (v. 38)

John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"

A. What is the Heart?

1. Your Identity (Proverbs 27:19)

Your heart is the most important part of who you are. It is the center of your being where the "real you" resides.

Proverbs 27:19 As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he"

2. Your Center

Since your physical heart is in the center of your body and sends life-giving blood out to every livingcell, the word "heart" has been used for centuries to describe the core starting place of all y our thoughts, beliefs, values, motives and convictions.

3. Your Headquarters

Your heart is the Pentagon of your operations. As a result, every area of your life is impacted by the direction of your heart.

B. What wrong with following my heart?

1. It's Foolish (Proverbs 28:26)

Proverbs 28:26 (AMP) He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a [self-confident] fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered.

(CEV) Only fools would trust what they alone think, but if you live by wisdom, you will do all right.

(GNB) It is foolish to follow your own opinions. Be safe, and follow the teachings of wiser people.

(MSG) If you think you know it all, you're a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.

2. It's Unreliable

People forget that feelings and emotions are shallow, fickle, and unreliable. They can fluctuate depending upon circumstances.

3. It's Corrupt (Jeremiah 17:9)

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

C. Why Should I not follow my heart? (Ecclesiastes 10:2)

Ecclesiastes 10:2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.

D. Ways to lead my heart

1. Check your heart

2. Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23)

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

3. Set your heart (Colossians 3:1)

Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

4. Invest your heart

4. Saturation of the Pneuma (v. 38-39)

John 7:38-39 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" (39) Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

A. Flow speaks of the direction of the Spirit

B. Rivers speaks of the impact of the Spirit

C. Living speaks of the life that the Spirit brings

D. Waters speaks of the emphasis that the Spirit gives to Jesus


How does this apply to me?

For application, I want to remind you of our text from Monday concerning "overflowing in the Spirit,"

Numbers 11:25 GOD came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders. When the Spirit rested on them they prophesied. But they didn't continue; it was a onetime event.

It is so easy to say that I want to overflow in the Spirit, and then enjoy a time of refreshing, renewing and even rejuvenation from the Spirit. But the question that I felt the Lord ask me as I read this passage this past Friday was, "but will you continue and live in the overflow of the Spirit? Or...will you not continue and just live from experience to experience decreasing what I want to do in you and for you a onetime event?"

As I felt those words in my Spirit, I just sat and mediated on them for a while. The prayer from my heart is, "Lord, forgive me for the times that I have been so on fire for you and thinking that nothing can extinquish this excitement, only to once again, relegate the encounter to a one time event (experience).

I want to overflow with the Spirit daily. I do not want this overflow to be a one time event or experience. For me to daily walk in the fullness of the Spirit I must desire more of you, depend more on you, and digest more from you! When this happens, then what you are doing through me will never become just another one time event!


"Lord, please forgive me for all of the one time events that I have had in my life. My intentions were good but because of laziness, priorities, unconcern, or a number of other reasons, often I would find myself drifting from the powerful encounter that I would have with you. I would be like Simon Peter, saying one thing with emotion, and doing another in a matter of hours. I thank you for what you have been speaking into my heart and spirit over the past few days. I want to walk, talk, live, and minister in the overflow of the Spirit. I do not want that overflow to become a one time event. I choose today to come to you with a thirst in my spirit that I haven't had for some time. I long for your presence, for your illumination, for your inspiration, for your heart and passion. Thank you for the daily lessons and patience. I love you Lord! In Jesus' name, amen."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Overflowing with the Spirit


Numbers 11:25-30 "GOD came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders. When the Spirit rested on them they prophesied. But they didn't continue; it was a onetime event. (26) Meanwhile two men, Eldad and Medad, had stayed in the camp. They were listed as leaders but they didn't leave camp to go to the Tent. Still, the Spirit also rested on them and they prophesied in the camp. (27) A young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!" (28) Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' right-hand man since his youth, said, "Moses, master! Stop them!" (29) But Moses said, "Are you jealous for me? Would that all GOD's people were prophets. Would that GOD would put his Spirit on all of them." (30) Then Moses and the leaders of Israel went back to the camp."


Moses was overwhelmed with the responsibility of leading, by some estimates, 2.5 million people. And what made this an even tougher task is that his flock was notorious for whining, complaining, bellyaching, and being inconsistent. They were happy to leave Egypt one day, and then desiring to return the next day. It depended upon what kind of a day that they were having.

God obviously didn't want Moses to burn out, so our text tells us that "God came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses..." This was a regular occurrence between Moses and God. What a close, personal relationship that they had:

Numbers 12:8 "With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

God told Moses to gather seventy men of the elders of Israel that would help him lead the Israelites. After these men were chosen and appointed, then Moses brought the seventy outside of the camp, into the tent of meeting. Then God met Moses, once again, face to face.

After this face to face encounter, God "took some of the Spirit that was on him (Moses) and put it on the seventy leaders." And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, "but they didn't CONTINUE doing it." However, Eldad and Medad, two of the elders continued prophesying and continued to do so "in the camp." From outside the camp (tent of meeting), all the way into camp, they prophesied. And some thought this to be improper, and they didn't like it.

This incident is similar to a story told in Mark 9:38-41. The disciples wanted Jesus to forbid others to drive out demons because they were not part of the disciples' group. But this type of narrow attitude was condemned by both Moses and Jesus. Beware of putting limits on God-he can work through whomever he chooses.


How does this apply to me?

I have read this story many times down through the years, but one line jumped off of the page as I read it today. "GOD came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders."

We see afterwards, that Moses continued to lead and minister under the direction and leadership of the Spirit. God was able to take some of the Spirit that was upon Moses, and "put it on the seventy leaders." Wow! Obviously Moses was overflowing with the Spirit and not just getting by. He was truly saturated with and by the Spirit. As I meditate on that truth, I have to ask myself the question, "Am I full and overflowing with the Spirit?" Can God use the overflow of the Spirit on my life to influence, one, much less seventy people?

Moses lead, walked, talked, lived with the Spirit overflowing in his life, so much that he impacted 2.5 million people during his time on earth, and even more in the thousands of years since he died.

I desperately want to live by the overflow of the Spirit. Jesus discussed this in John 7:37-38:

John 7:37-39 On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. (38) Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says." (39) (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)

Jesus said that if I am thirsty for more of Him, all I have to do is come and drink. It truly is up to me. It has to be my daily choice to drink of the Spirit if I want to live in the overflow of the Spirit. When I drink of the Spirit, then "rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me, just as the Scripture says."

Our text today is the Old Testament version of "overflowing with the Spirit." God was able to draw from the Spirit overflowing out of Moses' life to impact, influence and equip for ministry, the seventy leaders. In other words, Rivers of living water (God's Spirit) spilled out of the depths of Moses' life.

Living in the Memphis area the past seven years I have had occasion to see the impact of the Mississippi River when it "brims over" or "overflows" out of its banks. It effects so many people in the negative. People's families, homes, jobs, leisure are all effected by the overflow. The overflow of God's Spirit effects the same areas...but in the positive and for eternity. I truly want to live by the "overflow of the Spirit."

The problem in our text, however, is that the elders, with the exception of two, didn't continue in the Spirit. I will talk more about that tomorrow.


"Lord, what a challenge from your Word today. Thank you for the "washing of water of your Word" and the S.O.A.P. that I apply to my life today. My desire is to thirsts for more of you than I ever have. I want to "come to you and drink" of the Spirit. I know as I do this daily, then your Spirit will overflow out of my life, like it did in Moses' life. I want you to be able to "take from the Spirit in my life and give to others", and this only happens when I am overflowing with the Spirit. Forgive me Lord, for the times that I have just "gotten by" living off of experiences of the past. I need a fresh touch today. I need a brand new anointing and infilling of Your Spirit. I want to walk in the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, and allow Your living water to spill out of the depths of my life to influence and impact those I come in contact with today. I love you Lord, and I am so thankful for what you are daily teaching me. In Jesus' name, amen."


Pastor Rusty

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You will see soon enough!


Numbers 11:21-23 Moses said, "I'm standing here surrounded by 600,000 men on foot and you say, 'I'll give them meat, meat every day for a month.' (22) So where's it coming from? Even if all the flocks and herds were butchered, would that be enough? Even if all the fish in the sea were caught, would that be enough?" (23) GOD answered Moses, "So, do you think I can't take care of you? You'll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not."


When Moses expressed his amazement at the promise of God to provide flesh for 600,000 men for a whole month long even to weariness, and said, in the King James Version, "Shall flocks and herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?" he was answered by the words, "Is the arm of Jehovah too short
(i.e., does it not reach far enough; is it too weak and powerless)?
Thou shalt see now whether My word shall come to pass unto thee or not."

Moses had witnessed God's power in spectacular miracles, yet at this time he questioned God's ability to feed the wandering Israelites. If Moses doubted God's power, how much easier it is for us to do the same. But completely depending upon God is essential, regardless of our level of spiritual maturity. When we begin to rely on our own understanding, we are in danger of ignoring God's assessment of the situation. By remembering his past works and his present power, we can be sure that we are not cutting off his potential help.


How does this apply to me?

How strong is God? It is easy to trust God when we see his mighty acts (the Israelites saw many), but after a while, in the routine of daily life, his strength may appear to diminish. God doesn't change, but our view of him often does. The monotony of day-by-day living lulls us into forgetting how powerful God can be. As Moses learned, God's strength is always available.

Too often I find myself focusing on the problem instead of the Provider. Moses couldn't get past the fact that he had 600,000 men on foot, not counting the women and children, and God asked him to stand in front of this group of 2 million or so and say, "God is going to provide meat for you for one month." That was impossible. In the natural, it couldn't happen. There were not enough flocks or herds to butcher to make it happen. Moses didn't have enough of resources to see it happen, or to MAKE it happen. There are times that I look at my situation and say, "Lord, I don't have enough to see this happen, or to make this happen." And that is the very thing that God is trying to get me to see. He is the provider. He will create a way where there isn't a way in the natural realm. That is called a miracle.

Just like Moses, I wonder at times, "can God really make this happen? I know He has been faithful, but this is probably the most difficult of all of my struggles." And God's question to me is, ""So, do you think I can't take care of you? You'll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not." "Is the arm of Jehovah too short, does it not reach far enough, is it too weak or powerless to help you in this situation?" My friend, Jehovah God's arm has not lost any power, nor has it lost any length. He can still reach out in my situation, and make a way. And I hear God's Spirit whispering to me even now as I right this, "you will see soon enough that I am still all powerful!"


"Lord, I am facing a difficult situation. It is larger than me or my resources. I can't see how it can work out. However, you poured this Word into my Spirit today and once again, you have encouraged and strengthened my faith. Thank you Lord, that you are so faithful. Thank you that you are still omnipotent, all powerful. Thank you that you are still omnipresent! Thank you that you still perform miracles. You can still create order in the midst of havoc. You can still speak to the wind and it has to calm. You can still take limited resources like fish and bread and multiply it to miraculously go further than it naturally can. Please forgive for my lack of faith and trust. I receive your Word today, as well as the gift of faith that I feel flooding my soul at this time. When I am tempted to wonder, "is God's arm too short for this situation" I am thankful that, if I listen, I will hear you say, "you will see soon enough!" In Jesus' name, amen!"


Pastor Rusty

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Having your own way may make you sick!


Numbers 11:18-23 "Tell the people, Consecrate yourselves. Get ready for tomorrow when you're going to eat meat. You've been whining to GOD, 'We want meat; give us meat. We had a better life in Egypt.' GOD has heard your whining and he's going to give you meat. You're going to eat meat. (19) And it's not just for a day that you'll eat meat, and not two days, or five or ten or twenty, (20) but for a whole month. You're going to eat meat until its coming out your nostrils. You're going to be so sick of meat that you'll throw up at the mere mention of it. And here's why: Because you have rejected GOD who is right here among you, whining to his face, 'Oh, why did we ever have to leave Egypt?'"


n the wilderness, the Israelites were so intent on getting the food and water they wanted that they became blind to what God wanted. They were more concerned about immediate physical gratification than lasting spiritual satisfaction. They did not want what was best for them, and they refused to trust in God's care and provision (Numbers 11:18-33). If you complain enough, God may give you what you ask for, even if it is not the best for you. If you're not getting what you want, perhaps God knows it is not in your best interest. Trust in his care and provision.

God's stern dealing with the murmuring people makes grim reading. As the psalmist puts it, "He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul"(Psalm 106:15). The Message version of the same verse says, "He gave them exactly what they asked for-- but along with it they got an empty heart." He was as good as His word. The flesh they had cried for and coveted came, as you can see in Numbers 11:31, and it was the means of their destruction. While they were gorging themselves upon it, the plague came and devastated them.

How careful we should be! What He forbids, He forbids in His mercy, for our good. He knows how bad it would be for us to have it. But when men insist, He sometimes says, "Very well, have your fill of it, if you are so set on it; have your own way." This was an attitude that developed into a fixed and unalterable reality later, when at Kadesh Barnea the people hung back from entering the land and God finally said, "You have made your choice, and I will accept it. Back you go into the wilderness." They disqualified themselves, because they rendered themselves increasingly in capable of fulfilling their destiny. They got what they wanted, but it made them sick and purposeless.


How does this apply to me?

God gave the Israelites what they complained and griped about and it made them "lean in their soul" and "an empty heart." That is why Jesus taught us by His example how to pray:

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.

Jesus denied Himself by telling His Father that what He truly wanted was to do His will. There are so many times in my life that I truly believe I have it figured out what God wants to do in my life, especially in the area of blessings. It is easy for me to lay out the plan of how, when and where God can and will answer my prayers the way I want Him to.

However, there are times that God, as my Heavenly Father, tells me "no" or "wait." It is during the "no" or in the midst of the season of waiting that I grow and mature the most. If I always hear "yes", then I can become a spiritual "spoiled brat" who will become lean in my soul, and empty in my heart. My faith is truly tested when I pray for a certain answer, and that certain answer doesn't come like I think it should. Jesus asked the Father to remove the cup of suffering from Him, but immediately afterwards said, "nevertheless, not my will be done, but yours be done." Jesus reaffirmed His trust, confidence and faith in His Father's plan. When I pray, "Lord not my will, but yours be done" I am doing the same thing.

Down through the years I have heard people say that you shouldn't pray "not my will be done" but tell God exactly what you will except and expect. That sounds great, but it is so self-centered. If Jesus prayed "not my will be done, but yours be done" that is good enough for me.


"Lord, I never want leanness in my soul, or an empty heart because I become so selfish and self-centered in my prayer life. Please forgive me for the times that I have acted and talked like the Israelites. I can pray "not my will be done, but yours be done" because I trust you. I KNOW that you will never leave me or forsake me. I know that I am not talking to a God that is blind, or deaf or unfeeling. You are still on the throne of this universe, I want to make sure that I keep you on the throne of my heart. I do that by not allowing my "self" to take that position. I die to my self absorption today, and ask you to lead, guide and direct my paths. My hearts prayer is that I will truly be in the center of your will, and no where else. Forgive me for complaning and whining. I am so blessed and I am so sorry for the times I have taken my blessings for granted. Again, I trust you explicitly and declare in every area of my life, "not my will, but yours be done." In Jesus' name, amen!"


Pastor Rusty

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It made no difference…they obeyed!


Numbers 9:18-23 The People of Israel marched at GOD's command and they camped at his command. As long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, they camped. (19) Even when the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for many days, they honored GOD's command and wouldn't march. (20) They stayed in camp, obedient to GOD's command, as long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, but the moment GOD issued orders they marched. (21) If the Cloud stayed only from sunset to daybreak and then lifted at daybreak, they marched. Night or day, it made no difference--when the Cloud lifted, they marched. (22) It made no difference whether the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for two days or a month or a year, as long as the Cloud was there, they were there. And when the Cloud went up, they got up and marched. (23) They camped at GOD's command and they marched at GOD's command. They lived obediently by GOD's orders as delivered by Moses.


A pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night guided and protected the Israelites as they traveled across the wilderness. Some have said this pillar may have been a burning bowl of pitch whose smoke was visible during the day and whose fire could be seen at night. However, a bowl of pitch would not have lifted itself up and moved ahead of the people, and the Bible is clear that the cloud and fire moved in accordance with the will of God. The cloud and the fire were not merely natural phenomena; they were the vehicle of God's presence and the visible evidence of his moving and directing his people.


How does this apply to me?

It made no difference how long the cloud stayed in one spot...when the cloud moved, they moved. When it stayed still, they stayed still. As long as the cloud was there, they were there. They simply obeyed God, regardless of how difficult obeying Him made no difference. God had made it very clear that the cloud was created and directed by Him. It may stay for two days, a month, or a year but it made no difference. They were to follow the cloud. They were to follow God's Spirit. There are times that it is difficult to obey God's Word and direction. It is difficult to do the right thing when everyone around you seems to be doing the wrong thing. May it truly make no difference.

When the enemy is trying to convince me to compromise my convictions and beliefs because it would be so much easier to compromise...may it make no difference. I want to trust and obey, for there is truly no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. God promised to never put more on me than I could bear, but He said He will always make a way of escape for me. So, when I am tempted to just give up because I am discouraged or depressed, my commitment is that it makes no difference, I WILL press on, and I WILL continue to follow God's Word and His Spirit. Because it makes no difference, when God moves...I will move.


"Lord, I thank you for leading and guiding me every single day. I have days where I am so frustrated, disappointed, discouraged, it makes no difference, you are spurring me on. Your Word challenges me to "press on towards", which points towards the future, not the past. I must forget those failures, disappointments, hurts, offenses that are behind me, and press on forwards. I make a commitment today to follow you where ever and whenever you lead. I ask you to forgive me for the times that I have either gotten into too big of a hurry, or refused to go forward. I commit to trusting you, obeying you, and marching with you in spite of the difficulty that I am facing. May it truly make no difference...I will trust and obey...TODAY. I love you Lord, and thank you for your direction. In Jesus' name, amen!"


Pastor Rusty

Monday, March 16, 2009

Manna, Manna, Manna!


Numbers 11:1-6 The people fell to grumbling over their hard life.
GOD heard. When he heard his anger flared; then fire blazed up and burned the outer boundaries of the camp. (2) The people cried out for help to Moses; Moses prayed to GOD and the fire died down. (3) They named the place Taberah (Blaze) because fire from GOD had blazed up against them. (4) The riff-raff among the people had a craving and soon they had the People of Israel whining, "Why can't we have meat? (5) We ate fish in Egypt--and got it free!--to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. (6)
But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, manna, manna."


The Israelites complained, and then Moses complained. But God responded positively to Moses and negatively to the rest of the people. Why? The people complained to one another, and nothing was accomplished. Moses took his complaint to God, who could solve any problem. Many of us are good at complaining to each other. We need to learn to take our problems to the One who can do something about them.

Every morning the Israelites drew back their tent doors and witnessed a miracle. Covering the ground was pale yellow, fluffy manna-food from heaven. But soon that wasn't enough. Feeling it was their right to have more, they forgot what they already had. They didn't ask God to fill their need; instead, they demanded meat, and they stopped trusting God to care for them. "Give us meat to eat!" (Numbers 11:13) they complained to Moses as they reminisced about the good food they had in Egypt. God gave them what they asked for, but they paid dearly for it when a plague struck the camp (Numbers 11:18-20; Numbers 11:31-34). When you ask God for something, he may grant your request. But if you approach him with a sinful attitude, getting what you want may prove costly.


How does this apply to me?

Dissatisfaction comes when our attention shifts from what we have to what we don't have. The people of Israel didn't seem to notice what God was doing for them: setting them free, making them a nation, giving them a new land. They were so wrapped up in what God wasn't doing for them. They could think of nothing but the delicious Egyptian food they had left behind. Somehow they forgot that the brutal whip of Egyptian slavery was the cost of eating that food. Before we judge the Israelites too harshly, it's helpful to think about what occupies our attention most of the time. Are we grateful for what God has given us, or are we always thinking about what we would like to have? We should not allow our unfulfilled desires to cause us to forget God's gifts of life, food, health, work, and friends.

The Children of Israel did just that however. They found themselves complaining about the "blessings of God." Every morning God would literally pour out blessings from heaven. They would look around and Manna from heaven was all around them. They became so accustomed to God caring for their needs, that their daily thanksgiving and praise slowly, and subtly turned to complaining. Then the words from their mouth and the meditation from their hearts were..."Manna, Manna, Manna."

How often does my attitude reflect the same disregard for the loving care of provision of God? "Manna, Manna, Manna" I may say in disgust, instead of what should flow from my mouth when I think of my awesome God... "Holy, Holy, Holy."


"Lord, I am so guilty of waking up in the morning and focusing immediately on the problems of the day instead of the potential. Focusing on the storm of the day instead of the peace. Focusing on the sickness of the day instead of the Healer. Focusing on the need of the day instead of the provider. Focusing on the battle for the day instead of the King of Kings. Focusing on the lack of today instead of the Lord for this day. I ask you to forgive me, for I truly repent of that kind of attitude. Every single day you bless me in ways that I often overlook. I find my attitude the same as the Children of Israel, and even though my words may not, my actions declare, "Manna, manna, manna." I choose today to be thankful. For I am a blessed man, who serves an awesome, loving, providing God. You are creative in the ways that you bless me and my family. I love you Lord, and thank you for this day. I will rejoice and be glad in it...and thankful! In Jesus' name, amen."


Pastor Rusty

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Judah should lead the march into battle!


Numbers 2:9 The total number of men assigned to Judah, troop by troop, is 186,400. They will lead the march.


Numbers 2 gives the specific arrangement and disposition of the tribes, and lists the number of each tribe and where they were to be positioned. It is seen from this arrangement that the vanguard and rear guard of the host had the strongest forces-186,400 and 157,600 respectively-with the smaller tribal groupings within them and the tabernacle in the center.

To each tribe, then, there was given a specific place and function, and each was to be in his divinely appointed place. It is not difficult to see shadows of New Testament patterns here. The apostle Paul says, "Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called" (1 Corinthians 7:20), and "You are the body of Christ, and members individually" (I Corinthians 12:27). The words in verse Numbers 2:17, "everyone in his place," provide the direct link with these New Testament references. The Danites, for example, were behind the others in most of the march; yet they were good fighting men, and therefore particularly fit for that position. They were needed there to ward off surprise attacks from the rear. The tribe of Judah was to lead the march into battle. In every battle, Judah was to go first.


Judah, in Hebrew, means: "the praise of the Lord." When you understand this meaning, we get a clear picture of what God is telling His Children. "Praise" should always go first into every battle. It doesn't matter how great the struggle or the storm, go into the storm with praise in your heart that flows out of your mouth. God is giving His complaining, whining, belly aching children an alternative. Praise and thanksgiving! Their tendency was to go into battle complaining about "not enough food" or "no beds" and how they "needed a new leader". God knew that they would never be who God created them to be if they didn't start sending Praise (Judah) first into battle.

Many times I find myself going into a battle not with praise, but with complaining, and words of fear, or doubt. God is showing me today, through His Word that I need to have His praise in my mouth, at all times, but especially heading into a battle.

The whole pattern in Numbers 2 presents a vital picture: Here are the people of God on the move, with the ark of the covenant in their midst, the Word of the living God at the heart of everything, as it were, directing all the operations and sending forth its influence in grace and power. And a church with the Word of God at the heart of its life is a church that will advance purposefully, because it is one that has life and influence. It is certainly no accident that, later in the ongoing story of Israel (Joshua 2:10-11), when the Canaanite tribes heard of the advancing host of Israel, their strength was turned to water within them because they knew that in the midst of these Israelites was a real and living God, a mighty God who did exploits for His people.

What a blessed people we are! God's Word in our midst and hearts, and praise to our God going before us. I can't help but be victorious with that combination! Amen?


"Dear Lord, I am so thankful for your Word today. I am so challenged with the thought of entering each battle, struggle or storm with 'Praise' and not complaining. Please forgive me for the times that I have allowed a wrong spirit to develop within me. Also, for the times that I have been more of a complainer than a praiser. You deserve my praise. Today, I choose to emphasize praise and thanksgiving. I will also continue to hide your Word in my heart, and declare it victoriously while praising. When I enter a battle with praise and thanksgiving, I am declaring to the enemy that 'the battle is not mine, but it is Gods!' I love you Lord, and thank you for the blessing of today. In Jesus' name, amen!"


Pastor Rusty

Friday, March 6, 2009

He is in touch with my reality!


Hebrews 4:13-16 Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it--no matter what. (14) Now that we know what we have--Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God--let's not let it slip through our fingers. (15) We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all--all but the sin. (16) So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.


Nothing can be hidden from God. He knows about everyone everywhere, and everything about us is wide open to his all-seeing eyes. God sees all we do and knows all we think. Even when we are unaware of his presence, he is there. When we try to hide from him, he sees us. We can have no secrets from God. It is comforting to realize that although God knows us intimately, he still loves us.

Christ is superior to the priests, and his priesthood is superior to their priesthood. To the Jews, the high priest was the highest religious authority in the land. He alone entered the Most Holy Place in the Temple once a year to make atonement for the sins of the whole nation (Leviticus 16). Like the high priest, Jesus mediates between God and us. As humanity's representative, he intercedes for us before God. As God's representative, he assures us of God's forgiveness. Jesus has more authority than the Jewish high priests because he is truly God and truly man. Unlike the high priest, who could go before God only once a year, Christ is always at God's right hand, interceding for us. He is always available to hear us when we pray.

Jesus is like us because he experienced a full range of temptations throughout his life as a human being. We can be comforted knowing that Jesus faced temptation-he can sympathize with us. We can be encouraged knowing that Jesus faced temptation without giving in to sin. He shows us that we do not have to sin when facing the seductive lure of temptation. Jesus is the only perfect human being who has ever lived.


How does this apply to me?

Prayer is our approach to God, and we are to come "boldly." Some Christians approach God meekly with heads hung low, afraid to ask him to meet their needs. Others pray flippantly, giving little thought to what they say. We can come with reverence because he is our King. But also come with bold assurance because he is our Friend and Counselor.

We live in a time where so often we are "out of touch" in relationships, in style, in worship, in dress, etc. However, I am so thankful that Jesus, as our High Priest, is not out of touch with our reality. He has been through weakness and testing, He has "experienced it all-all but the sin." What a great encouragement today. Yesterday we discussed idols. I am so thankful that I do not pray to a God who is deaf, blind and unable to feel or sense my pain. But I serve a God who sees, hears, and is touched with the FEELING of my infirmity (feebleness, weakness or sickness). He truly is in touch with my pain, my struggles, my battles, my reality.

That is one of the many reasons that I want to: "walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help."


"Lord, I am so thankful that you are in touch with my reality. You know what the battles and struggles of this flesh is about, and how it feels. I thank you for taking on flesh and coming and dwelling among us. Because of that, I am encouraged that you know how I feel. You know what I'm going through when I face rejection. You know the feeling of betrayal. You know the frustration's of this flesh. You know the temptation to be angry and stay angry. You are truly in touch with my reality. I ask you to forgive me for the times that I have forgotten that you truly understand. That you are with me and will never bail out on me, or leave me. I love you Jesus, and I choose today to get what you have ready for me. I receive the mercy and accept the help. In Jesus' name, amen!"


Pastor Rusty

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Seduction of Idolatry


Leviticus 26:1 "Don't make idols for yourselves; don't set up an image or a sacred pillar for yourselves, and don't place a carved stone in your land that you can bow down to in worship. I am GOD, your God.


Twice as much space is devoted to warning as to blessing in this chapter. The people of the Old Testament were warned over and over against worshiping idols. Adversity, the promised fruit of disobedience, is a tool which God uses, not to inflict revenge but to lead His people to repentance (vv. 40-42). National chastisement would be increasingly severe until the people confessed their iniquity. Notice the progression in verses 14, 18, 21, 24, and 28.

After warnings against idolatry (v. 1), sabbath-breaking, and irreverence (v. 2), the Lord promised the following blessings to the nation if it would keep His commandments: rain, fertility (v. 4), productivity, security (v. 5), peace, safety (v. 6), victory over enemies (vv. 7, 8), fruitfulness, and the presence of the Lord (vv. 9-13).


How does this apply to me? We wonder how they could deceive themselves with these objects of wood and stone. Yet God could well give us the same warning, for we are prone to put idols before him. Idolatry is making anything more important than God, and our lives are full of that temptation. Money, looks, success, reputation, security-these are today's idols.

Idols made by our own hands:

Isaiah 2:8 (AMP) Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, what their own fingers have made.

God's people have also had a propensity to worship God's blessings. Judges 8:27
Gideon made the gold (the spoils from the battle with Midian) into a sacred ephod and put it on display in his hometown, Ophrah. All Israel prostituted itself there.
Gideon and his family, too, were seduced by it.
The Children of Israel were "seduced" by the blessings of God. Even Gideon committed "spiritual prostitution" by giving worship to the things that God blessed him with, instead of giving worship to God.

I need to examine myself to make sure I am not being seduced to worship the blessings of God instead of the God of all blessings. Idolatry has a seductive side to it. It is constantly calling out for your attention and worship. That is why it is so important to daily spend time in praise, worship and thanksgiving to the one and only True God!

As you look at these false gods that seductively promise everything you want but nothing you need, does idolatry seem so far removed from your experience? The cry of my heart is, "Help me Lord!"


"Lord, please forgive me for allowing myself to be seduced by the very things that you have blessed me with. Every where I turn I see your blessing. Too often, I give more attention to the blessing than to the "Blessor." I truly repent of this, and ask you to forgive me. I want to daily recognize your blessings and give you heartfelt thanks! You are such a good God, and full of compassion and mercy. You pour out so much grace into my life, and yet I often forget to stop and say "Thank you, Lord!" Today, I will be more aware of the seduction that blessings can be in my life. I have made up my mind today, to give more praise to the Giver than the gift. I love you Jesus, and thank you for the process of holiness that you are bringing into my life as I daily strive to be the man of God that you want me to be. In Jesus' name, amen!"


Pastor Rusty